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Virgin eases broadband speed caps after advertising rap for unlimited claims

Virgin has cut the speed restrictions on heavy downloaders but promised to keep promoting unlimited broadband after a clash with advertising watchdogs.

The Advertising Standards Authority took issue with a broadband ad that claimed to offer ‘unlimited’ downloads with ‘no caps’ but carried ‘more than moderate’ penalties for heavy users.

Sky and BT snitched to the regulator about the online claims, but Virgin said a 50 per cent speed restriction would only apply to downloaders who exceeded daily limits – around 2.5 per cent of Virgin broadband users.

Virgin eases broadband speed caps after advertising rap for unlimited claims
What is ‘unlimited’? It’s a proper chin-stroker, guv’nor

Read more about ISP Traffic ManagementThe speed cap has now been reduced to 40 per cent, and Virgin said it’s discussing the cap’s impact with the the ASA and Committee of Advertising Practice.

Virgin Media said: “Our customers receive unlimited, superfast broadband and, even if they’re one of the tiny minority traffic managed for a short period of time, Virgin Media customers can download more than other ‘unlimited’ services, including BT Infinity. 

“Unlike BT or Sky, all Virgin Media customers can download as much as they like, safe in the knowledge we’ll never charge them more.”

Virgin said that even with traffic management its users will get average speeds of 15.5Mbps, 27.95Mbps and 44.15Mbps across the three tiers of 30Mbps, 60Mbps and 100Mbps listed in the mid-2012 adverts under scrutiny.

The ASA also decided that Virgin’s claim of ‘Unlimited downloads Download and browse as much as you like with no caps and no hidden charges’ was misleading.

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