Virgin Media upgrading broadband speeds again, but prices are going up too

Virgin Media operates the U.K.’s largest cable network, and its customers are no strangers to fast broadband speeds. Following the launch of its 100Mbps home broadband package in late 2010, the company announced free speed upgrades for all of its customers last year, which doubled download speeds for many, with its top tier becoming even faster with an increase to 120Mbps.

Customers on what the company calls “Britain’s fastest broadband” network can now look forward to another speed increase, as Virgin Media has announced that a further round of free upgrades is on the way. All customers will be eligible for the upgrades, which will see broadband packages get a speed boost of “at least 20Mbps” on top of their existing downstream speeds, although there are no plans to increase upload speeds at the same time.

Customers on Virgin’s top broadband tier will have the most to brag about, as the company has announced that it is launching an “ultrafast 152Mbps speed that’s far beyond BT”. Virgin says that the 152Mbps package will allow customers to download a 4GB high-definition movie in under four minutes, and a complete music album in just four seconds.  

The upgrade process will begin in February 2014, and will take around twelve months to complete. You can find out when your area will be upgraded by visiting Virgin’s Speed Upgrade page and entering your postcode. If you log in to your My Virgin Media account on the company’s website, you can also learn just how large the speed boost to your current package will be.

Virgin says that “your speed upgrade will not change the amount you pay for your broadband service”. But while you won’t see a charge on your bill directly relating to these speed increases, The Telegraph notes that – by complete coincidence, naturally – Virgin will be increasing prices of all of its services by an average of 6.7% in February next year. Many customers will start paying more for their services long before their speeds are upgraded, so – on paper at least – there is no direct correlation between the two.

Unfortunately, while Ofcom's new guidelines allowing you to exit your contract without penalty come into effect on January 23 2014, the new terms will apply only to new contracts after that date. Alas, that means that, even if you're not happy with the price increases coming your way, you'll just have to pay up for the remainder of your contract term. Still, at least that extra broadband speed will soften the blow... well, as long as the upgrades reach your area before your contract ends.

Source: Virgin Media

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I see alot of you are saying that VM throttle their connections quite hard and now with this planned speed update if they continue to throttle you'll all have a great case to take to the OFCOM ... Local traffic ie: within the UK should always be close to your connection speed and only traffic from outside the UK will be somewhat slower between 25~50% of your connection speed even at peak times it shouldn't be less than 10% of your connection speed specially for fibre they shouldn't need to throttle at all if their equipment is up to scratch it should cope

Edited by Athlonite, Nov 12 2013, 10:56pm :

I'm a happy customer with BT on their 80/20 FTTC Infinity service. I'm actually somewhat lucky that I'm in a VM AND BT FTTC area, but looking at posts about VM, and along with their confusing throttling, BT seemed like the best option.

Tbh, these faster speeds are just for vanity at the moment. Great that they are increasing, but you probably won't get good service once throttling kicks in, and EVERYONE is given these speeds, unless the network is ready for it.

Reasonable speeds and reliability are important to me, with price closely following.

6.7% is a lot more than inflation (or any other fudged figure like RPI) so, yes you can exit your contract without penalty as that constitutes an unreasonable increase. The guidelines are just for increases according to inflation to bring that lower figure into line with extant contract law.

Though I too would prefer they roll out expansion of the network. "Prohibitively expensive" my arse.

They'd be better off, making sure the infrastructure is actually capable of the increased traffic. I had a modem upgrade a few months back and was told by the engineer that my area was 4x over subscribed. Early mornings I can get 5Mb/sec downstream, but as from 9am until midnight, it's barely 400k/sec - and that's on an 'upto 60Mb connection'. Unfortunately, the 5Mb/sec only lasts for about 2 hours!

My whole family are connected...Everything is running via wifi or home plugs, so I'll welcome any upgrade (im going to 152mb)

The fatter the pipe the more we can all use cos i notice the difference aLready when kids get home, they all live online and it messes with me Neowin! grr!

Gave up with virgin when I started getting 1000-3000ms pings in my area. Went to BT and during peak times its 60-100ms.

All the ISP companies, its always good when it works, but when it doesn't its a nightmare. I am sick to death of these falsified download speeds and astonished people still want such high speeds. I feel its much more important to get a reliable network in place before they claim they can increase the speeds even more.

If only they would increase the upload speeds as well, nothing worse than waiting hours to upload a video to Vimeo or YouTube but not going to knock 60mb to 100mb next June

I wish Virgin Media would instead concentrate on getting non-Fibre areas of the UK onto the fibre network, rather than always just increasing the speed of their fibre network!

I'm in a city-centre location, yet there is no Fibre to my street, and after emailing Virgin's "Cable My Street" team (cablemystreet@virginmedia.co.uk) earlier this year was told:

"Unfortunately our surveys have highlighted that it is prohibitively expensive for us to excavate all the roads and pavements between our nearest network access point and your property to create the necessary network extension that would be required to provide you with service. Regrettably we are not in a position to offer service at this time"!

...so I'm still stuck on painfully slow ADSL with no light at the end of the tunnel (or fibre!)

I used to be on Virgins 120 top tier package. Due to the crazy throttling I cancelled it and went with Sky Fibre 80mb. It might not be as fast, but over the course of the week I could download significantly more due to not being throttled back.

Luckily since our house is right near the green box my sabnzb reports just over 80mb. The OpenReach man was well impressed and said he'd never seen a customers connection so fast. Really happy with the service.

I got 50mb when it came out, to be honest that's as much as I've ever needed. But Virgin need to expand their network, my new house is virgin-less. Actually Upload speed is an area they could improve, currently you can only get up to 12Mbit which is fine for 95% of people but if you like to stream live video (especially with the new consoles) or upload youtube videos it could be better.

Edited by Gaffney, Nov 12 2013, 11:14am :

And herein lies the problem.
None of the networks want to expand. They just want to get faster with what they have.
The Government should force all of them to stop increasing speed and increase expansion.

Sir Topham Hatt said,
And herein lies the problem.
None of the networks want to expand. They just want to get faster with what they have.
The Government should force all of them to stop increasing speed and increase expansion.

The problem with expansions dates back to when there were multiple cable networks, that were little more then TV providers.

Back when the founders of the UK cable networks were laying the network in the UK they had to dig up the roads and put in the pipes and fibre, and hardware at the end of the street. Nynex (prev, c&w>ntl>virgin for my area) were planning on doing the midlands and moving down to cover the rest of the UK, with the north being covered by telewest (I forget their previous provider names, who went to blueyonder>ntl> vm).

However, some people, didn't like the idea of having their pavement dug up, and took them to court to stop them digging the paths up, citing they were killing their tree roots and leaving the paths not very nice to look at. The government stepped in and stopped them expanding their networks by revoking their license to dig up roads and paths.

The cost of the court cases were too much to continue to fight and they just sat back and that's pretty much why there isn't much growth in the cable network anymore.

Ironically, the same areas that once protested against cable being laid, are now trying to protest they come back....

and you know, they probably would, if the government gave them the same incentive bonus as BT got the last few years.
http://www.theguardian.com/tec...1/bt-broadband-virgin-media

£980m was given for improving Britain's broadband network, with £530m alone, given to help BT get basic 2Mbps broadband service to Britain's hardest to reach areas. Again this year, BT were given yet another government grant to help roll out of faster networks.

If you want virgin media, you need to petition your local MP to allow it.

I'm on the 120Mbit connection virgin offers now, and there are few places that will max out my connection.

Still, when the new speeds come, and 60Mbit connections get bumped up to 100Mbit, I'll probably drop from my 120Mbit connection (to be 152Mbit) down to 100Mbit and save some pennies.

I'm sure a lot of others will be doing the same, so while the prices might go up, most people should save if they drop the package they're on.

One of the most intense services I use is youtube, and I don't need a 100mbit connection for that, let alone 152mbit... heck, most of the time youtube videos don't even load properly for me anymore anyway since the google+ comment update so I probably won't even need a 30mbit connection, lol.

Of course, there is always steam that I manage to max out the connection any time, day or night without a problem... hmm, 152Mbit downloads ~~

sagum said,
I'm on the 120Mbit connection virgin offers now, and there are few places that will max out my connection.

Still, when the new speeds come, and 60Mbit connections get bumped up to 100Mbit, I'll probably drop from my 120Mbit connection (to be 152Mbit) down to 100Mbit and save some pennies.

I'm sure a lot of others will be doing the same, so while the prices might go up, most people should save if they drop the package they're on.

One of the most intense services I use is youtube, and I don't need a 100mbit connection for that, let alone 152mbit... heck, most of the time youtube videos don't even load properly for me anymore anyway since the google+ comment update so I probably won't even need a 30mbit connection, lol.

Of course, there is always steam that I manage to max out the connection any time, day or night without a problem... hmm, 152Mbit downloads ~~


Don't drop your package until after January 23 because Virgin will definitely make you start a new 18-month contract when you change package and since it's a new contract, the bew Ofcom guidelines will protect you for the duration of that contract.

sagum said,
..snip.

I have a feeling thats the reasoning to boost 30MB to 50MB instead of 60MB.. 60MB is a nice speed for most so would have dropped a package back to 60MB and save a few quid.. myself included

Whereas I went from 60MB to 30Mb - didn't see the need for 60MB.

Coincidently, Sky came round the other day trying to get me to leave VM. However their prices are more expensive than the £15 I pay now.
When my contract ends then I will look again, although I am sure my special discount was supposed to be for 12 months but it says on the bills it's for 24!