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Virgin Mobile To Start Throttling Broadband2Go

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-did-we-say-unlimited? dept.

The Internet 257

Daevad writes "Virgin Mobile sent an e-mail today informing me of their plans to start throttling the Broadband2Go Plan. The web site doesn't seem to reflect the change yet, but here is the message they sent to me: '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.'" Just when I was getting comfortable recommending it to people, too. I do prefer a slowdown to an absolute cap, but this sours me a bit on the (locked-to-Sprint) MiFi I bought to use the Virgin service.

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Bait and switch? (1, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34870926)

Yup, classic bait and switch.

Re:Bait and switch? (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871000)

From the summary: "This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011."

You even have a month to buy in to the old plan if you so desire, which I find surprising.

Re:Bait and switch? (2)

Veovis (612685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871032)

From the summary: "This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011."

You even have a month to buy in to the old plan if you so desire, which I find surprising.

Even so, it would only be good for 1 month.... You can't prepay multiple months like you used to be able to with AT&T prepaid data.

Re:Bait and switch? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872124)

The plans are month to month only, so You are only buying 1 extra month. The thing that they do not tell you is that most people are already throttled. I live in the Los Angeles area. When I connect I typically get 56k connections. For some reason all my data is routed through kansas and utah, so it is incredibly slow. With the speeds that I get, I could not hit the cap in a month.

Wrong (5, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871254)

Virgin mobile is a no-contract company. If they locked you into a contract and THEN started to throttle, that would be a bait and switch. But with no contract, you can decide to stop buying more airtime if you don't like the new terms.

Re:Wrong (3, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871614)

Then what are you supposed to do with your $150 mifi device? What about people that bought it for Christmas thinking that they'd get unlimited mobile Internet for $40?

Re:Wrong (2, Funny)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871704)

Whine about it on the (slow) internet or sell it on ebay?

Re:Bait and switch? (5, Insightful)

rayd75 (258138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871374)

Far better than the AT&T bait and switch with iPad plans... remember that? Changed before the device was even available for a full month. Still, this is the fairest cap I've seen a wireless provider implement so far. Throttling users at their limit actually makes much more sense than cutting them off cold. Unless you are one of the people who thought cellular service would be able to truly replace landline service, (having no concept of the very finite bandwidth available via RF) 5GB is a lot of data. ...and if you run into it by accident, you can still use your service for less bandwidth-intensive things like email, light web access, or reloading your Virgin Mobile account.

Re:Bait and switch? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871576)

Still, this is the fairest cap I've seen a wireless provider implement so far.

I'm guessing you're in the US. I pay 299 SEK (about 45 USD a month) for my cell phone and subscription; granted that's not including free minutes or texts, but I get 10 GB data with that. Go over 10 GB and I'm throttled to 0.2 Mbit/s.

And I'm fairly certain you can get even better and fairer deals than what I'm on.

Re:Bait and switch? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872444)

You are correct. I'm in the US where belief in the inherent right and corrective power of free market forces is only exceeded in devotion by the consensus that we are the chosen people of an angry, vengeful god. The argument of US carriers that caps prevent bandwidth hogs from bringing the network to its knees has always fallen flat with me. It seems obvious that at the first of the month, all your subscribers' accounts get a new transfer allotment (many providers have fixed billing periods) and your total network usage will skyrocket. If you can handle that degree of usage at the beginning of the month, why can't you at the end? That said, it's obvious that wireless networks have a much lower and finite capacity as compared to wired networks but that just means the lie is that much more blatant when wireless carriers attempt it.

Just started with Virgin Mobile last week (2)

pgacv2 (1961946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871670)

I shopped around for a new cell phone plan for several weeks before finally deciding to go with Virgin Mobile, and it's thanks to the fact that I am travelling for my job, because they don't even have stores where I come from so I picked up a prepaid at a Sprint store close to where I am now. They have very sensible plans, and in fact seem to be the only ones who understand that it makes much more sense to limit voice than texts. (All their plans have unlimited text and data; you just get more or fewer minutes depending on how much you pay.)

I'm disappointed that they would throttle back your broadband, but I like it much better than being cut off or charged extra. I just hope they're open about this "reasonable use" change and don't keep advertising it as completely unlimited. They could do better at mentioning the tax on their plans, too. I thought they were like MetroPCS, which includes taxes in its plans. To be fair, Virgin charges far less tax than other carriers, but it was still an unpleasant surprise. And I can't believe that a mobile company doesn't have a mobile version of its own website.

Liking them so far. Let's see how the coverage fares when I go back home this weekend.

Re:Bait and switch? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872718)

Yup, classic bait and switch.

Well, wait. Just to be clear. Virgin offers an "unlimited" plan for cell phones. The author of the article bought a MiFi (mobile hot spot) to use on this service that's sold for cell phones. And he's pissed that now they are going to slow down the data after 5 gig.

Do I have it wrong?

Would he still be mad if they had said "This service is now unlimited only for single cell phones, not for mobile hot spots"?

Or maybe Virgin has been selling this service specifically for people who want to create mobile hot spots on it? I don't know. Can anyone fill in the details?

Where's that future I was promised? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34870952)

Now how the hell am I supposed to get a full VR Metaverse pipe when I'm shreddin' the Santa Monica on my Smartwheels(tm) if I can't get any kind of pipe up to the Street? Totally lame.

Re:Where's that future I was promised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871262)

Virgin == Richard Branson.

Now how the hell am I supposed to get a full VR Metaverse pipe when I'm shreddin' the Santa Monica on my Smartwheels(tm) if I can't get any kind of pipe up to the Street? Totally lame.

Richard Branson ==

Totally lame.

Richard Branson may get his panties in a twist. [crunchgear.com] (see 2:09)

I use VM B2Go.... My connect notice (1)

Veovis (612685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34870978)

NOTICE: Broadband2Go Terms of Service have changed which potentially impact download and upload throughput speeds on the $40 Broadband2Go Plan when monthly data usage exceeds 5GB. The new terms and conditions will apply to new and existing customers purchasing Broadband2Go Plans on or after 2/15/11. Read More: http://www.virginmobileusa.com/legal/terms-of-service-virgin-mobile#bb2g [virginmobileusa.com]

Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34870992)

"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."

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871168)

" if you go over 5GB in a month on the $40 Unlimited Plan: Your data speeds will be limited "
These creatures walk among us -- be wary - nay, RUN!

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (2)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871330)

Just reply to the email with the, "You keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means" line.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (4, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871184)

You still get unlimited data, it just comes slower after a certain point. Sounds reasonable to me, compared to some other plans.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

MichaelKristopeit337 (1967528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871444)

and the reason it's slower is because a limiter was put in place...

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871608)

Just to play the devil's advocate, what they mean by "unlimited" is that there is no hard cap on the AMOUNT of data you may download. Only a SPEED limit when you hit 5gig. In truth, you would never have true unlimited data, as that would imply infinite transfer speeds. Your already finite transfer rate just get adjusted. So this change does not make the statement "unlimited plan" anymore false or true.

The plan is still overpriced as hell compared to what they deliver, though. But the network they're offering it over is not really capable of handling what people want from it anyway.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871794)

So all plans are unlimited - some just drop the speed to 0bps. If they are limiting you in any way depending on how much data you use, I'm sorry but it's not unlimited. Which is fine, as long as it's not called that.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872096)

It is unlimited in the sense of "you may download as much as you want (unlimited) at these specified speeds." Sure, that is not unlimited in the sense of infinite volume, but in the sense of infinite use without having to pay extra.

Getting your head in a bunch over the technicality of whatever marketing ploy a business is using is pretty much an exercise in futility. It is pretty implicit that "unlimited plan" does not mean "magic infinity +1 transfer rates forever" and if you ever thought so for even a heartbeat you're an idiot. Sorry to be blunt, but that is pretty much stupidity at its most fundamental.

You could argue that this is a bad deal and I would totally agree with you. But your argument as it stands is pretty useless as far as discussing the plan. They are clear and up front stating what you're paying for and what they mean by what they say. That's actually a hell of a lot better than some other plans. That the rest of the package sucks is another story.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872574)

It is unlimited in the sense of "you may download as much as you want (unlimited) at these specified speeds."

But that's the point! The specified speeds should not change depending on how much you consume.

It is pretty implicit that "unlimited plan" does not mean "magic infinity +1 transfer rates forever" and if you ever thought so for even a heartbeat you're an idiot. Sorry to be blunt, but that is pretty much stupidity at its most fundamental.

Except I didn't say that. I said that to be unlimited, using it shouldn't change the conditions - if you are supposed to have 5mbps, you should have 5mbps regardless of how much you use it.
Saying that unlimited is "infinity" is definitively stupid.

They are clear and up front stating what you're paying for and what they mean by what they say.

I disagree - while I didn't expect unlimited to mean infinity, the current plan has nothing "unlimited" about it. It has a very real cap on usage. Unlimited should mean no conditions change - including speed - regardless of how much you consume.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

MichaelKristopeit337 (1967528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871900)

so my "unlimited data" plan means my data will be limited in only SOME, but NOT ALL ways...

such ambiguously vague advertising promises should be illegal, if they aren't already.

Re:Gotta love calling a limited plan unlimited (1)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871526)

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same...

A lot of data? (1, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871074)

I downloaded 100 GB last month (movies, tv shows, music videos) on my DSL. 5 GB is not much data at all.

ALSO: Since VirginMobile US is subcontracting from another company (Sprint?), it's likely the limits are being imposed by them. (shrug). I still like the company. They give me my cellphone at $0.00 per month, and I only pay for my minutes used. It's nice and cheap.

Re:A lot of data? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871206)

VM doesn't sub contract from sprint anymore. VM is now owned by sprint 100%. It has been a sprint brand for atleast a year I believe.

Re:A lot of data? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871290)

The real question is how many Library of Congresses could you fit in 5GB.

Re:A lot of data? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871456)

Sprint is 100% owner of Virgin Mobile USA, they bought the company and the right to use the name several years ago.

Re:A lot of data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871644)

At some point the tragedy of the commons comes into play. Where do you think the wireless bandwidth needed to support a 100 GB downloading habit is going to come from?

RF: when they said it was "magic," they were joking.

Re:A lot of data? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871836)

Saying that capping at 5GB is necessary doesn't mean 5GB is 'plenty of data'.

Re:A lot of data? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871886)

Re-read the summary. "Keep in mind, 5GB is A LOT of data." Or so claims virgin.

Re:A lot of data? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871964)

I agree with you. I was replying to the AC, who was claiming it was "necessary", and I simply said that being "necessary" to cap at 5GB doesn't mean it's a lot of data.

Wow, 500,000(!) e-mails (2)

Bullseye_blam (589856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871180)

Or, printing (!) 1,789,569,706 times!

Re:Wow, 500,000(!) e-mails (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871354)

Your Epson MX-80 is still functional?

Re:Wow, 500,000(!) e-mails (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872088)

Or 31,250,000 pings!

(Depending on the exact definition of GB)

Re:Wow, 500,000(!) e-mails (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872198)

With or without the parenthesis?

Throatled even more? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871258)

I briefly had a Broadband 2Go plan and it was painfully slow at the best of times and cut out completely during the travel home time of 5-6 PM. I too it back to Best Buy after it died two weeks in. Turns out a lot of the early units were defective. The ONLY thing it had going for it was being unlimited. Don't waste your money and just get the Verizon. Oh by the way it isn't as hard as they make out to go over 5 gig. I have that cap now and I have to limit my videos to a couple of short ones during the day to stay within my cap. If you do normal surfing and try to watch a couple of movies a month you will go over the limit.

It won't affect you?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871266)

"How will it affect me?"
Are you retarded? It won't affect you as it clearly states here: "This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011"

Re:It won't affect you?! (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871870)

Are you retarded? The 'How will it affect me?' is clearly part of the message sent by Virgin, not Daevad's question. It's inside the quotes.

Difficult choices (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871282)

"Sometimes that means making difficult choices..."

Virgin likes money. Customers are on plans. It's about as difficult as deciding not to slam one's genitals in a door.

Re:Difficult choices (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871478)

By "one's" do you mean yours or someone elses?

Re:Difficult choices (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871494)

Have you ever slammed your genitals in a door? No? Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Files are getting bigger and bigger (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871300)

So this change shouldn't affect you unless you're a heavy downloader/streamer/etc.

The Windows SDK alone is a gigabyte and a half, and a six-month upgrade to a popular GNU/Linux distribution is nearly a gigabyte.

Re:Files are getting bigger and bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871380)

So, you're using your smartphone to download the Windows SDK? Wait, are YOU the Windows Phone 7 user I keep hearing exists?

Cell phone or satellite? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871550)

So, you're using your smartphone to download the Windows SDK?

Should someone outside the reach of cable and DSL be using satellite instead?

Re:Cell phone or satellite? (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872488)

satellite is crap. you think 5gb is bad try a 200mb cap. and they throttle you all the way back into the dark ages 56k. even capped 3g your probably looking at edge speed. might also shop around. cricket for 1 offers home 3g modems with no caps. maybe you have a simler smaller provider offering the same type of service.

Re:Files are getting bigger and bigger (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871892)

Uh, the whole point of the Broadband2Go plan is to use it by devices other than smartphones. That's why its website has a MiFi router in the front page.

Free market (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871356)

The free market will handle this! Also, if you don't like it, start your own ISP (which is totally a viable options for the average person)! Overpaying for cheap bandwidth (while they claim to be unlimited due to the fact that all they do is slow you down after you use too much cheap bandwidth) sure is fun!

500k emails? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871396)

Why does this make me think of the first speeding ticket written for someone going a "break-neck" 12 mph? I'm surprised they didn't list the exact number of Tweets you could manage, too.

They make it sound like nobody has ever used YouTube or video chat and that they want average web users to go back to using 200kB/day so that they can oversell their services as badly as people used to.

5gb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871452)

5GB is A LOT of data

Maybe in 1990...
That's about 4 episodes of a standard tv show in 720p... 10-15 full length music albums... 8-10 standard definition or 1-2 HD movies (through netflix or what not), etc. Considering all the ads and flash and nonsense websites load, video chat, software updates, etc. You'll hit this in no time.

Performance is already pathetic (1)

chelsel (1140907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871458)

I bought one of their Broadband2Go MiFi devices and I have to say that the performance is already pathetic. I can't imagine them throttling it back! How can you throttle back 30kbps downloads?!?!

Re:Performance is already pathetic (0)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872350)

Well, 30kbps for 15.5 straight days is about 5GB. So even at that pitiful rate you can exceed this new cap.

Re:Performance is already pathetic (3, Insightful)

chelsel (1140907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872468)

I believe most people want to use the service for "spurts" of downloading when they are away from their primary internet connection. I don't think the general case is for people to remain connected 24 hrs/day for 2 weeks straight.

Re:Performance is already pathetic (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872446)

sounds like your not getting 3g speeds more like edge. or this is why there imposing this limit there network performance has been suffering by not imposing any sort or limit.

Re:Performance is already pathetic (1)

chelsel (1140907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872486)

Perhaps. My T-Mobile "3G" data stick works flawlessly... but it needs a USB port to operate... right now I'm checking into phones that let me run a mobile hotspot. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying for bandwidth, but it sure as heck better perform well.

Re:Performance is already pathetic (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872720)

most 3g modems regardless of the career well fall back to older networks of 3g is not available. my frend had the same issue at work the towers where still only edge so thats what he got there for a long time untill they finnly upgraded them to 3g.

A challenge to the complainers... (2)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871464)

What would you have Virgin Mobile do instead? So far, this is among the most reasonable takes on the problem I've seen to date. Let's lay down some assumptions:
1) The cost-per-user for the service has turned out to be too high at the current pricing.
2) Analysis shows that a small percentage of users are super-heavy traffic users gobbling up many, many GB per month.

Virgin Mobile could then:
1) Up the plan pricing for everyone to accommodate the upper-end of the bell curve's massive usage. This will penalize the overwhelming majority of users for a few users' overuse. (Isn't that just the same crap that everyone complains about with stupid no-differentiation rulemaking in schools? "It has to be the same for everyone.")

2) Keep the same pricing, but impose a throttle that imposes a penalty only on those users who are breaking the pricing model. They still get service, but at a degraded level.

3) .... ??? (Your Answer Here.)

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871546)

3) Not oversell their physical bandwidth to a degree that causes serious problems.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871800)

So each ISP should have exactly one customer, with an unlimited data plan? Good one.

Or you could get some perspective and stop crying about getting "only" five whole fucking gigabytes of data on your phone per month. Jesus.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872576)

So each ISP should have exactly one customer, with an unlimited data plan? Good one.

"Unlimited data plans" offer an unlimited amount of data (the unit is a byte), not unlimited bandwidth (the unit is byte per second or bit per second).

Or you could get some perspective and stop crying about getting "only" five whole fucking gigabytes of data on your phone per month. Jesus.

You on the other hand could get a clue.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872100)

4) Not advertise it as an "Unlimited" plan.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (2)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871734)

3) Offer different plans at different prices for different users. People use a lot of their product and the only thought that comes to your mind is "punish them"?

You use terms such as "overuse" and "breaking the pricing model". The users bought an unlimited connection at a given price. Why blame them? Also, how do you know Virgin has any problems with profitability? This only cuts their costs without losing many customers. This is the smart thing to do for them regardless of their profits.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871932)

Stop calling it "unlimited". The caps are fine as long as they're honest about them, and not hide them.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872116)

3.) Upgrade the damn equipment.

Re:A challenge to the complainers... (3, Insightful)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872514)

Here are some options that Virgin Mobile isn't doing:

  • shutting off a user's connection as soon as they reach the cap
  • throttling or blocking on a per-application (e.g. bittorrent and youtube) basis
  • charging a large fee for exceeding the quota

Network capacity is a finite resource. It looks like Virgin Mobile is dealing with that in the most reasonable way. Good for them.

Virgin Mobile, where? Which country? (-1, Troll)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871474)

Don't the Slashdot editors know that Slashdot is read globally? I'm so sick of reading Slashdot articles where the author assumes that the all readers live across the street from them!

Common, how hard is it to provide some geographical context to your articles..

FYI: Virgin Mobile exists in more that one country (Australia, Canada, France, India, Qatar, South Africa, UK and US) - I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to all operations.

Wake up! There are lots of countries that have access to the Internet, pull you heads out of your a**es and recognise the rest of the world exists.

Re:Virgin Mobile, where? Which country? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872312)

Oh stop your sniveling. I'm in Canada, and I have no problem figuring out what they're talking about. If it were about a nation other than the US, it would say so in the summary. If it doesn't say, then they're talking about the US. It's not rocket science.

I'm sure that you already understand this as well as I do - you've just got some kind of persecution complex which demands that everyone acknowledge your particular corner of the world. Well too bad. Do something notable, and maybe /. will have a story about you. "Dickwad in Greater Southeastern Bostwanistan consumes 5 keyboards rectally". Then you can feel all warm and fuzzy because your exploits got your country mentioned on Slashdot. Until then, chill the fuck out.

Re:Virgin Mobile, where? Which country? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872546)

Uhhh you DO know that /. is an American site yes? it even says so in their TOS! So basically what you do doing is no different than me going to a Japanese site and saying "Speak fucking English!"

As for TFA, who in their right mind hasn't figured every single thing an ISP says should be replaced by little word balloons that say "Bullshit" "lie" and "OMFG you actually BELIEVED that? LOL!". Hell their TOS might as well say "We'll do what we like, sell your data to anybody who'll give us a buck, fuck you every single way in every position we can think of, and if you don't like it please feel free to write us a nasty note and then burn it because we don't read those things anyway. Oh and we made deals with the other ISPs so you're fucked either way. Have a nice day!"

You know, I thought politicians were bad, but ISPs have made bullshit and lies into an artform. Hell they would take the gold if BS ever becomes an Olympic sport. For those that bought those Mifi routers maybe you can find a sucker on eBay. But anybody who didn't know ISPs were kings of lie haven't seen any of the recent Hughes sat Internet commercials. Man those guys lie like champs!

Unlimited? (1)

NickDangr (911267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871500)

Its only *mostly* unlimited.

most important news story of the day... (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871502)

Seriously, this is important to me. I have my MC760 hooked up to Windows 7 (don't ask) running virtual-AP software (buggy as hell). I was considering going for a mifi but this story puts the kabosh on that idea. No more downloading 'criminal minds' episodes. More importantly, no more attending class online. Which means, for me, that virgin mobile has lost its value proposition. Oh well, I spend $50 on the device...good bye Virgin Mobile, it's back to Starbucks & McDonald's for me.

Not a big deal (2)

imemyself (757318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871524)

Honestly, I agree with people that are saying that 5 GB is very little for a normal Internet connection. But who the hell uses mobile broadband for their primary internet connection. I've been thinking about getting VM's broadband to go to occasionally use when I can't get wifi since its so cheap. But I can't imagine using any kind of mobile broadband (regardless of carrier) as my primary Internet connection that I would use to download ISO's / movies / etc. For me, mobile broadband / tethering is something to use when I'm away from my house, and can't use wifi for some reason. Maybe this will change with Wimax, but we don't have that yet here...

Re:Not a big deal (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871598)

There are plenty of people that just do email/web stuff and don't download isos and movies.

For them, a plan that is $40 a month with no contract and faster than a modem isn't so bad. Of course, the cap won't hit those users very hard either.

Re:Not a big deal (4, Insightful)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871952)

There are lots of people who use mobile broadband for their primary internet connection:

Those of us who can't get anything else.

I live just outside a good-sized city. I'm not in the middle of nowhere.

I can't get cable. I can't get DSL. I can't get FIOS. I can't get UVerse. I can't get WiMax.

My choices are 3G or satellite, and satellite is even more limited and slower than 3G. And costs more. And is less reliable.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872568)

yea people like you get the short end of the stick due to everyone owing a smart-phone and leeching bandwidth for no good reason. thats the down side if there gonna sell 3g stand alone modems then you need to be placed on a sepret node then the millions of smart-phone users so they can handle someone using it as there primary connection.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

greatgreygreengreasy (706454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872320)

To be fair, their website does say this,

Great Reasons to Choose Us

  • The Only Internet You'll Ever Need
  • Unlimited Internet, No Contract

Re:Not a big deal (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872544)

people that are out of reach of dsl cable. peoples lives are never in the same place for long. so there is a market for people who need a mobile connection. the problem is its far more then any provider was ready for. my buddy who works securty bought a 3g modem so he had internet at work and being hes not always in the same place many times they do not have wifi in range.

I do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872550)

It is the only way I can get anything resembling "broadband" where I live. No dsl, no cable, no nuthin. I bought this device and service for myself at Christmas, my big splurge. It's plugged into my desktop. Had to get the guy at the store to activate it on their windows machine, but after that it works fine with ubuntu and network manager. It's great! I actually have something much faster than dialup, and actually cheaper than dialup.

  I'm not a big torrenter or anything, but I will be switching to turning images off and so on, and adblock plus and no script are my friends anyway. Mostly I think I can still stay inside that cap and do my software updates. I run the long term release so won't worry about that replace the whole distro every six months deal. (never saw the point in that anyway, perpetual betaware). I think I will trim down some of the installed software to avoid massive updates, stuff I don't use much like open office. Nice..but at hundreds of megs for tiny updates..not so nice with the new caps.

So anyway, I have finally actually watched some of those..what do you kids call them, oh ya "you tube videos". Ya, pretty spiffy. It's like movies or something....oh well, at least I got to see a few of them before I won't anymore!

Oh ya, you are welcome...I am so glad all you "elite" folks within normal dsl/cable areas are able to..you know..eat some food and consume energy..surprise..WE are out here providing you with that stuff! yes, real humans! there are a lot of us, too! You wouldn't know it to watch the news or listen to most of you on this forum talk, but it's true, people live "out there".

  Or maybe you thought food just magically appeared at your restaurants and coffee houses, and electricity magically at the wall outlet, and water gets created from nothing right at the tap.

    Sure would be nice if WE, the forgotten people, the people who work hard for shit pay and actually make it possible for you to even exist and live inside those major urban areas, were allowed to participate in the 21st century communications revolution. The VM data dongle was a little bit of hope we had in that regard. Sure as shit no one else has even tried to offer us "flyover" people much of anything.

Meh (1)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871640)

T Mobile does the same with their mobile wifi. I pay to tether my phone, and full speed caps at 5 gig, and slows after that. I'm quite happy with it. Now if they'd offer a plan to restore speed after 5 gigs for a price, I might even do that.

Or get a device that doesnt block you. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872204)

If the device gives you enough control, then tethering restrictions dont matter.

How could TMobile detect tethering if the device makes it look like a seamless, untethered connection?

Kudos to Virgin Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871746)

5GBs is an awful lot to pull down your phone or similar device. Most carriers seem to flip out at about 2GB\Month. Rather than imposing cap limits, this is the most reasonable way of approaching mobile bandwidth issues that I have yet to hear of. Give the carriers a chance and let them catch up with our bandwidth demands. Thank you Virgin Mobile for being so very reasonable in the way you are handling this. There are so many other ways they could have addressed this issue, but this is most definitely reasonable. Thanks again Virgin Mobile, you really used you heads on this one.

Re:Kudos to Virgin Mobile (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871842)

5 GB is the soft cap just about every American Provider uses for "unlimited" service. Sprint has had the "throttle anyone who goes above 5 gb" policy in place for a while -- they're just finally closing this last "hole" in it (since they own the Virgin Mobile brand). Of course AT&T no longer offers "unlimited" data, but for those who still have it, it remains at a 5 gb soft cap. Rather than throttle you, they simply threaten to cut you off if you repeatedly exceed it.

We have 4 wireless carriers in most areas but they all move in such coordinated lockstep you'd think we only had one. Customer service and prices are terrible no matter which you choose because they all act as if they were monopolies and all are making far too much money to challenge that status quo by offering consumers something better . . .

Free Market (2)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871752)

Hey, everybody! Don't worry about this. The free market will take care of it. The companies that shaft their customers will lose business. No need to worry.

Right?

...Right?

Re:Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872014)

I would say this is a great example of "the free market taking care of it" seriously, check around. This is very reasonable.

Re:Free Market (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872224)

Sure, if the customers don't idiotically support the companies they loathe. But keep sending them money each month for their crappy service and what do you expect?

Re:Free Market (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872602)

Sometimes you don't have a lot of choice.

Crappy service is better than NO service, and sometimes there isn't a non-crappy alternative.

mod 3o3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871762)

Cl0thes or be a Be treated by your of prograaming polite to bring

Throttle or lower priority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34871846)

I would have little problem with this if after the cap kicks in (5GB is probably enough for a mobile, I guess) they just lower your packet priority, so you'd only get slowed down if the network was congested. If its a manufactured throttle it seems like a useless punishment.

Re:Throttle or lower priority? (1)

pkinetics (549289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871904)

This assumes your smart phone is not randomly sending data on its own at a couple of MBs a day.

They're Also Canceling The Plan Altogether (4, Informative)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34871880)

If you don't already have the $40 'Unlimited' level on automatic update/renewal, you won't be able to buy it in the future.

They're not going to offer it at all. Just the lower level, much more limited data (and those ARE a hard limit.)

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/legal/terms-of-service-virgin-mobile#bb2g_plans_expiring [virginmobileusa.com]

And they may cancel it completely in the future.

English translation (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872104)

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

Translation: To make sure we can keep offering our $40 "Unlimited" Broadband2Go Plan at such a great price, we're putting limitations on it, but still calling it unlimited. Simple, really.

All you can eat (4, Funny)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872112)

Manager: I'm sorry, sir. You have to leave the buffet now.
Customer: But it says "All you can eat for $10".
Manager: That is correct. That is all you can eat for $10.

Shouldn't call it (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872144)

"Unlimited"... its false advertising... they could be taken to court and fined heavily. (at least in Europe, now I dont know what half-arsed laws you yanks have...)

Unlimited means UNLIMITED . period . ISPs and Mobile providers should open a dictionary once in a while, wouldn't hurt.

5Gigs = 250Gigs yeah maybe in 1998... Nowadays with Flash spamming adverts and all that useless shit, client-side scriptings, cross-linking bullshit to social sites, more like 1 hour ?

--
www.twilightcampaign.net

Re:Shouldn't call it (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872418)

there site may not have the change yet but on there lesser limited plans at least on sprint its printed in a huge font 5gb limit. im shure thers will say the same.

5 GB is also... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872236)

5 GB is a lot of data? 5 GB happens to be:

1. About one hour of Netflix streaming, every day for a week.
2. One fully-featured Linux install, with the bells and whistles.
3. A Steam purchase of BioShock 2.
4. About 20 minutes of uncompressed video from a decent camera.
5. About 1% of a full system backup.

Re:5 GB is also... (2)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872388)

yes but those thing your use your pc or a wifi hotspot for. they probably throttle you down to edge speeds, still useful for browsing but forget netflicks etc. i assume this is going to apply to there 25$ unimited data phone plans to. 5gb still could play wow all month long mmos use very little data unless theirs a update. we did wow for one month purely on 3g and used 250mb data. i still prefer that from being cutoff or being charged by the mb when i whent over if i ever did.

Cmon (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872296)

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.

So, if you use more than email you are a heavy user? If that's all people used the web for, I doubt it would even exist anymore.

Wholesale NFL jerseys (0)

leiqiong (1976250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34872416)

These are wonderful! Thank you for sharing Wholesale NFL jerseys [jerseysonline.co]

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34872548)

I pine for the good old days when "unlimited" meant "no limit".

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