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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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