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Virgin Upgrade 2Mbit Cable Customers to 10Mbit

Gordon Kelly

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Virgin Upgrades 2Mbit Cable Customers to 10Mbit

While it has faced criticism over net neutrality and traffic management in the past you can't accuse Virgin of holding back on speed...

This week the company took the unprecedented move of upgrading all its base 2Mbit cable broadband customers to a 10Mbit connection for free. The migration will take place from May and represents the largest scale speed upgrade ever to take place in the UK.

"The migration of millions of 2Mbit customers to 10Mbit is only possible because of the power of our next generation network and is just one example of how we are creating exciting propositions for consumers which provide transformational experiences and go way beyond their expectations," said Virgin CEO Neil Berkett.

As for costs, customers will continue to pay the £15pm basic rate (when taken with a Virgin phone line) though - vitally - no details of any traffic management have yet been revealed.

If Virgin gets this right however it will likely take a sizeable leap towards making cable broadband the best value service in the UK not just the fastest...

Update: While not yet official we're hearing some interesting information about the finer details of what Virgin has planned for its repositioned broadband services:

  • The pricing structure will not be changing. BB M and BB L customers continue to pay the same amount. The differential will be Traffic Management and access to PC Guard Total.

  • The new STM levels will not be announced until closer to the start of the upgrades in May.

  • From the 2 February Virgin has only sold L, XL and XXL anyway and the new pricing does not allow downgrading to BB M

  • For anyone on an older pricing structure, BB M disappears for good from the 9 March.

Link:

Press Release

markypants

February 25, 2009, 2:29 pm

Thats good news for 2M customers but what about the exisiting 10meg customers paying for the L package, do we get a speed bump to 20meg or do we now get to pay the lower rate? Any chance you guys can find out from Virgin about that?

Gordon394

February 25, 2009, 2:31 pm

At the moment things are a little unclear - we're still waiting on traffic management options. I've been in contact so when we're hear about that and how the new service affects other offerings I'll bang on an update :)

Simon Fraser

February 25, 2009, 5:33 pm

I asked Virgin yesterday and they said current 10MB price would drop. They also tried to sell me the 20MB package, though I didn't grasp all the detail, so I must ring them again - it did sound like they were offering a better overall bundle than the one I have currently.

Martin Daler

February 25, 2009, 6:20 pm

when it works, which is most of the time, Virgin is great. When it breaks, which is rare, you get to speak to a voice which sounds like Mariella Frostrup's teenage daughter (i'm not saying there is such a person) and treated like one of her mates. Every time it happens I swear I'll change ISP, until I calm down! The product is great (and now even better?), Miss Frostrup's customer care ain't.

Enigma

February 25, 2009, 6:59 pm

Obviously this news is most welcome and Virgin have just staved off mine and others leaving it.





No doubt Virgin has had some unhappy customers contact them about the inequitable situation arising with the packages of their long-time (loyal) existing customers compared to offers for new customers as I noted recently.





Their Customer Service needs a HUGE improvement. For starters don't treat us as lambs to the slaughter.





Take for example the silly on-line Form for contacting Virgin's various Customer query services rather than proper e-mail addresses as there are for your PR and Business departments. Also a direct e-mail address for the CEO as do other companies.





Here's something I refrained to mention (rant!) before. End the sham &#1631 charge add-on for paper statements which is then debited by a credit of &#1631 to those (like me) who opted for electronic (pdf) monthly account statements, i.e. giving with one hand and takeing with the other. Incidentally, I asked for electronic statements 6 years ago and repeatedly since and only got them autumn 2008!!!





The other 'con' is that Virgin have now (coinciding with the introduction of electronic statements) deemed that only calls costing 50p or more will be itemised instead 10p as when we had paper statements. Thus allowing them to make money from more people who want to keep tabs on their call. Now it is blindingly obvious that going electronic means it costs them next to nothing to itemise a call (0.000,000,01pence I would guess)compared to paper statements!!! In fact it would have generated a HUGE amount of goodwill among Virgin Customers if virgin said all those receiving electronic statements will now get ALL their calls itemised given the minuscule costs involved. The Virgin CEO pleaded the "5th Amendment" on this when asked by me. Thus demonstrating Customer Service is not a priority!





One way to improve this would be for BT (and other telcos who want access to Virgins fibre optic network) to say to the regulator(s)that why should they be obliged to allow other telcos to use their network while Virgin with even better and more modern network doesn't have to. After all both are private companies and it is decades since BT was privatised. Let the games begin and prices fall!

alchobot

February 25, 2009, 7:12 pm

I'm a 2Mbit customer and was previously a top end subscriber but thier traffic management is so bad it's not worth having the premium services, try to download a game patch or mod over 1Gb in size and you won't play it till the next day. also, they are sneaking in a &#1632 a month price rise without asking us which is typical of the way Virgin work sinced they took over from NTL. if cable broadband wasn't the best way to access the internet they would have lost me a long time ago, sometimes you have to bite your tongue when dealing with them.

TrustedPhrontis

February 25, 2009, 8:09 pm

Yes customer service is rubbish and the way they price things is convoluted to say the least. BUT I posted the following on the general forum the other day.








Have just got my 50Mb connection fitted by Virgin and have checked it at speedtest.net. If you are interested in seeing one of the results check the link. This is only costing me &#16310 a month more than the 20Meg I was using up to yesterday.





http://www.speedtest.net/resul...





I cannot complain at that can I? However it is operating at about 48Mb when downloading a 100Mb text file from the Virgin speed test site. If I plug in the Netgear FVS124G router I have been using up to now the rate drops to about 12Mb, so the kids are no longer on the network ;-)). I get a new Vigor 2950 router next week that has a 90Mb WAN connection so I'll see how it goes then.





I am still waiting for the Vigor but direct to the PC is astonishing at times.

ilovethemonkeyhead

February 25, 2009, 9:17 pm

this story has made my day

Pbryanw

February 25, 2009, 11:59 pm

10Mb is all I need so I can see myself downgrading to 10Mb in May when this upgrade occurs. That's if us current 10Mb's don't get upgraded to 20Mb.

inzimam

February 26, 2009, 6:28 pm

Can anyone confirm what the changes will be to existing 10mb customers? Any ideas of what the price fall would be? I'd be surprised if they do reduce price. If they have enough free bandwidth available, it'll be 'free' for them to upgrade the speed rather than take a cut in revenue in these times especially!

Crispy

February 28, 2009, 9:24 pm

It's a shame they can't provide a 10mbps service to all their existing customers already paying for a 10mbps service! We generally get around 2-3mbps here and that's a considerable improvement from speeds frequently in the low-hundreds before Christmas - seems Plymouth is horribly oversubscribed and Virgin aren't interested in investing further in the network to provide the required capacity.





They're not all bad, connection at my parents house in the Midlands is consistently 10mbps and considerably better ping times, etc. - certainly noticeable when I'm back there :)

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