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Virgin Media announces 100 Mbps broadband & Q3/2010 results
Wednesday 27 October 2010 07:56:36 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Virgin Media has this morning announced its results for the third quarter of 2010 showing an increase in turnover by 6.4% to £978m with average revenue per user increasing to £46.38. The company has added 14,100 net new cable customers in the quarter and the company has disclosed it has over 91,600 users on its 50 meg broadband service, this figure is up by 23.8% compared to the previous quarter. The 20 meg product has some 616,700 users.

Perhaps the least well kept secret is Virgin's announcement that it will start offering 100Mbps broadband services by the end of 2010, although those rushing to place orders should be aware that rollout across the full network will take well into 2012. Initial areas where 100Mbps services will be available include Enfield, Chelmsford, Farnborough and Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire. The rollout areas for 100Mbps will be tracking those areas due to receive upstream speed upgrades.

"Our continued focus on exploiting our strategic advantages with the resulting multiple opportunities for revenue growth, as well as robust financial discipline has delivered another strong financial performance this quarter. We are extending our lead in broadband even further with the imminent availability of 100Mb as consumer demand for consistently faster broadband grows."

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said:

One of the key benefits of super-fast broadband today is the ability to share the connection with the household without slowing a download to a crawl when someone else starts using the Internet. Faster speeds also encourage new and innovative use of the Internet for applications yet to be developed. Virgin Media has been at the forefront of pushing download speeds to new highs.

10Mbps Upstream speed boost–The new service will feature a 10Mbps upstream speed, in line with Virgin Media's network design to deliver a 10:1 download-to-upload speed ratio across all services. This is a significant development and will open up opportunities for high definition video conferencing in the home. This will also be welcome by those who upload photos and videos, or use cloud computing services to store their data.

Traffic Management–Network-level protocol based traffic management will be in place which protects the quality of service for quality-sensitive applications such as video streaming. This will mean that during peak times (5pm-midnight on weekdays and noon to midnight on weekends), peer-to-peer protocols and newsgroup downloads may be shaped to manage capacity, however it is not expected that subscriber-based traffic management (i.e. managing heavy users) will be in place at this time.

New router–The customer premises equipment (CPE) will also be overhauled with a new "SuperHub" combined modem, router and wireless access point, featuring four Gigabit ports and 802.11n wireless right from the box. This kit is also capable of channel bonding to deliver up to 400Mbps in the future.

Virgin Media 100Mbps Super Hub - Image 1 (large)  Virgin Media 100Mbps Super Hub - Image 2 (large)  Virgin Media 100Mbps Super Hub - Image 3 (large)
Virgin Media - 100Mbps "Super Hub" (Click image to expand)

Pricing–The 100Mbps services will be available from £35/month for customers with a telephone line (£11.99/month) and those with other Virgin Media services may see further discounts. The product is available on a standalone basis for £45/month for those just wanting broadband. Activation will cost £30 and installation £40. These prices are set at a highly competitive rate in what appears to be a clear signal that Virgin intends to retain its premium position in the UK consumer broadband market.

You can register your interest to be notified when the service is available in your area.

Comments

Posted by mobilebb over 6 years ago
Virgin's release and ispreview.co.uk both say they have over 90,000 not 100,000 50mb users? Sux, no package details for the 100mb deal yet. I bet it will cost a mountain.
Posted by keith969 over 6 years ago
And those of us not in the big cities will still be unable to get cable. Can't even get ADSL2+ here...
Posted by Drefsab over 6 years ago
Mobilebb, apart from the part where they state "£35/month for customers with a bundle (television/telephone) and £45/month for those just taking the broadband service." So the same as current pricing on the 50mbit.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@mobilebb: My figure came from Neil Berkett interview on BBC R5 Live this morning
Posted by bezuk over 6 years ago
And those of us who do live in towns and cities, but choose to live in a new build flat rather than a house, will still be unable to get cable (or Openreach FTTP, for that matter)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The number of users has been updated to the more accurate 91,600 and a few other little tweaks now the final PR email has arrived.
Posted by uklad77 over 6 years ago
@Drefsab

Actually it's £7 more than 50Mbit, which is £28 a month in a bundle or £38 on it's own.
Posted by bosie over 6 years ago
Keith I'm bang in the centre of London and there are no cable services to residential customers whatsoever, not even BT.
Posted by Azzaka over 6 years ago
Curious more about the modem than anything. It reminds me of a Netgear serires modem
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Azzaka, if its the same as their current hub it is a Netgear "special".
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
That's one nice looking router!
Posted by russianmonkey over 6 years ago
I wonder why David Cameron is praising virgin for making their current footprint faster, and not improving their footprint.

If the minimum speed by 2012 is to be 2mb, then virgin already by and large meets that.

For the rest of the UK, it's completely different.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The 2Meg minimum has a 2015 target date now - government moved it.
Posted by pete_thomson over 6 years ago
Pricing is quite good.

I paid £7 to uplift from 20Mb to 50Mb, and now it'll onlybe another £7 to go from 50Mb to 100Mb.

I just hope to god that I can either keep my existing 50Mb modem, or that the new "super hub" can be turned into a modem as my pfsense router is more than up to the job.
Posted by Drefsab over 6 years ago
True I do stand corrected it's £7 more I should have been more general as its basically not enough more for most people to care about. I don't mind paying less than the cost of one days dinner a month for double speed double upload and a nice shiny router/modem with gig ports :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Pete, if its anything like the VMDG280 hub they are installing now (it might even be the same router) then its using custom firmware and you can't put it into bridge mode. I believe you can connect your own router to it and put it in the DMZ but I don't know if that's good enough for what you want.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
I'd just want to know how heavy the protocol shaping would be knowing VM's minimal backhaul capacity.
Posted by uklad77 over 6 years ago
@GMAN99 and Pete

I believe it will have a 'modem only' mode, and this is actually being introduced into the VMDG280 Hub as well
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Thanks for that, that's good to know.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
chemlmdford to be one of the first 100meg areas, chelmsford was one of the first 5 or so bt fttc areas, hmmm coincidence?
it would be better for them to expand the network to new areas rather than updating the existing one to 10 meg that very few people currently want/need/can afford.
then again i don't tink virgin can afford to expand the network on a large scale
Posted by YaZiN over 6 years ago
I agree with the comments that Virgin should be expanding their coverage and not just their network speeds.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
I wonder how there trial is going for using overhead cables, if its going good then they might expand a bit, but then again since they can now use BTs infrastructure......
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Totally getting this when it's available in my area, I've registered with VM for my postcode, hopefully they'll get around to this area soon (Norwich)

I paid £46 for my 50mbit and phone initially, now I'm paying £40, if the total cost of 100mbit with phone is £47 then I'll be picking it up immediately.

Some traffic management details would be nice, so far the 50mbit network has be insanely fast for me, but takeup of 50mbit was slow so that's going to change soon.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
So Virgin finally has a service that is competitive with FTTC on upload speed. I wonder whether it will be competitive on price too or if, as suggested above, it will be offered at a £20+ per month premium to FTTC?
Posted by Mike1909 over 6 years ago
I already have fibre optic broadband (FTTH) and receive 94Mbps which I think is pretty good! My house was connected by Fibrecity completely free of charge and then I signed up with Fibreband for their 100Mbps package where I pay £45.99 a month, and there isn't any charge for line rental which is even better!
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
I'm interested in actual realistic speeds however. We don't yet know what actual realistic uploads are going to be like on BT's FTTC or the new VM upgrades. The simple fact is that every single ISP I've had before virgin media in the past has offered slower speeds than the technology can actually provide due to traffic congestion at the ISP.

VM fibre is the first time I've had a significant bandwidth upgrade and actually seen capacity at the ISPs end to cope.
Posted by piasingh over 6 years ago
You can get up to 100 Mbps from Velocity1 a FTTH in Bournemouth on Fibrecity network for just £19.99 per month with no installation charge and no line rental.

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