Virgin is not sitting on its laurels. Not content with rolling out it ultrafast 100Mb broadband service to more and more areas of the country, it has now increased its XL boradband service by 50 percent to 30Mb. And the cost of this extra bandwidth? Nada.
From this morning, 1 February, Virgin is increasing the speed of its XL service from 20Mb to 30Mb and the cost of the service is actually going down from £20 per month to just £18.50 per month. However it’s not all good news, existing customers will have to pay a one-off £30 upgrade fee to cover activation and exchange of their old modem and router for Virgin Media’s SuperHub. The SuperHub comes complete with Gigabit wired network connections, and 802.11n wireless with switchable dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz) capability.
Virgin Media claims that the XL service is cheaper and faster than comparable BT Infinity options. Even when taking the line rental of £12.24 a month into account the total of £30.74 is still cheaper than BT Infinity Option 1 at £33.60 or BT Infinity Option 2 at £39.20. Both BT offerings do have an advertised speed of 40Mb however Virgin make a big play that its average speed will be faster than BT’s. “Unlike other fibre optic broadband services based on VDSL technology, such as BT Infinity, Virgin Media customers can expect to receive speeds close to the stated headline 30Mb speed1, and aren’t subject to the ”speed lottery” that plagues broadband delivered over telephone wires.”
The reasons for the boost in speed? Virgin believes that the increase in wireless-enable tablets, smartphones and other devices is creating a need for a lot more bandwidth which it hopes the new XL service will provide. “As consumers continually demand more and more from their broadband, the unique power of our next-generation network means that we’re able to turn up the dial to meet their needs. With so many devices connecting to the internet at home these days, our new 30Mb service will give Virgin Media families that extra boost needed to make everything run smoothly, with speeds that don’t slow down depending on where you live,” said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media.