Virgin Media turns on Gig1 in Manchester
Virgin Media is saying another 500,000 premises in the Manchester and surrounding areas can now choose the Gig1 option (1104 Mbps down and 52 Mbps up), this is in addition to the 100,000 premises in Southampton where the service originally launched.
At £62/m the service is not a budget service but for existing Virgin Media customers in the area upgrading is easy as they just need to receive the new Hub 4 that supports DOCSIS 3.1 and they can get going. So this is a lot simpler than ordering most full fibre services where the new fibre cable needs to be installed for the first time.
We have done a very quick tour of the Manchester area and can see addresses in Bury, Bolton, Crumpsall, Moorside, Stockport and Wythenshawe that can order Gig1, but some other areas such as Ashton Under Lyme, Droylesden, Failsworth and Oldham have premises that are still limited to the M500 service.
At some point in the future we are going to start tracking Gigabit broadband availability, but with this latest chunk combined with the full fibre services the UK is into the double digits area of over 10%. The Gig1 service is already overlapping with some full fibre services, so while the DOCSIS 3.1 switch-on is going to produce some large jumps in figures it may not always be as big a jump as some expect.