Virgin Media 1.1 Gbps service in Wales mapped
Virgin Media only started selling its Gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 service in Wales during the day on Thursday and now everyone can see the size of the footprint as it was on Friday afternoon.
The current Gig1 product offers 1108 Mbps download speeds and 50 Mbps upload, the upload is so asymmetric since the upload is still over the DOCSIS 3.0 protocol, we expect the upload to improve once the Gig1 roll-out has completed across the UK.
Our package search will only show the Gig1 option if you are in a postcode we have identified as part of the roll-out and the same for those consuming our API.
In terms of the impact on the Gigabit broadband coverage levels Wales is now at 25.66% Gigabit coverage and once Swansea and Newport get the Gig1 treatment this will increase to over 32%. Prior to the switch on Gigabit coverage was down at 17.86% in Wales. The reason the jump is seems so low is that a lot of Cardiff already had FTTP available due to the Openreach Fibre First roll-out and similar for Barry.
Across the UK the Gig1 footprint is 7,019,580 premises and the Gigabit coverage level is 36.16%. Prior to the additional Gig1 roll-out and bits of FTTP found in the last two days the Gigabit coverage on Thursday morning was 35.55%, i.e. the switch on of Gig1 in Cardiff was a fairly small part of the Gigabit puzzle. We do have more Gig1 premises to check in some parts of London so the premises count is going to continue to increase slightly even if Virgin Media don't announce any more new Gig1 areas in 2020.
Our stats site has had its weekly update so those wanting to see the impact of this change and other bits of FTTP roll-out we have added since last Saturday can do so.
A small note that the roll-out of services such as Gig1 and the increasing amounts of FTTP are one of the reasons for the regulator Ofcom reporting that the average download speed is now 71.8 Mbps compared to 64 Mbps in May 2020. The rise in average speed is not because services such as VDSL2 are faster for individuals or that those with a 100 Mbps cable service are seeing higher speeds but that more people are choosing to buy the higher speed tiers. The modelling used by Ofcom samples a couple of thousand connections across the UK a lot and then once those speed test results are corrected for an individual DSL line length are fed into a set of calculations that balance out the different proportions of the services sold across the UK. Our own figures show a mean download speed of 43.3 Mbps at the end of Q2 2020 rising to 46.8 Mbps at the end of Q3, so the trend is the same with our figures being lower due to the impact of Wi-Fi.