Virgin Media kicks off 100Mb upgrades

27 October 2010

Really fast broadband, yesterday

Virgin Media have said, today, that they're starting to increase the maximum downstream broadband speed available via its network to 100Mbit/s, and maximum upload speed to 10Mbit/s.

Which is nice.

This is a gradual roll-out which is going to take over a year to complete across the country. They're looking at getting the whole thing finished by mid-2012. So who gets first dibs? Well, the first scheduled upgrades will be in December and will happen in That London, the South-East and Yorkshire.

After some trials, Virgin Media said that they "found internet usage increased exponentially", compared to the current 50Mbit/s top package.

"We have already seen a massive uptake in the number of customers watching video rich services and bandwidth hungry high definition programmes and clips," said CEO Neil Berkett.

The new service will come with a new Virgin Media-branded cable modem and router and will launch at £45 per month as a standalone package, or £30 with an £11.99 per month phone line.

This of course, gives Virgin Media dick-swinging rights as they look to press their technological advantage over BT. BT are currently upgrading two-thirds of their network to offer the faster Infinity broadband, but the majority will offer only a theoretical maximum download speed of 40Mbit/s, with the reality closer to just 25Mbit/s.

The firm is taking pre-registrations for 100Mbit/s service from today on its website.

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband


  • Nobby
    As you’re not in a fibre optic cable area, you won’t be able to get your hands on up to 100Mb broadband just yet. But don’t despair, our National broadband service offers the fastest speed we can give you, plus the chance to choose your download size. And it’s super easy to switch too.
  • Tim
    Noting that Virgin's system is just as much influenced by cable length and quality as BT is. 100mbit is not what you will get but the theoretical maximum. The majority won't get anywhere near that. With BT you have to be near the exchange to get top speeds, with Virgin you have to be near the local node, and better still near to the headend, to get a decent speed (especially as, except for fibre-to-home which is rare, the last hop is coax and usually crap old 80s/90s analogue cable TV coax at that, and the signal degrades worse than simple twisted pair copper phone wire that BT has). Once BT has FTTC rolled out, there's going to be little difference between them unless Virgin role out FTTH to everyone, which would involve digging up a lot of roads, and BT will have greater coverage outside of cities. That's assuming Virgin can deliver a reliable signal at all (they never could when I was with them back in NTL days). Reality is most of us will still be getting sub 20mbit. Some up to 50. Few will get anywhere near 100, even if you're on cable. Not for a good few years yet.
  • The B.
    Whoosh! Get ready for up to 100Mb broadband Strap yourself in, because up to 100Mb broadband is coming your way! As you’re in a fibre optic cable area, soon you’ll be able to enjoy our fastest broadband ever. Enter your details below and we will get in touch as soon as it is available in your area. Bugger off, 100Mb for £50 a month? I'll stick with my 10Mb line, perfectly adequate for my porn/illegal downloading needs.
  • Will G.
    I'd pay £45 a month just to be able to watch HD channels online. You what? They aren't streaming HD channels? Oh, so what's the point unless I'm doing things illegal online? What? I am? Oh. OK then.
  • james d.
    Tim that is not true, BT is far more influenced by line length. If you go into your modem settings, you can see what speed its synched at, its synched at what its supposed to be synched it. Unline my ADSL max up to 8 meg service from BT which is synched at 4.2. are you suggesting virgin will implement some kind of auto speed downgrading docsis modem if it cant manage the full speed? Perhaps they will do that for 100 meg but its not something they have had to do so far.
  • JR
    I've got the 10Mb Virgin package and rarely do I get download speeds over 1Mb. Browsing seems to be really slow for some reason no matter which browser I use. Plus my modem keeps getting disconnected about once a month meaning I have to ring customer support to get it re-activated which usually takes 30 minutes since it's based in India and there's a language barrier. Calls are 6p a minute too. All this and I'm not even a heavy user, not by a long shot. It's safe to say I won't be upgrading, or probably even sticking with Virgin after the contract is up.
  • Gunn
    JR do you mean you have the 10Mbit package and download max 1Megabyte?
  • disconotatall
    I'm with Virgin Media on 50Mb and have no trouble at all in getting that speed consistently,whatever the time of day.woohoo for me :) good old usenet! and I don't like foxes or bumming
  • james d.
    either that or he is using his wireless on the 3rd floor of his house while his router is downstairs. I mean cmon, he even went to the extent of trying another browser!!!! What else could he possibly do. /s
  • Rick G.
    @JR It's 10/20/50/100 MegaBITS. For 10mb, this means a download speed of usually 1.1 MB/s I had the 10Mb connection and could download constantly at 1.1MB. I've had the 20MB and can download constantly at 2.37MB. My brother has the 50Mb and he gets a constant 6MB download. If he were to download an 8GB HD movie it would take about 18 minutes. BT on the other hand is entirely based on how far you are from the line and you'll never get anywhere near their advertised speeds. Virgin has been and will continue to own the superfast broadband market.
  • Faredoggers
    Am with Virgin Media and am happy on mates rates 8-)
  • The B.
    I downloaded 1MB the other day but it wasn't, it was 1024 bytes, why is this? Also, why does 11=3, 111 = 7 and 1111 = 15?
  • Nader
    I have 20Mb and get 20MB consistently!
  • kfcws
    @the real bob. There are 10 types of people that understand binary, those that can and those that can't :)
  • Laurz
    @kfcws Congratulations on completely fucking up that joke :D "There are 10 types of people that understand binary, those that can and those that can’t " Somebody who doesnt understand binary isn't exactly a type of person that understands binary is he? I think what you was aiming for was something along the lines of... There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that dont.
  • JGN
    on 50MB here and i get just under 51MBit. Virgin for the win in terms of fast reliable speed.. not so much when it comes to pirating,, arrrrr!!
  • Mark H.
    Been with Virgin since back in the NTL days (started with 128k 'broadband' ;-) ) and it has been faultless. Currently on 10Mb service and when I speedtest it I get 10Mb. I highly recommend it over BT's hit and miss service.
  • Tim
    @james dewitt - The way Virgin do it (or did it when they called themselves NTL) is they assess the line quality and allow you the higher speed band based on that. If the line can't cope they say no, and good luck arguing with them to do something about it. This can be affected by line distance, but they won't publicly admit it. BT's approach is they just tell everyone they can get the "up to" sync rate, but then sync them lower based on what the line actually can achieve and stay stable. Virgin will just say you can't have 100mbit, if your line quality is crap, or if they let you past the initial stage, if your line is crap it will just drop and you get no connection at all and the modem sits there flashing away trying to connect. So no broadband at all, rather than BT's "some" broadband at least if you have a crap line. Okay you sync at what is advertised *if* your line is good enough, but it's either yes or no with Virgin. No in-between. As for actual throughput, that's another matter. My experience with NTL was of overcrowded nodes and head ends and slow speeds at peak times as a result, but maybe it has improved. @Rick Greer - "Virgin has been and will continue to own the superfast broadband market." Except when they're shit and can't deliver a stable connection at all. Remember nthellworld?

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