Broadband News

25,000 new broadband connections at Virgin Media in Q4 2017

Virgin Media in its latest results that cover the full year of 2017 and break out some figures for Q4 show that they added some 196,000 broadband revenue generating units (RGU - known as connections or customers in non finance speak) in 2017 with Q4 adding 25,000 suggesting that Q4 was not the best quarter of the year by a large margin.

Overall Virgin Media across its full phone, broadband and cable TV service appears to have added 8,000 customers in the quarter, and has highlighted that improved performance in new build areas (some of which will be seeing a decent speed service for the first time) is offset by reduced growth in the existing network footprint. The cable TV service had a turnaround compared to 2016, since in 2016 then lost 36,000 customers but added 86,000 in 2017.

Back onto the broadband it is reported that 70% of broadband customers are on a 100 Mbps or faster package now and as we identify 19% of customers from our speed test as being on the 50 Mbps package then this looks a reasonable statistic, there is a 70 Mbps package in the wild but not on the product pages and we identify them as 100 Mbps customers.

Project Lightning which is a mixture of full fibre presented as DOCSIS via a converter on or in each property and the traditional DOCSIS coax hybrid fibre network is said to have reached 1.1 million premises with 536,000 premises denoted as marketable being added in 2017.

The addition of the 350 Mbps tier will be welcomed by the usual fastest is the only way to go crowd, but the much broader base will be much more interested in improvements to peak time speeds, which in turn should reduce the number of buffering incidents when streaming films to devices around the home. Additionally if latency spiking can be reduced they might start to get gamers coming back to the service.

One long running problem for Virgin Media has been the Intel Puma bug that was causing large amounts of jitter and it seems a fix is finally being rolled out based on chatter on our forums. The ping monitoring for users with the SuperHub 3 would often show jitter at around two thirds the height of the ping monitor tool graph and while this should have no effect on day to day web browsing for gamers a stable latency is key to enjoying their time gaming online.

We still await any official news on when DOCSIS 3.1 will appear and that should allow Virgin Media to unleash much faster speeds rather than the current drip drip increase, where the latest 350 Mbps speed point appears to be designed to ensure that the roll-out once it reaches volume does not stop Virgin Media from being able to claim the fastest major broadband provider crown.


They could’ve had an extra customer if they cabled my street.
They surveyed it a few years ago but said it was too expensive as it exceeded the £ per passed property.
They declined the offer of the residents chipping in. then fast forward several years to project Lightning.
They then pretty much upgrade their network to the majority of Swindon but leave out my estate.
Starting to wish I didn’t request a survey to cable my street several years earlier.
I cannot see for the life of me what’s different between my estate and the one they installed their network in that’s round the corner.

  • Mitchy_mitch
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Mitchy_mitch, consider yourself lucky. Virgin Media customer service and tech support are utterly appalling, and every year for the past three I've had 9-10% price increases. The connection is passable for gaming, but the Hub 3 (standard and mandatory) is pretty poor, and the firmware patch is as much about disguising the symptoms as fixing the underlying problems. I'm on a 200 Mbps Virgin connection, and with four adults in the house we never stretch that. I'm planning to take an Infinity2 or equivalent connection when my contract expires.

  • Andruser
  • about 1 month ago

I noticed, my internets turned too ....

  • mlmclaren
  • about 1 month ago

Hi article author,
Just a quick note, they are indeed rolling out a firmware patch, however from all accounts on the meaga thread on the Virgin forum about the Intel Puma 6 bug all this does is hide the problem to ICMP pings, so TCP/UDP are unaffected and infact still an issue with lag spikes.

  • LudaLuke
  • about 1 month ago

So is the consensus that they've fixed ICMP but still seeing TCP/UDP issues?

Or put another fix all the analysis tools, but still leave service for what people actually do poor?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

hi @andrew,
Yes thats whats being seen on the Virgin forums, on the mega thread about the Intel Puma 6 chipset issues there is a discussion going, that the ICMP is just a fix to hide the underlying issues as the BQM from here seem to indicate much similar line performance to the SHAC2 - VM will ofc tout this as fixed now!
I'm on a business package so have the Hitron with similar issues, have contacted VMB supp to see about when firmware is rolling out to business customers they were unable to help, however I have a couple of downtime notifications for the few weeks (25th Feb, 5th March)

  • LudaLuke
  • about 1 month ago

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