Broadband News

Virgin Media Gig1 switched on in Coventry and Birmingham - Updated

The switch on of the DOCSIS 3.1 service in Coventry and Birmingham has seen the UK Gigabit coverage level rise to 16.87% of premises, but so far we have only found 800,000 premises out of the million properties that were originally said to be going to benefit from the switch on. See update at end of article for latest figures.

The total footprint for the Virgin Media Gig1 service in the UK that we have found to date is 1.45 million premises. The newest areas are Birmingham and Coventry, including Nuneaton and Bedworth. We have not completed our checks for Birmingham with the Moseley being one bit of Birmingham left to look at and then we need to sweep through Walsall, Wolverhampton and other surrounding areas that we have down as DOCSIS 3.0.

The Gig1 service offers 1108 Mbps download speeds using DOCSIS 3.1 but upload is limited to 50 Mbps as this is still across the older DOCSIS 3.0 network currently.

The top ten local authorities for Gigabit coverage are:

  1. City of Kingston upon Hull 98.68%
  2. Reading 89.98%
  3. City of Southampton 87.32%
  4. Coventry District 83.82%
  5. Dudley District 81.42%
  6. Nuneaton and Bedworth District 80.24%
  7. Solihull District 80.21%
  8. Bolton District 79.5%
  9. Birmingham District 71.75%
  10. Warrington 71.61%

There are now 21 local authorities with 50% or higher Gigabit coverage.

These figures have not been pushed to the public stats site yet, but once the remaining areas have been checked on Friday the updated figures will go public on Saturday morning. The postcode search and broadband API were updated on Thursday evening.

Update 10:22am The original article mentioned 1.23 million premises with Gig1 option, but this was based on the coverage as of around 7pm Thursday night, we had checked more of Birmingham later in the evening but forget to run the script to update that figure overnight. This script has now been ran and jumped the Gig1 count to 1.45 million premises. The coverage percentages are unaffected as they had already been run overnight.

Update 5pm: Indications are that with the additional areas around Birmingham and Coventry now added the figure looks set to be over 1.6 million premises with access to Virgin Media Gig1 if they want it. We will return with the updated figure and top 10 on Saturday morning.

Update Saturday 14th March: The labs stats site has had its weekly update and the UK Gigabit coverage level is now up at 17.84% with the Virgin Media Gig1 footprint sat at 1,783,807 premises passed. The extra coverage found on Friday has changed the order of the top 10 local authorities so an updated version is:

  1. City of Kingston upon Hull 98.68%
  2. BIrmingham District 90.5%
  3. Reading 89.98%
  4. Dudley District 87.75%
  5. City of Southampton 87.32%
  6. Tamworth District 87.07%
  7. Solihull District 85.89%
  8. Coventry District 83.82%
  9. Nuneaton and Bedworth 80.24%
  10. Bolton 79.5%

There are now 25 local authorities with 50% or higher Gigabit coverage.

Comments

Do we need a new router for the 1gbit?

Any why haven't they upgraded the upload technology?

  • doowles
  • 20 days ago

All depends on what you have now router wise.

Why upload...one for Virgin bosses but likely down to majority not even getting close to saturating upload today

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 20 days ago

This is all well and good, however the router even in modem mode can't supply those avg speeds, typically with the Gigabit ethernet you're looking around 960Mb.

  • AyeUp
  • 20 days ago

To answer the router question - you'll need a Virgin Media Hub 4 even if you use your own router and put the hub in modem mode. VM will supply this to all Gig1 connections. If your use your own router whether or not you need to replace it will be dependent on its specs. Bear in mind that you'll not get 1Gbps throughput on any single port from the Hub as its equipped with 10/100/1000 ethernet ports so the max available will be slightly less than 1Gbps.

  • paulby
  • 20 days ago

It rather depends how they are 'defining' 1Gbps... eg disk sizes...
https://www.transcend-info.com/Support/FAQ-503

  • comnut
  • 19 days ago


Manufacturers calculate a megabyte (or 1,000x1,000 bytes) as 1,000KBs, whereas the binary calculation is 1,024KBs.
So, for a 256GB storage device, Windows will calculate it as having a capacity of (256,000,000,000÷1,024÷1,024÷1,024) yes, put all those divisions in your calculator! it does not work for Numbers less than one :)

now try 1000,000,000,000÷1,024÷1,024÷1,024 :P

  • comnut
  • 19 days ago

oops! that would be TERAbyte.. 1G = 1,000,000,000

  • comnut
  • 19 days ago

@comnut
Looking at definitions, a gigabit is 10^9 bits, as opposed to a gibibit which is 1024^3 or 2^30 bits. I don’t believe gibibit is especially well known though so some people may well use gigabit when they are referring to 1024^3 bits.

  • New_Londoner
  • 18 days ago

Am I the only one who just spat out his coffee at the price Virgin is charging for this service?!!???

  • buggerlugs
  • 18 days ago

Going by that no-one else mentioned it looks like it.

It's not that bad.

  • CarlThomas
  • 18 days ago

buggerlugs: yes, its only for those who think faster is better..

now take a look at the *actual* speed..
https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/8656-uk-broadband-speed-test-results-for-january-2020

The *real* problem with fast internet, is that many, many website do not go that fast due to the cost of equipment already in use!!

  • comnut
  • 18 days ago

So being on their oomph package doesn’t mean I will get the auto upgrade to 1gb though on 500MB... I have to pay an additional amount and sign up to a further new contract.

Pretty piss poor offer

  • stanman24
  • 18 days ago

Is there a VM website/page or list to show when your area will be upgraded to GiG1?

  • efware
  • 17 days ago

No specific Virgin page to show the roll-out schedule, a case of waiting for them to drop some PR about each of the areas.

In theory aim is all of the network by the end of 2021

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 17 days ago

Thanks for the reply

  • efware
  • 17 days ago

@stanman24
Why would you expect to get double your current speed for nothing and without any additional commitment? What would be in such an arrangement for Virgin Media?

  • New_Londoner
  • 16 days ago

Because Virgin is losing customers in droves currently. Long standing customers who have been with them for 10 years plus and are generally given worse deals than new customers.

  • buggerlugs
  • 16 days ago

I couldn't currently recommend this Gig1 service to anyone;
The Bad
The Hub4 just stops responding to pings within hours of being reset, running the Hub4 in modem mode is broken, it just drops packets for a given time (usually 5-20 mins) then will go back to normal, I think this is due to the fact that it seems to run pretty warm and using a small fan underneath it giving it airflow seems to lessen the packet dropping. For what Virgin charge me the service does not reflect this premium price (for consumer).

  • LudaLuke
  • 16 days ago

The Good
Docsis3.1 has a noticebly lower base ping and lower in game pings which are more stable. The upload of 52mb (normally about 55mb is what I see). The extra speed (went from 200mbit to Gig1) is good, although usually downloads sit around 500-600mbit, topping out around 800mbit.

  • LudaLuke
  • 16 days ago

If they fix the Hub4 - which knowing VM won't happen for quite a while - it would still be hard to recommend based on the cost to what you're actually getting. The Sam Knows Real Speed will show to the hub you're getting 1100+ mbit but you don't see more than about 940mbit (big cheap out not having even a single 10gb port on the Hub4), however I've only over seen that speed once, and other than that 916mbit is the most I've seen

  • LudaLuke
  • 16 days ago

Its the same old routine..
disgruntled person leaves ISP , finds better one...
bad things happen due to expecting too much for little,
go back to start...

1Gbit is VERY new, with a lot of problems to work out, and 80% don't even use it or even go far beyond FBook or amzon..

so you expect them to provide £200 worth router with this CHEAP package???

  • comnut
  • 12 days ago

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/8697-bt-full-fibre-910-mbps-launches-for-59-99-a-month

have fun.......

  • comnut
  • 11 days ago

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