Virgin Media is keen to retain its crown as the fastest major broadband provider in the UK though it has to emphasis the major, as Gigabit speeds are available to probably around 40,000 homes in the UK. The speed upgrades today mean that BT, Sky and TalkTalk will not be able to beat Virgin Media in a download speed battle.
Over the course of the next twelve months Virgin Media will upgrade existing customers as follows:
We have been seeing some speed tests from Virgin Media that look very much like the 152 Mbps product, so it seems the network and product is ready to go. The upgrade will be offered to customers who can decide to remain on their existing speed if they so wish, but the upgrade we are told will not incur any need to recontract or a change in pricing.
In addition to the new products, the downstream traffic management is being removed as of today, but the upstream management will remain in place. The fastest service with 152 Mbps speeds mean that people should be able to download a HD movie in around four minutes, or alternatively stream multiple films to different rooms in the home.
Obviously we have asked about the effect that running the network faster may have on congestion and was assured that as well as boosting the speeds they are upgrading the network. In the last year alone peak Internet use has grown by 55% on Virgin Media and a whopping 1000% since the launch in 2007.
While it is normal to bemoan the state of UK Broadband it needs to be pointed out that with these upgrades, some 12.5 million homes now have the option of a 152 Mbps product.