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Virgin Media to start next round of speed upgrades in October
Monday 17 August 2015 17:02:35 by Andrew Ferguson

We covered potential speed upgrades by Virgin Media earlier this year and it seems that the upgrades for customers are set to start in October 2015.

The upgrades will see those with the 50 Mbps product upgraded to 100 Mbps, 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps and 152 Mbps to 300 Mbps, though as with other upgrades Virgin Media is more vague about what will happen to upload speeds.

While this means Virgin Media will have a top end product almost four times faster than Openreach FTTC, it will not count as the fastest provider in the UK, as people like Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and other Gigabit providers continue to grow. What will mean though is advertising making the most of comparisons to BT, any comparisons with Sky and TalkTalk may be more difficult if their 940 Mbps FTTP roll-out in York goes to plan.

We still see Virgin Media customers who do not appear to be on the current baseline product but this may be people who have actively refused the upgrades for various reasons. The last round of upgrades took six months to a year to officially complete and with 42% of Virgin Media customers on the 100 or 152 Mbps products we will be able to track the roll-out by watching the median and mean speeds growing for Virgin Media in the mainly urban areas they serve.

For those in areas of the Virgin Media network where rapidly growing bandwidth use leads to peak time slow downs and latency issues that affect gaming and voip we hope that the network upgrades will be accompanied by a substantial series of upgrades in capacity to improve the Quality of Service.


Posted by Croftie about 1 year ago
VM customers are like sardines cramed into a tiny copper coaxial cable.

Would love to be a fly on the wall at BT though, hearing how they are going to react to this. Their quality of service can't be touched by VM but you can't ignor those headline speeds because the average person is oblivious to the shortcomings of DOCSIS.

Hopefully VM can increase the upload past 19Mbps and that will egg BT onto increasing it also. 19Mbps on my BT connection is fantastic but it's a bottleneck for me now.
Posted by MaverickJesus about 1 year ago
If by 'quality of service' you mean 'terrible vs terrible' then sure, BT can't be touched.
Posted by Kushan about 1 year ago
"VM customers are like sardines cramed into a tiny copper coaxial cable."

A copper coaxial cable that has a lot more room than a bog standard copper line...
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
copper coaxial???

It's copper plated clad with a aluminium braid!

Yeah better than the Openreach network but what happened when that coaxial hit the other coaxial at the cab and then get crammed into another coaxial that then loops another lode of cabinets and finally terminates at an oversubscribed node!
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
Anyone can change the maximum bandwidth allowance in the configuration files set to the hubs!

Anyway... upload will be interesting!
Posted by ZenUser27 about 1 year ago
When I left my 152 service was kicking out around 3mbps in the evenings so woohoo roll on 300 in the early hours till 4pm and then what 6 thereafter?
Posted by cks22 about 1 year ago
I pay for 50 Mb down and get 54 Mb 95% of the time and very rarely goes below 45 Mb but the 2.8 Mb upload makes me weep sometimes.
Posted by acpsd775 about 1 year ago

We will start the upgrade programme on 1 October which will offer a free upgrade to our base. This will roll out to 90% by the end of 2015 and the remaining will be completed in early 2016

wonder is that means we can request it a bit early or if it will be wait and see
Posted by rtho782 about 1 year ago
"A copper coaxial cable that has a lot more room than a bog standard copper line..."

Yes, but there is only ever one of you on the copper line, with BT, contention doesn't come in to it until the exchange, which is fibre based.

With VM, some areas are amazing, some awful, and it all depends on your neighbours, as you are sharing UBR bandwidth.
Posted by ZenUser27 about 1 year ago
Yes - 3BN expansion in manchester - double speed yet some dude gets 1.5mbps of an evening on 152 - lovely!
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
@rtho - Virgin engineers in my town (Crawley) where saying that cabinets in the city centre which are built with 48 taps in have got 2&3 way splitters in some to add on flats and other places.

The network local to me is supposed to be a right mess, and this comes from the ex-area manager... in the summer, many of the nodes are known to give up and not long after than the amplifiers in the street cabs also drop out too.

Virgin = Fast & Jittery
Openreach = Meh & Stable (aim)
Posted by generallee94 about 1 year ago
apparently DOCSIS 3.1 is supposed to be combatting the jitter our connections suffer due to the sharing of cables but, I'll believe it when I see it!

other than that, I have a 50/3 connection at the moment in South Birmingham, and thats only because it is on the Kings Norton UBR which (touch wood) has been very stable for some years now... and has had alot of upgrades and new equipment installed in the past 8 years after major issues in mid 2000's.... also only other connectivity is 3mbps ADSL and no plans for BTO Fibre!
Posted by tmcr about 1 year ago
I'm on the 100/6 package with VM. I'd rather see that go to 100/10 (or better) rather than 200/6 or whatever low ratio they come up with this time... I can download fast enough, it's uploading that lets the service down (still)
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago
All these people complaining about upload speeds that are faster than my download speed...
Posted by 69bertie about 1 year ago
Wish I had even 2 mb. I suspect the reason VM concentrate on the download speed is simply because to most of their customers they download film/music. Unless I was file sharing, even 3 mb/s upload would be fine for me. But with good ole BT I just meander along at 1.3mb/s download and 0.6mb/s up..... on a good day!
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago

While you're on the BT network, you don't have to be with BT, there are other virtual DSL providers.
Posted by AndrueC about 1 year ago
@DrMikeHuntzHurtz: Yes but if (as seems likely) 69Bertie's speed issues are down to line quality a change of ISP is not going to help.
Posted by themanstan about 1 year ago

Do you have an ADSL filter faceplate or just a microfilter into your phone socket?
Posted by daniel2000 about 1 year ago
i noticed nothing said about price which will go up in march :( .Is it really free upgrade maybe for a few months before price change
Posted by keith969 about 1 year ago
Who cares? VM will never ever cable our village. We got FTTC recently and my adsl went from 15m/0.8m to 50m/8m. I suppose that counts in the 'up to' category for Infinity 2. The 10x increase in upload speeds certainly is noticeable.
Posted by geekofboradband about 1 year ago
Will we also see a Super Hub 3? And is 300Mbs DOCSIS 3.1?
Posted by roughbeast about 1 year ago
This upgrade should not be seen as anything to do with VM's national WiFi development. The speed upgrade is NOT a sweetener for VM using user's superhubs to provide a public WiFi signal.

My understanding is that VM will use capacity in the coaxial to provide an additional connection WAN side. User's own broadband connection will NOT be shared. The Superhub has the throughput capacity to manage the occasional extra traffic initiated by VM users passing by.
Posted by clmfsh about 1 year ago
Upload will be 12Mbps on the 200Mbps product. I was on the trial earlier in the year.
Posted by bartman007 about 1 year ago
Cool that means my 300Mb connection will run at 60Mb wicked, well done Virgin Medium, VM slogan "If it aint broke, annihilate it"
Posted by roughbeast about 1 year ago
clmfsh: Trials have little to do with what you will get when it goes live. I was the only trial member in Coventry to be tested on 400Mb. my upload peaked at 36Mb.
Posted by acpsd775 about 1 year ago
how do you land on these sort of trials is it random or is there somewhere you can sign up :D
Posted by clmfsh about 1 year ago
I didn't sign up, I only noticed by chance as I was using my desktop PC to download a file and thought it was coming down faster than usual. A quick Google showed people in my area were also reporting speed increases. I'm quite blessed with Virgin. My road is predominantly retired households and the majority turn off their IT kit when not using it, my speeds have always been great.
Posted by roughbeast about 1 year ago
acpsd. I was approached, because at the time I was on the top tier of 50Mb and a proof of concept trail was being run in Coventry.

Other trials you have to watch out for in the Virgin media support forums. Currently there is a WiFi hotspot trial and for the Superhub 3. These I missed because I didn't watch out. However, I did get a Superhub 2 early when that was trialled.

Posted by RussBetts about 1 year ago
I'm getting 55Megs on my 50meg line, with 3 upload. I have line-of-sight to the cabinet 50 yards away. Apart from a few BT users, there are only 4 other VM users on the cab. Most people around me are council tenants, with Sky or Talk-Talk. Lucky me.
I have been with VM since they took over NTL 7 years ago. I have nothing but praise for VM generally. Shame about their Support Desk. Could do much better.
Posted by rndmartin about 1 year ago
When I needed support it came but has rarely been needed. Up till now the received speeds have been as advertized. However though now officially on 100 I generally get 62 or there abouts on HTTP, 23 on your private protocol, upload about 6. There are some signs of congestion. Not sure I really need the speed I'm let along the upgrade.
Posted by clmfsh about 1 year ago
Are these speedtests being peformed wired or wireless?
Posted by acpsd775 about 1 year ago
thanks @roughbeast i will keep an eye i do vist the forums every so oft but never notice any trials going i will keep a bigger eye out lol
Posted by djsubterrain about 1 year ago
Why are people talking about copper, coaxial cables, etc? VM is a fibre optic network up to the cabinet, that is the majority of the network. That's why they're faster and so much more scalable that BT's network. The copper coaxial cable is only on the last few yards to your modem, quite why they haven't started changing that with new installations is beyond me though.

If Thatcher had allowed BT to upgrade the network to fibre like they wanted to in the 80's then our whole country would be a world leader in internet at the moment, sadly she f**ked that up like so much else.
Posted by djsubterrain about 1 year ago

I'm lucky enough to be in an area where the VM network is very stable, my local exchange is actually at the top of my street too. Although I really think VM's next emphasis should be on quality, not quantity as there are a LOT of people who say the service is just not reliable enough in busier areas/cities.
Posted by FirstNetServ2 about 1 year ago

because it's HFC, that fibre optic cable is not to the cabinet as you would typically think most of the time but to some huge box possibly miles away (FTTN)

What virgin offer is a copper service, not fibre optic or anything like it.
Posted by FirstNetServ2 about 1 year ago
and they do not have local exchanges (that's BT) they have hub sites and so.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
I Know I a bit late, (got link from youabout VM upgrade) But WHERE is this fantastic place that MaverickJesus says 'BT can't be touched'

Perhaps he is up north, where they are the only provider??? No, seriously, I would like to know..
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
All you **upload moaners** please note that VM is mainly for *normal* people (like my gran )that only want big downloads... They have only just got comfortable with internet, the rest will take a lot longer!!

go and find another company that will give you better uploading, wish you luck with price!! :)
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
sorry, just one more rant at generallee94... :)
here is the science bit..
did you know electrons (that is what makes the voltage that carries the net signal :) ) only travels on the *surface* of any conductor.. Bigger cable are only needed when you need high amps, eg an electric fire..:)
Posted by Daemon66 about 1 year ago
Every time I experience an issue with my VM connection or struggle with their support, or try and upload a big chunk of something to some cloud server, I consider switching but then realise that I really don't want to drop to, at best, half the speed for download. (I am one of the fortunate ones that pretty much gets full speed most of the day, and even when it does drop a little at peak times it still by far exceeds what I could get from any other provider.)
Posted by Tyranis about 1 year ago
Used to have issues with congestion at peak times, contacted Virgin via their community forums where they confirmed the over utilisation after about a week. About a month later much more stable and I get around 150-160Mbps consistently throughout the day. So I really can't complain about them and I'm excited to see what I get when they roll out 300Mbps. Postcode lottery like a lot of things I guess.
Posted by scott28280 about 1 year ago

You don't seem to have a clue mate, if VM are offering a copper service, then their copper service destroys sky and BT's, i have a mate on sky that regularly only get 3/4 of the speed he is paying for, my mum is with bt and get half most of the time, i am with virgin and get 160 on a bad day!!
Posted by RainmakerRaw about 1 year ago
Well if Pocket Lint are right ahead of VM's big reveal tomorrow, the speed bumps are actually much more modest than this article suggested. Top tier will be 200Mbps not 300Mbps, all the more limp-wristed after the problems with the public wifi hotspot rollout and accompanying price rises.
Posted by RainmakerRaw about 1 year ago
Sorry, broken link above should be
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