Broadband News

Be a V.VIP with Virgin Media and enjoy 500 Mbps broadband

If you feel you are not just a VIP but a V.VIP then just maybe the Virgin Media V.VIP Bundle which is touted as the best of everything may be for you.

The new TV, phone and broadband bundle is currently the only way to get a 500 Mbps (average download speeds of 516 Mbps, upload 35 Mbps) broadband service from the cable operator and includes TV channels such as Sky Sports HD, Sky Cinema HD, Kids Pick and BT Sport in 4K Ultra HD. The monthly cost during the 12 month minimum term is £99/m with the price rising to £139/m thereafter and a £25 setup fee applies.

This replaces the old VIP bundle and carries a £10/m premium on the old out of contract price, but with the new top speed only available in a bundle it may dissuade the few who feel they always have to have the fastest broadband available in the area.

One interesting observation is that the four TV bundles now on the Virgin Media site have two on a basic 54 Mbps service, one with 108 Mbps speeds and then the big jump to 516 Mbps and with the Full House bundle bundle being almost half the price for the first 12 months at £59/m it is clear where all the sales will be. The Full House bundle often appears with a double speed offer, i.e. 216 Mbps, some of these sales are just 24 or 48 hours long.

In terms of technology the service is based around the existing DOCSIS 3.0 platform and with the bundle pricing the chances of two people using the service on the same cabinet looks very low, thus giving plenty of time for the DOCSIS 3.1 roll-out to offer a larger amount of headroom. The DOCSIS 3.1 roll-out is going to be two cities first, and is going to confuse things when a partial fibre service is delivering full fibre type speeds.

No 500 Mbps speed tests are showing up for Virgin Media in April yet, but the service has only just launched the 35 Mbps upload speeds are pretty common now and with speeds like this 760 Mbps down and 723 up service from a Virgin Media business connection the speed test should spot the new 500 Mbps customers when they appear.

Comments

In preparation for this and for general business as usual extra capacity VM have moved from 800Mb per segment to 1.2Gb, then 1.6Gb and finally 1.8Gb download.

As long as there aren't too many customers sharing a segment this should be just fine. Even 1.2Gb would be fine if the segment were small enough.

This is probably about the limit of where they want to go with 3.0, though. 1G down, 50-60 up via DOCSIS 3.1 next I imagine. Maybe 100 up if areas are capable.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

Would be very interested in this if they improved the upload speed.

  • doowles
  • 4 months ago

I’m more interested in the promise of DOCSIS 3.1’s synchronous broadband capabilities, with as much bandwidth up as down.

Hopefully though, while we wait for DOCSIS 3.1 huoefully us broadband only customers will get an upgrade to 516Mbps and Virgin Media will go for a 10:1 ratio on uplink speed at the same time.

  • loaderladdy
  • 4 months ago

Full duplex DOCSIS is a long way away. To deploy it VM would need to carry out extensive upgrade work both on their network and in each and every customer's home to take advantage.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

BTW Broadband-only customers are not getting 50Mb uploads. 35Mb for now, and there isn't going to be a 'free' upgrade for the foreseeable - new tier of service.

Probably have to get DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit service to get above 35Mb uploads any time soon.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

Carl in areas with large segments, how big would you say an adequate capacity is? 1.8gbit?

Areas like Leicester which might still have large segments passing 1000s of houses.

  • chrysalis
  • 4 months ago

Whatever's adequate is adequate. That's a piece of string question. There are segments passing 250 premises that may struggle, there are segments passing a thousand or more that may be just fine.

Leicester does not have especially large nodal areas.

  • CarlThomas
  • 4 months ago

The question is who really needs speeds like this?

  • omen1314
  • 4 months ago

Virgin media always had the worst quality connection where ever I've lived.... can only see it causing more bad than good.

  • smir
  • 4 months ago

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