Virgin Media has introduced a new traffic management policy which could see its customers' broadband speeds being squeezed by as much as 50 per cent.
All customers who have access to speeds of more than 30Mb will see their top speed halved for five hours if they go beyond a set usage allowance.
These download caps will be introduced immediately across all of the provider's packages.
"Broadband services are by their nature shared resources, so Virgin Media's traffic management policy is designed to ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media's fibre-optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users using more than their fair share at the busiest times," a company spokesman told ZDNet UK.
Virgin Media is currently rolling out an upgrade which will see download rates for most customers. This is expected to be followed with those with speeds of 30Mb and 50Mb having their speeds boosted to 60Mb and 100Mb respectively.