Feeds

Virgin Media begins 100Mb upgrades

Getting faster very slowly

Boost IT visibility and business value

Virgin Media today said it will begin increasing the maximum downstream broadband speed available via its network to 100Mbit/s, and maximum upload speed to 10Mbit/s.

The gradual programme will take more than 18 months to cover the country, it said, and is due for completion in mid-2012. The first areas scheduled for upgrade, in December, are in London, the South-East and Yorkshire.

It follows small-scale trials, which Virgin Media said "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 100Mbit/s service will come with a new Virgin Media-branded combined cable modem and 802.11n router. It will launch at £45 per month as a standalone package, or £35 with an £11.99 per month phone line. The current top package costs £38 per month on its own.

The slow pace of the work - it'll take longer than the upgrade to 50Mbit/s, which required more radical changes to the network - suggests demand for increased speeds may not be quite as strong as claimed, however.

Nevertheless, Virgin Media is keen to press its technological advantage over BT. The national telco is currently upgrading two-thirds of its network to offer its faster "Infinity" broadband, but two thirds of those new lines will offer theoretical maximum downloads at 40Mbit/s. The typical reality is likely to be closer to just 25Mbit/s.

Virgin Media was able to call on the services of PR-man-turned-PM David Cameron today to help fluff its news.

"We want to see superfast broadband brought to peoples' homes and businesses right across the country and this exciting news takes us a step closer towards reaching that goal," he said.

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

The announcement came alongside strong third quarter financial results for Virgin Media. Compared to the same period last year, revenues were up 6.4 per cent to £978m, and operating profit up 11 per cent to £387.3m. It gained 14,100 net new cable subscribers, below expectations, but more than 62 per cent of customers are now on triple-play packages of broadband, phone and TV, which helped increase ARPU.

The full report is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?