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Price rise time at Virgin Media
Friday 19 August 2016 09:55:35 by Andrew Ferguson

The letters informing individual customers of the latest price rises at Virgin Media which at 50% UK coverage is the largest ultrafast broadband provider in the UK should be start arriving in the post in the next few days. The price rises are expected to take effect in November 2016 and a rough of what we know is below.

ProductExisting Price
Includes line rental where applicable
New Price
Broadband Solus £30.25 £33.24
Super 50 Fibre and Calls £36.99 £40.48
Big Easy Bundle with Super 50 Fibre and Calls £41.99 £45.48
Big Bang Bundle with VIVID 100 and Calls £51.99 £55.98
Big Kahuna Bundle with VIVID 200 and Calls £72.99 £76.48

The Broadband Solus pricing as published by The Guardian does not match any of the broadband-only options currently for sale (i.e. Super 50 Fibre at £32.25/month) but suspect the price may relate to existing customers. The Big Kahuna bundle is a bit more confusing as there are multiple versions since you can mix and match the 100 Mbps or 200 Mbps broadband service and Sky Movies or Sky Cinema.

The increases include a £1.01 increase in voice line rental from £17.99 to £19 per month, which is unusual as Virgin Media has for over a decade kept its voice line rental at the same or just below BT Consumer, it may be only 1p more but it looks a lot when people are browsing costs. It is possible that once November arrives and new advertising rules about inclusive pricing are in place that this will be less of an issue - and may be an indicator that with all the changes set to take place providers may use the confusion as a good time to mask price rises.

In a broadband market where services based on the Openreach network are receiving constant negative press one would have expected Virgin Media to have attempted to make a big land grab by highlighting its total independence from the Openreach local loop. The reality may be that the pace of upgrades needed in an attempt to avoid congestion at the local cable cabinet level becoming a nightmare and the Project Lightning roll-out to new areas means prices are under pressure to rise even in the highly competitive retail market. Additionally with the continuing shift away from chargeable voice calls Virgin Media will be seeing that revenue stream decreasing.


Posted by mlmclaren 8 months ago
Yeah those prices don't look to accurate to me, I wouldn't expect Virgin's solus BB to end with a weird 24p....

I think it may be too early to speculate, thought what is said about the new reg's on LR being inclusive in a round figure may well be true.

People will always favor knowing they pay £50 rather than £50.37.
Posted by WWWombat 8 months ago
Wow. Small rises then...
Posted by ZenUser27 8 months ago
Get out time :)
Posted by zyborg47 8 months ago
got to be better than BT awful network, even if it costs more.
Posted by blfamily 8 months ago
@Zyborg47 so true.
Posted by albegood 8 months ago
an increase to cover the loss of revenue from SKY HD as this is now standard and they cant charge for it!! so they have to cover the loss some how?
Posted by Kebabselector 8 months ago
With the Solus pricing it looks as if they want to avoid Broadband only customers. With Vodafone's recent £22 per month cost - you'd have thought Virgin would offer some competition.
Posted by mlmclaren 8 months ago
Virgin don't really do competition.... they do area owning....

AKA. 3Mb ADSL or Upto 200Mb.... don't need to be priced competitively when you have a comparison like that.
Posted by CarlThomas 8 months ago
Virgin don't want budget customers is they can help it.

I have no idea how Virgin Media can own areas. The vast majority of their footprint overlaps FTTC. VM didn't force BT to deploy less capable technology and can't stop them building.
Posted by oddsandmods 8 months ago
Wow, my SSE £21 a month all in looks amazing compared to the 50 meg pricing Virgin are offering. (76mb/20mb works perfect too)
Posted by AndrueC 8 months ago
@mlmmclaren: How do you figure that out? BT pretty much targeted the same areas as VM in the initial FTTC roll-out. There probably are a few cases such as you describe but not very many.

I more realistic comparison would be VM200 (which most people don't want or need) v. BT60Mb/s which is still more than most people want or need.

This is probably why last I heard VM don't have market dominance even in the parts of the country they cover.
Posted by AndrueC 8 months ago
For most people the biggest deciding factors are price and add-on features. Now that BT have a TV service for most people that only leaves the price. Both BT FTTC and VM are capable of offering all that most people want.

The number of people choosing between VM and <10Mb/s ADSL is going to be very small.
Posted by mlmclaren 8 months ago
@CarlThomas - I never said they did, I just know that Virgin Media holds up strong in area's lacking in upgrades or unable to benefit from the upgrades.

Also not sure how you can say BT deployed less capable technology than Virgin, last time I looked they where about equal if not BT coming out on top.

Sure Virgin can hit a high speed, but BT can maintain that speed.... at least that's how I see it having both technologies at play.
Posted by mlmclaren 8 months ago
@AndrueC - I will put my hands up and say my previous comment above is a bit short of detail, the reality is that Virgin Media do still have dominance in some area's whether it be due to no roll out of newer tech or those in area's with new tech but not seeing the benefit due to long lines...etc..

However in area's where Virgin held dominance and newer tech came along they have lost customers for sure... all I know that made the switch have said they would never go back and that the performance improvement is very much welcomed.
Posted by mlmclaren 8 months ago
.... and that isn't related to utilization issues either, most recently a friend told me there online gaming had got better and a family member told me that since they switched from VM > to Sky Fibre (Long Line 38/7) they had noticed their online Skype calls had improved 100%... and I agree.
Posted by ZenUser27 8 months ago
Same here,

Slower it might be, less capable tech it might also be, but for me, having had both, FTTC at full sync beats the shiznit out of VM at 300/20 (for me in my area anyway)
Posted by rtho782 8 months ago
VM varies hugely by area, and some of their routing and transparent proxies leave much to be desired.

My area is only 200/12, the 300/20 is not available, up until recently I had two FTTC lines (one Plusnet, one TT Business) and the VM service matches them most of the time.

What really "turbo charges" the VM though is if I connect to my work VPN, which is an SSL vpn to a Cisco ASA 5515x hosted by Redstation with 1GBps g'teed bandwidth. Showing VM need to sort their network out if a VPN improves it.
Posted by aaaashy 8 months ago
a totaL JOKE, raising prices when their service has become appalling

my 150Mb/s account rarely gets above 15Mb/s for half of each day, and that’s not necessarily the evening

it has become totally unreliable .... and yet thinkbroadband choses to totally ignore what i believe has become a major problem for many customers/suckers of VM

Posted by tmcr 8 months ago
VM don't care. Customer service is terrible. 'Loyalty' counts for nothing ! I've seen my monthly bill go up from £36.99 to £54.99 in the last few months thanks to their ineptness, and they are trying to make out that's my fault. Roll on end of this contract, I'mm off - after 20 years of 'loyalty'.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 8 months ago
Not ignoring the variations at all, data is shown each month in and there is a specific table showing the difference in peak vs off-peak speeds with Virgin Media having the widest variation.

Posted by Kebabselector 8 months ago
@aaaashy - It's widely known in some areas VM are utter useless because congestion, etc.

If they are you're only option then, like me it's tough - if Openreach (or other) based fibre is a option then wave goodbye to them.
Posted by roughbeast 8 months ago
Puts the 'free' speed upgrades in perspective.
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