Feeds

Virgin Media begins 100Mb upgrades

Getting faster very slowly

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.