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Virgin Completes 50Mbit Rollout, Trials 10Mbit Uploads

Gordon Kelly


Virgin Cuts 50Mbit Cost, Trials 10Mbit Uploads

When you've got the advantage there's nothing like rubbing it in...

Today Virgin has announced no less than three extremely welcome and exciting pieces of news regarding its lung busting 50Mbit network.

Part one is that Virgin has now completed the roll-out of its next generation fibre optic network meaning all homes across the UK capable of receiving its cable broadband will have the option of a 50Mbit connection. That's over 12 million homes. The completion also results in a tripling of Virgin's network capacity.

Next with 50Mbit conquered Virgin's new target is upload speeds and it plans to trial a range of much faster services up to 10Mbit. "In addition to trialling the technical capabilities of the DOCSIS 3.0 network, the trial will explore the demand for higher upstream speeds for bandwidth hungry families, on services such as video conferencing, multiplayer gaming and home working," said the company in a statement.

As for part three, that's good news for wallets with the company dropping the price of its 50Mbit connection from £50 per month to £38pm. This falls further to £28pm if customers take out a Virgin phone line as well. Yes, it's still premium pricing but it is a lot more affordable than it was.

Finally, Virgin is following the lead of telcos by launching a subsidised netbook. Ominously dubbed 'Freedom', it comes in black or "Virgin red" (poor choice of phrase?) and will be available gratis on a range of 24 month fixed line and mobile broadband products.

Being a netbook specifications are fairly standard with a 10.2in 1024 x 600 display, Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz CPU and 1GB RAM. Rather less than we're used to is the 120GB HDD instead of 160GB, 0.3MP webcam instead of 1.3MP and three cell battery (2 hours 30 mins standard use quoted). That said there is wireless n so you can take advantage of those 50Mbit speeds.

All in all, a rather good day for Virgin methinks...


Virgin Media Broadband


July 15, 2009, 7:48 pm

Yeah, thats really fast...till they cap the hell outta you for daring to use it. My 10Mbit line rarely feels faster than the 250K line I was on 4 years ago. What can I say, Steam, Iplayer, Gametrailers and PSN suck up a gigs before breakfast so I must be punished


July 15, 2009, 7:54 pm

I thought that sounded too good to be true! It is! It's not £28 with a Virgin phoneline, it's £35!!! £50 without a phoneline.....This is according to the website of course, unless this has yet to be updated :/


July 15, 2009, 7:58 pm

I'm not sure about Part One - considering I just checked on the Virgin website and I still can't get 50mb.

Ben 3

July 15, 2009, 8:40 pm

@Runadumb - there is not and will not be any STM on 50Mbit

@TheDean - the new price is from the 1st September for all 50Mbit customers

@Icey - The rollout should be finished at the end of the month


July 15, 2009, 8:47 pm

Just upgraded from a 20Mbit service so it turns out £2 p/m cheaper ... at the cost of £50 fees (£30 installation, £20 for a new modem, or vice versa)! So a couple of years down the line this will have hopefully been worth it.


July 15, 2009, 8:51 pm

From the start of september...



July 15, 2009, 8:52 pm

@ Runadumb - the 50MB service is currently uncapped but if your 10Mbit line is feeling as slow as a 250k connection in general use then something's wrong somewhere. I'm on a 10Mbit service at the moment and it's returning just about that speed provided I don't go over the bandwidth caps.

@TheDean - considering the article said it used to cost £50 without a phone line I'd suggest that the website hasn't updated yet.

As for me, I'm seriously tempted to upgrade to the 50Mbit service even if only to get away from the cap on the lower service. Well, that and geek bragging rights obviously. Actually, I'm hoping they drop the cost of the 20Mbit service as that'd get me a bandwidth cap I'm happy with and be more than fast enough.


July 15, 2009, 9:12 pm

@TheDean think you interpretted "with" wrongly. It is £28 when taken out with a Virgin line.

@Runadumb - as mentioned here there the 50Mbit service is completely uncapped. Whether this roll-out changes that remains to be seen but since it runs on a different part of the network to all over Virgin packages it should have plenty of bandwidth.


July 15, 2009, 10:04 pm

@BOFH-UK Yeah like I said im capped alot so my speeds are not great. I share my line with my flatmate who is also a heavy user so I guess I shouldnt be to hard on virgin. Still, uncapped sounds really nice to user's like us


July 15, 2009, 10:11 pm

Still using an old old modem from Comcast days (before NTL bought them) and it's only got a 10Mbit network port.... yay!

V-interested (oh the pun!) in the upload, anyone know what the current upload limits are?


July 15, 2009, 10:48 pm

Are Virgin even actively rolling out their network (i.e. extending it's reach)? I've lived in a few parts of the UK but never had access to cable...

So I really couldn't give a damn.

Ben 3

July 15, 2009, 11:14 pm


The current XXL upload is 1.5Mbit, and the XXL modem has a Gigabit network port on it


July 16, 2009, 3:25 pm

@Ben - Are you sure about that gigabit ethernet port?! If true, I'm definately going for it...I recently sent in a question to Virgin to see what model of router they supply with the 50MB line, but they have yet to come back to me.


July 16, 2009, 4:34 pm

I pay £50 for the 50Mb at the moment, so a price drop to £38 is very welcome to me :) (isn't that roughly what the 20Mb is at the moment?)

Traffic management isn't in place on 50Mb at the moment, but Virgin hasn't ruled it out and I'd imagine they'll put something in place once more people take up the service.

I'm a fairly heavy downloader and I had no issues keeping to the traffic management when I was on 20Mb so I'm not 'too' fussed if it's brought in (though obv. I'd rather they didn't)


July 16, 2009, 4:39 pm


The modem specs:

EuroDOCSIS 3.0/DOCSIS 3.0 Operation

EuroDOCSIS/DOCSIS 1.0/1.1/2.0 Compatible

Supports four channel bonding

Ethernet Interface (RJ-45)(10/100/1000 Mbps compatible)


July 17, 2009, 3:47 pm

Hi TheDean,

Thanks for your email to Virgin Media about the make and model of the

wireless router which we provide with 50 Mb Broadband.

We provide "N" wireless router with our Broadband size XXL (50 Mb)


Here are some details about the wireless router:

Make - Netgear

Model - WNR2000

TheDean, if there's anything else we can help with, please send us a

letter, email or call our team free on 150 from any Virgin Media phone.

Or on 0845 454 1111* from any other phone. You can call us Monday to

Sunday from 8 am to Midnight.

Kind regards,

Sachin Zunjar

Customer Service Advisor

Virgin Media

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