Speed increases for Virgin customers
Broadband in the UK is about to get a little bit faster, as Virgin is planning to double the speed for many of its customers in the next 18 months.
Virgin Media, operator of the UK’s cable TV and Internet network is planning to double the download speed offered to customers of its 10Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb and 50Mb services from next month. The speed upgrade will start from February 2012 for some customers, and be complete across their cable network by the middle of 2013. Although the upgrades are set to cost Virgin £110m,customers will get the speed increase for free.
A free doubling of broadband speeds is a good thing, and it will take the UK’s fastest download speeds to 120Mbps, which is three times better than the maximum speed offered by other UK broadband providers such as BT and Plusnet.
Last year, BT announced its plans to roll out its BT Infinity fibre service to 66% of the UK by 2015, at a rather more pricey £2.4 billion, but currently, BT’s fibre service only offers 40Mbps.
Virgin has been in a great position to offer a fast connection as they only offer the service in the more profitable parts of the UK, and their network was built as a fibre network from the ground-up, and isn’t an old network of copper cables and telegraph poles that requires a major upgrade just to get speeds of up to 40Meg. Virgin’s also pretty accurate in its speed prediction – if you pay for a 30Mbps service, you get close to that figure, whereas here at FileSaveAs, the machine we’re using is on an “up to 20Mbps” connection, and we’re seeing a speed of about 4Mbps. Sadly, neither BT Infinity or the Virgin cable network is available where we live (yet), and each time we check on the date for fibre in our area, it seems to be pushed back by 3 months.
If fast broadband is of interest to you, the winner in the UK is clearly Virgin, and customers are also set to be winners too, as they’re about to start getting free upgrades to even faster speeds.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a Virgin Media cable area, then take a look at their combined cable TV and fast broadband service – you can find details of what they offer at virginmedia.com
Got Virgin? We’d love to know what you’d like to use your new shiny faster connections for – Please add a comment below.