Virgin Media have today announced an increase in broadband speeds for users who are on their Virgin Media XL 20meg cable broadband product, as well as a price decrease for the new faster service. The 30meg speed will replace the existing 20meg product and will now be available for just £18.50 per month when taken with a Virgin Media home phone line, decreasing from £20. The new product will also see a higher upload speed, rising from 2meg to 3meg. For existing customers, a new modem is required if you want to upgrade which will cost £30. The product maintains its 'unlimited' usage data allowance, although this is subject to traffic management.
"As consumers continually demand more and more from their broadband, the unique power of our next-generation network means that we're able to turn up the dial to meet their needs. With so many devices connecting to the internet at home these days, our new 30Mb service will give Virgin Media families that extra boost needed to make everything run smoothly, with speeds that don’t slow down depending on where you live."Jon James, (executive director of broadband) Virgin Media
The new modem (Virgin Media's SuperHub) that is supplied comes with gigabit network connections and also 802.11n wireless, allowing users to make the most of the faster speeds. It's built in modem supports DOCSIS 3.0, and may therefore mean that customers will be moved over on to Virgin's newer network which originally only provided 50meg broadband, but now also delivers the 100meg service.
The product change is clearly aimed at attracting BT customers who are in a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) enabled area as the 30meg speeds are similar to what many on FTTC would receive, and Virgin are undercutting BT on price. BT's equivalent 'unlimited' usage product (which is also subject to fair usage policy and traffic management) offering 'Up-to 40meg' speeds (BT Infinity Option 2) would cost £39.20 once the cost of a phone line is included. Virgin are offering their new similar XL product at £30.74 with bundled phone line. The BT product does offer a higher upload speed of up to 10Mbps compared with Virgin's 3Mbps but speeds from BT will vary depending on the distance from the telephone cabinet or exchange, which will not affect Virgin.