- Over four million households will have speeds doubled
- Next-generation speeds to catapult UK up international rankings
- 120Mb to become fastest broadband speed in the country
- Government welcomes broadband boost
Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED; LSE: VMED) has today announced it is doubling the speeds of over four million of its broadband customers and will be boosting its top speed to 120Mb, strengthening the company’s position as the fastest broadband provider in the UK1. This ambitious initiative will help meet the growing demand for next generation broadband and marks a step change in the UK’s digital development.
With the mass roll-out starting in February 2012, the upgrade programme will continue over 18 months and is expected to be complete by mid 2013. Subscribers to Virgin Media’s current 10Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb and 50Mb services will see their speeds at least doubled, with 100Mb customers seeing a significant increase to 120Mb. These speeds will ensure customers get high quality access to the huge growth in new online services.
The widespread availability of superfast broadband supports the Government’s ambitions of ensuring that consumers have access to the best broadband services in Europe by 2015. Virgin Media’s upgrade programme forms part of its on-going commitment to delivering the fastest broadband speeds in the UK and will catapult Britain into the world’s broadband premier league.
Virgin Media chief executive officer, Neil Berkett, said: “The burgeoning market for better connectivity has given us an opportunity to transform the digital experience of millions of our customers and to bring about a massive step change in the number of UK consumers who have access to exciting, next generation services. Virgin Media has a track record of leading Britain’s digital development and this major initiative will meet the growing demand for faster broadband as well as provide significantly more value to our customers.
"The internet has become an integral part of our social, work and family lives, so we think our customers are going to love this. As people are increasingly doing more online, and getting connected to the internet with lots of different devices, having a fast, reliable broadband service should not be a luxury. We want to make sure that consumers have access to the best value broadband service and that means a superfast connection.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I welcome this announcement from Virgin Media; it will provide a great boost for the economy and change the way many households, consumers and businesses use the internet. Rolling out superfast broadband across the country is a critical part of our plan to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure and build a new and smarter economy."
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Faster broadband speeds are great for customers and great for business, which is why our policy is to deliver superfast broadband to 90% of the country by 2015. Virgin Media’s plans to double broadband speeds are really exciting and we applaud their ambition.”
120Mb broadband will allow users to download an entire music album in as little as 4.4 seconds and a High Definition movie in around 5 minutes; but the service will truly come into its own when several people are connected to the internet at home at the same time. Faster broadband gives users greater bandwidth to cope with the demands of increasing numbers of internet connected devices.
Notes to Editors
Virgin Media’s 100Mb service is, and its 120Mb service is soon to be, the UK’s fastest widely available broadband.
The speed upgrades will mean the following changes:
- 10Mb increased to 20Mb
- 20Mb and 30Mb increased to 60Mb
- 50Mb increased to 100Mb
- 100Mb increased to 120Mb
- Upstream speeds and traffic management fair usage amounts will be increased in proportion to the increase in downstream speed.
The modems provided as part of the upgrade programme are enhanced and capable of receiving speeds of up to 400Mb.
Virgin Media leads the market in delivering the speeds that customers expect and publishes its performance monthly at http://shop.virginmedia.com/broadband/about-virgin-broadband/speed-matters.html. In November 2011, Virgin Media 10Mb customers received an average of 9.55Mb. In the same period, Virgin Media’s 30Mb customers received an average of 30.1Mb. By contrast, the average speed of ‘up to 20Mb’ and ‘up to 24Mb’ speeds from BT, Sky and TalkTalk is between 7Mb and 9Mb and is typically between 7Mb and 8Mb (source: Ofcom, 2011).
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About Virgin Media
Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
The company’s cable network – the result of multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.
Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.
The world’s first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest broadband communications group. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.
For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com