Slow broadband in NE2

JesmondLocal reader Jane Cooper wants Virgin Media to explain why her supposedly lightning-fast cable broadband connection – and that of others in the NE2 postcode – often slows to a snail’s pace.

Photograph: Gene Hunt

Cooper has joined other Jesmond residents in posting complaints on the Virgin Media Help & Support Forum, with some saying it can take five minutes for a page to load completely. Others say they have been told by Virgin Media engineers that the root of the problem is the number of students in Jesmond who “max out” their connections by downloading music and videos. “If that is true, that’s a disgrace that Virgin would try to blame students because they’ve taken on more customers than the system in NE2 can handle,” says Cooper. “Virgin needs to stop taking on new customers when they don’t have the capability to provide even a fraction of what the customer thinks they are buying.”

JesmondLocal is attemtping to get a response from Virgin Media. In the meantime, let us know your experiences and opinions by posting your comments below, or joining our discussion forum here.

8 thoughts on “Slow broadband in NE2”

  1. Rob says:

    The speed is ridiculously slow here during term time, it’s practically unusable in the evenings. It’s fine when the students aren’t here, but they can’t be blamed as Virgin Media know full and well that they are heavier users than most and Virgin does have a traffic management/throttling policy for heavy users. Virgin Media have simply oversold and don’t have the capacity to deliver the service, and every day in town you can see their sales people selling even more capacity that doesn’t exist. They have covered their arses spectacularly in their terms and conditions so I can’t even leave. The complaints procedure is a joke, and the whole Ofcom complaints procedure is just too complicated and time consuming for most working people to have time or energy to bother. And especially if you can only get on the internet at work because your home service is useless. Their Indian call centres repeatedly fob people off, and give “fix” dates which seem to never happen (first one I had was in October 2010). Support tickets are closed when the students aren’t here as “the issue has been resolved” but obviously that is due to demand being much lower than usual. What a joke.

  2. Jon says:

    I’ve live in NE2 for a year and during the evenings the connection is largely a joke, almost to dial-up standards. Using anything beyond email is practically impossible.

    A large internet provider outsourcing their customer service to the third world, refusing to admit responsibility and hiding behind the small print to get out of paying compensation? Surely not.

  3. Richie says:

    I’m having the same problem and agree with the above!!… I have received compensation for loss of service which I am quite happy with but the service I am seemingly locked into has provided me with headaches.

    The other day I phoned virgin ‘again’ to be told by a very rude Ashley that my service had been capped due the amount I had downloaded. I told her the service I had was an unlimited, ‘always on’ connection.
    (The term download means any information coming from the cable to your computer..Like a Youtube video, regular internet page, music or video download.)
    She then poo pooed any word that the servers in NE2 are overloaded and people from the jesmond facebook group could possibly be experiencing any difficulties with the internet.

    A few weeks earlier when my internet connection seemed to be held in a queue I telephoned virgin and managed to speak to an engineer. He said the server, as stated in another comment, is over subscribed. If this is is the case in Ne2 why I am being told lies?… by Ashley.

    My internet connection has been slow even when the students have been away!

    Surely Virgin have breached the terms and conditions. Misleading customers etc..

    I am soon to switch to a better ISP and virgin media will NOT be receiving the £114 disconnection fee they are intending to charge me.. No Sir.

  4. Henrik says:

    Same here.

  5. Nath says:

    Hmmm… I’m with Virgin and occasionally I have noticed a dip in speed – about three or four times. In fact on one occasion whilst on my mobile – I had to switch to 3G because that was faster than my own WiFi!

    I have noticed a slight drop when the students are back, but I have to say it seems to be doing quite well. I have lived on two properties within NE2, both services by Virgin. The first property was quite simply shocking. The one I am on now – with the 50mb unlimited package – seems to be doing much, much better. Perhaps it isn’t just NE2 as a whole, but certain areas?

  6. yannick says:

    The internet is ridiculously slow, its a waste of money to pay for 30mbps when all you are getting is below 1mbps. Absolute rip off!

  7. Tom says:

    We signed our house up to the 30mb package, unlimited downloads. Well that’s a load of rubbish, 90% of the time, the internet doesn’t even connect, when it is connected, it’s so slow that I can’t open emails in hotmail, let alone stream programmes or play online games. When we signed up we were told all 4 of us in the house could do high usage things with no problems. And on the very rare occasion, we get 5-10 minutes of good internet where this is true. But it’s incredably frustrating, to consistantly have essentially no internet connection, when paying for what should be a very fast connection.

  8. James says:

    I think virgin on a whole are useless. We started off with a 10mb when there was just one of us then moved to 50mb when the rest came (6 in total). To do this we had to pay an extra £30 on top of the £50 we paid for the first installation, and then were told we had to wait 6 weeks for someone to check that we had the right cables when we told them we’d already got a letter saying we did. On top of that we then were told to wait a month for the internet to be sorted out as it had ‘gone down’ in the Jesmond area, then (so many THENS!) it wasn’t fixed and we’ve been told we’ll have to wait another 2 weeks! Paying £35 for 50mb and only getting on average 1.9mb is ridiculous. Utterly useless.

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