Virgin Cuts 50Mbit Cost, Trials 10Mbit Uploads

Finds time to bundle a netbook with its services as well.

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

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