For some time one of our ADSL lines has been serviced by Virgin.net – now Virgin Media, and from my own experience I really wouldn’t recommend them to any of my friends at the moment.
Why, you ask, wouldn’t I recommend them, I do this on two counts:
- The provide telephone support on an 0906 number which costs 25 pence per minute!
- Their network latency is awful (So are their transfer speeds, but this is secondary to the latency from my point of view).
Now the support number problem I don’t see as an issue to myself, as I much prefer to use their live chat system (If you can get hold of someone of course), but the latency problem is terrible…
Virgin Media ADSL customers connect to their network through a number of points, known as bams, and most of these this morning at around 11am were already mostly showing terrible latency, and I have collected the ping times from a number of trace routes done whilst trying to connect to most (If not all) of Virgin Media’s bams, these are show below.
2 237 ms 217 ms 227 ms brhm-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [184.108.40.206]
2 228 ms 226 ms 253 ms brhm-bam-2.inet.ntl.com [220.127.116.11]
2 173 ms 157 ms 159 ms brnt-bam-2.inet.ntl.com [18.104.22.168]
2 238 ms 240 ms 236 ms brnt-bam-3.inet.ntl.com [22.214.171.124]
2 203 ms 206 ms 209 ms glfd-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [126.96.36.199]
2 218 ms 227 ms 370 ms leed-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [188.8.131.52]
2 166 ms 174 ms 169 ms manc-bam-2.inet.ntl.com [184.108.40.206]
3 35 ms 33 ms 29 ms nrth-t2core-a-ge-wan63.inet.ntl.com [220.127.116.11]
2 209 ms 182 ms 189 ms popl-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [18.104.22.168]
2 48 ms 45 ms 42 ms winn-bam-1.inet.ntl.com [22.214.171.124]
As you can see, all bar two of them are showing over 100ms, and about half of them are over 200ms – this is unacceptable to alot of users out there, especially the online gamers and anyone using a VOIP service – this can induce a delay in the VOIP service which makes it almost unusable apparently.
It seems as if Virgin Media have too many customers connecting through there bams and that their equipment cannot take the load in an acceptable way, thus inducing the high latency show here, and also a slow down in transfer rates – not an acceptable service in my opinion.
Just to close, I was able to get connected through different bams by disconnecting and reconnecting the PVC connection – which gives you a chance to connect to a different bam from the one you were connected to – although this isn’t a certainty, then testing the connection my running a “tracert www.google.com” and seeing what the second hope ping times are, once a low latency connection is found.
I would suggest this above to any Virgin Media ADSL users who are experiencing high latency or low transfer speeds, although remember, you are disconnecting the PVC and not the actual ADSL (ATM) connection – disconnecting and reconnecting your ADSL connection can have an adverse effect on your service as the exchange equipment will see the constant disconnects and reconnects as a possible line fault and may take steps to stop this which may in their own right slow your connection down (Such as dropping your IP Profile or raising your SNR thus lowering your Sync speed).
I hope this helps some Virgin Media users out there, and I am currently looking into some other ADSL providers and will be providing some updates here as and when I’ve got some new information for you all.