Virgin Media begins free broadband speed upgrades

Back in January, we reported that Virgin Media had announced plans to at least double the speeds of almost all of its cable broadband customers, free of charge, with over 4.1 million households due to be upgraded as part of an 18-month, £110m GBP ($175m USD / €132m EUR) investment programme. Today, the company has confirmed that upgrades are now underway, with the first wave of 1.5m homes due to have their speeds boosted over the next two months.

But while, in the strictest sense, Virgin Media isn’t charging for these upgrades, they are coinciding with an across-the-board price increase that the company says will see prices increase by an average of £2.68 per month for each customer. Its most popular cable broadband package will rise by £1, while some call charges will increase by up to 12%. The price changes come into effect on 1 April 2012.

The speed increases will see considerable value added to user packages though, with some connections actually tripling in their maximum speeds:

While the top-tier 100Mbps service will get a comparatively modest 20% increase in speed, Virgin Media says that when that new 120Mbps service becomes available, customers on that package will see a reduction in price.

The upgrade programme won’t cover all areas in one go, and is not scheduled to be completed until mid-2013. But you can find out now when your area is due for upgrade, by checking out the new Virgin Media Double-Speed site.  

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