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Virgin Mobile comes clean about broadband speed throttling

Things move quickly these days. Yesterday we ran a story about Virgin Mobile‘s practice of throttling mobile broadband speeds once customers reach 5GB per month. That doesn’t seem right for a service that was advertised as having no limits. I have nothing against data throttling, as long as the company is up front about it. Yesterday, Virgin Mobile did just that. The company announced a 5GB cap for its $40 Broadband2Go plan. After customers reach that cap their speeds are reduced to 256 Kbps until either they renew early or the new month starts. This goes into effect on February 15.

In the above-linked article, PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan runs down some issues customers might face with these changes. A Virgin representative said that, “Customers who use BB2Go for typical email, internet surfing and reasonable downloading will likely not be impacted/notice any difference,” but people have different definitions of reasonable. Any kind of video streaming can quickly use up the 5GB, as can music downloads and other forms of entertainment.

At least now Virgin customers know what they’re signing up for. I can’t imagine signing up for something advertised to be unlimited, and then, in the middle of the month, getting horribly slow speeds. Thankfully, Virgin has come clean about this and will allow consumers to make more informed decisions, rather than learning by trial and error.