Virgin to launch 50mbps service for UK customers today

Update: Virgin has now updated its site with the full details on its 50mbps service here.

Virgin Media is expected to unveil its 50Mbps broadband service at a press briefing this morning.

It will be the fastest domestic connection available to UK web surfers. Early reports suggest the XXL service will be priced at £51 per month with upload speeds capped to 1.75Mbit, increasing to 2.5Mbit in 2009.

According to a report in the FT, Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett was quoted as saying "It will be premium-priced," at an investors conference in New York last week. "I see no reason to go in cheap" he added.

Earlier this year Virgin was slapped on the wrist by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading adverts regarding its speed packages. Virgin media controversially began throttling users internet connections in May 2007 during peak times (4pm till midnight) for customers who downloaded a certain amount of data in that given time. It is unclear whether Virgin will apply these restrictions to the XXL service.

Members at popular cable forums are reporting the service is available now for £51 a month and confirmed this by posting the following self care page where Virgin Media customers can upgrade:

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Notepad++ v5.1.2 Released

Next Story

Palm OS "Nova" at CES

51 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Speed is nothing when your ISP throttle and filter your internet. I've found all ISPs you see being advertised are very poor, the lesser well known ones will give you a better service. I can only get 5.5Mbps anyway ;_;

Ignoring the crappy network throttling what VM are asking for ain't that bad. Here in Vancouver you would pay $180CAD (around 90GBP) for 50MB.

I don't see why a home user would need such speed. I'm on 10MB now and can stream Video fine and works out can download around 4gb/h. What would benifit home users more is increced upload speed so we can send emails quicker and upload those youtube vidoes that seem to take forever.

£35/mo when you take an £11 phone line of £51/mo on its own... whos doing the maths at Virgin these days?

In my area as there is maybe 20 wireless signals present and Im on wireless the interferance doesnt even allow me to max out my 20mbps.

People desiring such speeds hopefully know better not to bother.

toufas said,
not in london yet? :(


I assume it's only in the area's the trials were in, but now open to everyone in that area, no one seems to be able toget it at the moment.

The restrictions ruin their service. I have 10MB atm. I had to download from Steam Left4Dead full package. It was coming down at 1MB which is the max speed I can get. When it hit 800Mb completed my connection dropped down to 300k. Kinda bull**** when they state I should be getting the cap at 1200MB downloaded.
I will eventually, when I pull my finger out, and down grade to 2MB.
The speed is nice, but **** when your not allowed to use it. Punish the hardcore downloaders not your average customer

SK[ said,]The restrictions ruin their service. I have 10MB atm. I had to download from Steam Left4Dead full package. It was coming down at 1MB which is the max speed I can get. When it hit 800Mb completed my connection dropped down to 300k. Kinda bull**** when they state I should be getting the cap at 1200MB downloaded.
I will eventually, when I pull my finger out, and down grade to 2MB.
The speed is nice, but **** when your not allowed to use it. Punish the hardcore downloaders not your average customer :/

the new 50mbt service is not capped in the same way. This new system is an entirely different infrastructure and is apparently "tomorrow's network". Hopefully they won't over subscribe this new one and won't feel the need for the crazy throttling [which is only there to try to mask the oversubscription of their existing network]

Maybe they should roll out to the rest of the country before giving people broadband speeds the rest of the country's infrastructure can't cope with.

Wow thats amazing. My family are on 20MB internet atm, and on the VIP+ package, but can't seem to upgrade yet.

I've never had any problems with Virgin, ever, there customer service has always been really good, and the internet has decent speeds throughout the day, and i personally use the internet late into the morning. My family swear by Virgin Media (NTL back in the day). The TV box is shocking though.

Nevermind, i hope we can upgrade soon!

Are they going to provide new cable modems that can cope with 50mb connections? I'm sure the little blue ones that have been given out over the past few years only go up to 30mb or something...

�52... quite a lot, I'd be keen in seeing how good it actually is, compared to 20mb.

I don't always get fantastic speeds on 20mb

Edit: Just noticed that they're providing a wireless N router and adaptor....for new customers, what about existing?

seems very stupid to me. instead of just selling speeds they cant match for so much they should be spending the money poured into these temporary resolutions into a permanent one. like they should sell 200Mbps to your house but according to "fair usage, and equal quality" you'll only get 5Mb/s 75% of the time is not how the problem is solved. They need to invest in infrastructure so their network can handle the ability to give each user what they're paying for. Playing the Pentium 4 game doesn't do anyone any good.

It is unclear whether Virgin will apply these restrictions to the XXL service.

"The 50Mb service includes a new EuroDOCSIS3-compatible modem, an unlimited service with no traffic management at launch (acceptable use policy still applies), and a complete wireless kit to make the most of 50Mb speeds (including 802.11n router and 802.11n USB dongle), PCguard Total anti-virus and anti-spyware protection. Virgin Media uses traffic management on its network to ensure the vast majority of customers receive the high quality of service they expect. Virgin Media will be trialling a variety of different approaches to traffic management and upstream speeds, to improve the unique performance of this service."

On a recent visits to the states I was amazed that the hotel I was staying at did 30mbps DSL as standard

I'll just stick to my 24mbps Be service for now then, until the copper telephone wire infrastructure gets upgraded and we can start to enjoy the benefits of today's technology

This is a big step into the future for UK broadband, but £52.00 a month is just ridiculous compared to other countries who are enjoying even twice that speed for almost half the price. Very few people will actually be able to afford it. My town (Dover, Kent) was one of the towns that got to trial this speed, apparently the trial/test cost about £40.00 a month which sounds fairer.

With the amount of money branston has he could probably afford to half the prices and still make a hefty profit.

I know upgrading the network with new switches costs quite a lot of money, but £52.00 a month doesn't sound like a fair price to take advantage of it.

Another thing i think virgin should do is scrap the 2MB/s package and make the 10MB the 'small package and have 50MB/s the XL package. I think that would be the best way to do it.

I hear virgin are planning a 100MB/s package to be out by 2012, will this cost about £90.00 a month?

just disgusting, but they do it because they 'own' the network and can get away with it

100MBps for £90?
I'd pay that....

100mbps for £90? stuff that where the sun don't shine Mr Branson

Bunch of whining w@nkers!

I would gladly pony up the extra bucks for that kind of bandwidth. Stateside, unless you are in a pretty good sized metro area, you are likely stuck with a measly 1.5 or 2 from a DSL provider. Due to hurricane damages around here to their cables, the cable company doesn't even service my neighborhood anymore.

And ... you have a problem with 768k up? You ought to try 256k or so - pitiful!

That̢۪s exactly the same here, not everywhere in the UK can get a cable internet connection. ADSL isn̢۪t exactly that great anywhere I imagine unless you̢۪re lucky enough to live next door to the exchange.

I live in the smaller town of Fort Smith, AR and even us hicks from the sticks can get 12mbps cable Internet (for $50/month - I opted for the 8mbps plan at $40). I just wish they'd make HD cable standard. Broadcast TV will soon be all-digital, but I'm paying $60/month for digital cable so I can get the HD channels which are just HD repeats of the analog expanded basic ones. I have no need for the digital SD "tiers" but I'm forced to pay for them to get HD.

My question is this: who really needs 50mbps Internet? I could understand a business using it, but what possible reason would an individual have for a 50mpbs Internet connection? Unless of course you're constantly hitting the pirate bay...

Can you say "streaming media" and "telecommuting?"
Haven't you heard? You will be downloading all your HD movies eventually and with free streaming music of every conceivable genre, who needs to steal music anymore?

The future is bandwidth-hungry. Be prepared.

Ytterbium said,
I get the option to upgrade in my accout but when I check with post code, it say's it's not available in my area, DoH

Same here and my area has in the past been one of the first to get the new products as it was one of the Original NTL areas but those days are gone

For me anyway it's got to the point where I don't care about download speed it's the upload speed I would like improved. 20mbit down is more than enough, 768kbps up is just horrible.

I wouldn't say it's worth the extra £22, were only paying £29 for 20mbit atm.

Theoretically, you'll be in a new 12 month contract, but only for the broadband (i.e. your tv/phone contract remains as it is), however, Virgin usually don't have a problem letting you downgrade after about 3 months.

torrentthief said,
creamhackered, they dont just throttle in evenings now, starts at around 10am now until midnight.

Agreed. My connection is almost permanently crippled. I heard something from my mum about this. If your connection is constantly below 75% of the speed you're supposed to get, ring up and complain, and you'll get your money back! I bet you could use it to your advantage and get an upgrade!

smooth_criminal1990 said,
they should be done for being a monopoly, this is just stupid

They arent a monopoly though, you can get dialup and ADSL, you arent locked into using Virgin, i understand that its annoying but they arent realy doing anything wrong.

Richard Hammond said,
They arent a monopoly though, you can get dialup and ADSL, you arent locked into using Virgin, i understand that its annoying but they arent realy doing anything wrong.

Except for providing a poor service :P

Richard Hammond said,
They arent a monopoly though, you can get dialup and ADSL, you arent locked into using Virgin, i understand that its annoying but they arent realy doing anything wrong.

They kind of are...if you want a cable ISP, you're stuck with virgin. Nobody else offers it. Everything else is dependant on the phone lines - which suck where I live at the moment (can only get 0.5Meg ADSL).


£50/month does sound ridiculously steep compared with the rest of the [developed] world in my opinion.

Richard Hammond said,
you arent locked into using Virgin

You are if you're on a Virgin phone line, like I am. If I want to go with any other broadband ISP, I have to switch to a BT line, but that will cost me £125!

Just to point out you are somewhat complaining about physical requirements.

You have a cable line, therefore it uses a cable provider. That's just how it works. If you want to switch, that may unavoidably require a new line to be installed, which costs money.

Virgin might be the only one running those cable lines ... but that's because it's their lines to run. Would you describe your local train company as a monopoly just because other companies don't run their trains on it?

Sooo How much can you download till your line gets throttled.. because to be worth paying £50 a month for this speed you know i actually want to be able to utilise it....

creamhackered said,
Yeah the evening caps are annoying

In the tests 50mb traffic management wasnt enabled and from what i read wont be for a while, 50mb uses DOCSIS 3.0 while the current lot of broadband are DOCSIS 2.0 so there wont be a lot of traffic on DOCSIS 3.0 for a while.

*edit* I just checked my selfcare, i can upgrade to 50mbps right now, shame i cant justify £52 a month JUST for internet, 50mb would be nice

creamhackered said,
Yeah the evening caps are annoying



Thats what bothers me about super fast speeds and fair usage policy on unlimited bandwidths.



£52 is a bit much, where is it available?

I do recall 3 odd years ago they were testing 100mb speeds in Ashford.


creamhackered said,
Yeah the evening caps are annoying

A friend of mine works for Virgin and she was telling me (last night, actually) that they've got a bug in their system regarding the caps - sometimes the caps just don't get removed unless someone does it manually (i.e. you phone up and complain).
The cap is only supposed to last 4 hours, this is why people get crippled connections all day long.

I'm glad I switched away from Virgin, there's really no excuse for such poor service.

Kushan said,
A friend of mine works for Virgin and she was telling me (last night, actually) that they've got a bug in their system regarding the caps - sometimes the caps just don't get removed unless someone does it manually (i.e. you phone up and complain).
The cap is only supposed to last 4 hours, this is why people get crippled connections all day long.

I'm glad I switched away from Virgin, there's really no excuse for such poor service.


Yup I can confirm that, I had that a couple of months ago. Very annoying and all I had downloaded was the Vista ISO lol