Over 6.5 million homes now have access to 100meg broadband from Virgin Media. The company has announced today that the upgrades of its network to support the fastest Virgin product have made it available to 25% of the UK. Virgin say they are well on target to complete the upgrades to the rest of their network covering nearly 13 million homes. This is expected to be completed by mid-2012.
"Virgin Media has consistently led the greatest developments in broadband in the UK and we're proud to continue this tradition with the roll-out of our 100Mb service. But we're not stopping there - we continue to develop broadband technology with trials for 200Mb taking place across the country and we have deployed a cutting-edge 1.5Gb cable broadband trial in East London. Only Virgin Media has the network to drive forward the UK's digital economy, giving Brits a true world-class digital entertainment service at their fingertips."Jon James, (Executive Director of Broadband) Virgin Media
Virgin have also been running other upgrades to their network which have enabled faster upload speeds to users. The work has been to increase these upload speeds to 10% of download speeds, so those on 50meg broadband should get upload speeds of 5meg. Around 90% of the network is complete.
The fast upgrade process which is enabling next-generation broadband speeds through Virgin's network is promising to see, and should allow many people to get faster access, although they will need to be able to afford the hefty price tag- £35 when taken with a phone line, or £45 a month on its own. Some users may be interested in a version with a lower usage level but also at a lower price. Virgin may not be too keen to support this though as the existing pricing keeps the product fairly niche. If even 20% of their customer base took up this new faster speed, it is possible that Virgin would need to make significant investments to their backhaul network, and links to the Internet to ensure that speeds aren't impacted by network congestion at peak times.