Virgin raises bar for broadband speeds in UK

Editor | 12-11-2013

Aiming to address the increasing home-based demand for streaming entertainment on computers, tablets, smartphones and connected TVs, Virgin Media is making a step change in its available Internet speeds.

From 2014, the UK incumbent cableco, acquired by Liberty Global earlier this year in a deal worth £15 billion, says that it will offer top-line broadband speeds twice as fast as any other widely available service, up to a maximum of 152Mbps. As an indication of how much of a mainstream play the move is, Virgin assures that such speeds will be available to the 12.5 million homes across the country served by Virgin Media’s fibre optic cable network. At present Virgin has just over four million homes on its roster.

With 152Mbps of such bandwidth, Virgin calculates users will be able to download an HD movie in less than four minutes but notes that the service will really come into its own when people get online at the same time and need “plenty” of Internet bandwidth for applications such as streaming video, as is the norm in an increasing amount of UK homes.

“As people connect more things simultaneously to the Internet more often, they need powerful broadband with the bandwidth to deliver a great experience for everyone in the home,” commented Virgin Media’s chief executive officer, Tom Mockridge, explaining the move.

“That connection is what we deliver with our unrivalled network. We are boosting speeds again and ensuring our customers can get even more value from their Virgin Media subscription. Our top speed will be twice as fast as BT and all the others reliant on their old copper telephony infrastructure as we extend our lead as Britain’s ultrafast broadband provider.”