Virgin Mobile to throttle Broadband2Go speeds from February

by Bradley Wint on January 14th 2011 at 5:18PM

Virgin Mobile has sent out an email to its Broadband2Go customers informing them of a new data speed throttling policy for those using 5GB and over worth of monthly transfer.

The general idea is that customers on the $40 unlimited Broadband2Go plan will be able to browse normally up to 5GB worth of bandwidth transfer, but once they cross the limit they will see reduced speeds. Videos, page speed and downloads will be slow; all in an effort to offer the best service to all its customers. If folks have an issue with the limit, they can upgrade to a higher bandwidth plan at an additional cost. Here is the e-mail:

Here at Virgin Mobile, our mission is to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Sometimes that means making difficult choices in order to provide the best possible service to the greatest number of customers. To make sure we can keep offering our $40 Unlimited Broadband2Go Plan at such a great price, we’re putting a speed limit in place for anyone on that plan who uses over 5GB in a month.

How will it work?
Starting February 15, 2011, if you go over 5GB in a month on the $40 Unlimited Plan: Your data speeds will be limited for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media. Your data speeds will return to normal as soon as you buy a new Broadband2Go Plan. This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011.

How will it affect me? Keep in mind, 5GB is A LOT of data. To give you an idea, it’s about 250 hours of web browsing or over 500,000 emails! So this change shouldn’t affect you unless you’re a heavy downloader/streamer/etc.

Now this actually doesn’t seem as bad as it may have at initial glance. 5GB is quite a lot of an average use who browses Facebook, views a number of YouTube videos, checks email and does regular browsing. It’s rare for users to use a mobile Internet connection for serious web browsing and downloading. Those who will suffer are more the hardcore browsers who download lots of content or constantly stream videos. Finally, they are not busting your pocket with excess usage charges, which most times stings a lot with other mobile carriers. As to how much throttling will be done is still unknown, but it should be enough to convince a user to move up if they are really serious about heavy downloading.

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  • rookieoftheyear

    I am not in favor of this transition. The only reason I switched to them in the first place is because of the unlimited data plan, which up to this point has not capped transfer speed. The area where I live has shut down all of the video stores and this was the only way for us to rent movies. Also, wireless 3g is the only high speed internet we can get other than satellite, which I can not afford.

  • Bradley Wint

    Are the higher bandwidth plans too expensive though? Maybe the service’s popularity must have gotten the better of them and might be clogging the wireless pipelines.

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