Virgin Media doubles speed of UK broadband

UK cable operator Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED; LSE: VMED) says it is doubling the broadband speeds of over 4 million of its customers and will be increasing its top speed tier from 100 Mbps to 120 Mbps.

Jan 12th, 2012

UK cable operator Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED; LSE: VMED) says it is doubling the broadband speeds of over 4 million of its customers and will be increasing its top speed tier from 100 Mbps to 120 Mbps.

With the mass roll-out starting in February 2012, the upgrade program will continue over 18 months and is expected to be complete by mid 2013. Subscribers to Virgin Media’s current 10-Mbps, 20-Mbps, 30-Mbps and 50-Mbps services will see their speeds at least doubled, in addition to the 100 Mbps to 120 Mbps jump. The modems provided as part of the upgrade program are capable of receiving speeds of up to 400 Mbps.

Virgin Media claims that its 100-Mbps service is, and its 120 Mbps service is soon to be, the UK’s fastest widely available broadband. BT recently launched faster broadband products over FTTP, but these are only available to order by a very small number of homes.

The cable operator hopes that the 120-Mbps speed will help it stay one step ahead of BT, whose top tier is currently 110 Mbps. But BT is fighting back with plans to launch a 300-Mbps product (see "BT launches FTTP service, promises 300 Mbps next year").

Virgin Media says the widespread availability of superfast broadband supports the UK government’s ambitions of ensuring that consumers have access to the best broadband services in Europe by 2015. Prime Minister David Cameron said, "I welcome this announcement from Virgin Media; it will provide a great boost for the economy and change the way many households, consumers, and businesses use the Internet. Rolling out superfast broadband across the country is a critical part of our plan to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure and build a new and smarter economy."

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