It's been a long time coming, but after much backpedaling, Virgin Mobile is throwing down the gauntlet -- it'll begin throttling data speeds come March 23rd. Like expected, each month that a user exceeds 2.5GB of data usage, he or she will have their downloads capped at 256Kbps for the remainder of the billing cycle. Data hungry users will receive a text message once the governor kicks in, and for those who simply can't stand to be held back, Virgin Mobile will allow subscribers to begin a new month of billing at the drop of a hat -- talk about unbridled generosity. Looking to dig deeper? You'll find a complete rundown of the new contractual terms just after the break.

[Candy photo via Shutterstock]

Virgin Mobile throttling terms

To make sure we can keep offering our Beyond Talk Plans at such great prices, we're putting a data speed reduction in place for anyone who uses over 2.5GB of data in a month.

Will it affect me?
Based on your activity for your last plan month ending in December, you could be affected by this change.

If you continue to use the same amount of data as you did in your last plan month, you may see your data speeds reduced during a plan month when the data speed reduction is implemented on March 23, 2012. You can still use your phone to do everything you currently do, but you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media.

This will not affect your ability to text or make calls with your phone.

How will it work?
Starting March 23, 2012, if you use over 2.5GB of data in a month on your Beyond Talk Plan:
• Data speeds may be reduced to 256Kbps or below for the rest of your month.
• If data speeds are reduced, they will return to normal as soon as your next plan month starts.
• If you'd rather not wait for your new month to start, you can restart your plan immediately through My Account.

How will I know if my data speeds have been reduced?
If you reach 2.5GB of data in a month, you will receive a text message letting you know your data speeds will be reduced for the rest of your plan month.

By putting this data speed reduction in place, we're making sure we can deliver the same quality service you've come to expect from Virgin Mobile. We hope you understand.

*Data usage per activity is based on an average. Bandwidth varies by website, video, email and other Internet application