Virgin have been running STM (Subscriber Traffic Management) for a while now. To be honest I haven’t felt much impact although it certainly hasn’t increased my speeds any by affecting ‘the top 3%’ of users downloading or uploading at peak times. I’ve got no real problems with the rules but I do have problems when Virgin apply them when they like at times of their choosing.

Now Virgin have confirmed to a user that STM applies at different times at bank holidays and weekends. That would explain why I was throttled when grabbing some Oracle iso’s a few weekends ago. I put it down to general slowness in the area but it picked up quickly a few hours later. I guess it shows how bad the service can be if I people are throttled without really realising it. Of course there’s nothing on Virgins official page about this. This all smacks of Plusnet when they had to deal with the increased pressures of downloads against cost to user. While the STM is sensible in principle at least tell us how and when it will be applied. Honesty makes a big difference.

Some of the other posts in the link above got me thinking though. Is it really a slippery step to a pay as you go broadband service? Great speeds both down and up but you pay per GB? Is that the most fair way of moving forward with broadband in the future? I’ve no clue but it will be interesting to see how the next 12-18 months change the landscape (if at all) with the increased usage of video and the move to HD by more and more people. 25GB download for just one film? No thanks, not at today’s speeds. I’m sure the music and film industry would love a move to that kind of model. I’d just like to see more consistency for my money…current speed is 3MB which certainly isn’t what I’m paying for.