Virgin Media to double broadband speeds in 30 towns

Virgin Media to double broadband speeds in 30 towns

Summary: By the end of April, more than 1.5 million Virgin customers will see their download speeds increase twofold at no extra charge, following a promise made by the ISP in January


Virgin Media is now ready to start doubling download speeds for 1.5 million of its broadband subscribers in 30 towns and cities across the UK.

Virgin Media engineers

Virgin Media customers in 30 towns and cities are set to receive doubled download speeds. Image credit: Virgin Media

The move is only the start of the Virgin's 'Double Speeds' push to upgrade customers' cable connections, the company said on Thursday. The project is expected to take 18 months. Once the work is completed, more than four million subscribers will have faster downloads.

Work on upgrades in the towns in the first stage starts this week and will continue to through to April, Virgin said.

"Initial areas include Newcastle, Ashford, Ipswich, Dundee, Belfast and Cambridge, with customers in other areas to be upgraded automatically as the Double Speeds programme rolls out," it said in a statement.

The upgrade push, announced by Virgin in January, comes at no extra cost to the customer and promises to move people on 10Mbps to 20Mbps, while those on 20Mbps and 30Mbps will go to 60Mbps. Those on 50Mbps will get 100Mbps, then 120Mbps when that service becomes available. Customers already signed up to a 100Mbps package will also get 120Mbps, but will have their monthly charge cut, Virgin said.

Earlier in February, the ISP beat its own target of making its 100Mbps hybrid co-axial fibre service available to more than 10 million homes in the UK.

BT also plans to double download speeds for its Infinity fibre customers, to around 80Mbps. The company, which is Virgin's main rival in delivering super-fast broadband services in the UK, is in the process of getting ready to deliver up to 300Mbps connections to homes and businesses using a technology it is calling FTTP-on-demand. However, BT has not revealed connection fees or subscription rates for the service.

A full list of the 30 towns receiving the upgrade in March and April is available here.

Topics: Broadband, Networking

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I will believe this when i see it. I recently cut my 30mb down to the minimum 10mb as i was getting a daily average of 1mb download speed with 20% packet loss and thats on a good day. Given i live in central Brighton this is not acceptable. The service has been completely oversubscribed, made obvious by the sudden spike to full speed connection each time the student population in brighton returns to the parents for xmas, easter etc. Type in "virgin bn2 broadband" in google and you will see I am not alone. Branson needs to stop spending on advertising campaigns and sort out the existing infrastructure rather than fobbing off existing subscribers with excuses, pointless account credits and rolling completion dates for faults.
  • Actually, there is a price increase coming:

    Virgin says were giving the upgrade free and then puts up everyone's charges telling them its part of an annual price increase... call it what ever you want its a price increase.
  • Don't even get Virgin in my town so don't give a darn! I've asked Virgin Media on many occasions when they expect to roll out to our town and you get the same splaff every time about how their fibre optic network is being rolled out throughout the UK and they'll let me know when it happens. How can they do that if they don't ask for any contact details!!! Anyhoo, please pass on my displeasure to Mr Branson.
  • Thirty locations are to receive Double internet speeds from Virgin, wow, I was impressed until I read the list.

    The only decent size city there is Newcastle. Andover, Cosham etc.. are nothing.

    I'd be much more impressed if there were decent sizes residential populaces such as: Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London or Portsmouth listed.

    Me thinks there is a bit of SPIN going on!
  • I live in Leeds, yes I'd have liked to see it on the list but I am informed that the upgrade will take place in July. As for speeds I check mine at various times of day and different days, all I can say is well done Virgin, I pay for and get 10Mb or as near as makes no difference as the recent ofcom report backs up. If your download speeds are so poor maybe you need to check your own kit first.
  • Actually malcolmgeo, you obviously dont live in an area where the dslam/cmts is badly oversubscribed , it appears the further down the country you go the worse it gets. If your on the base 10 meg package this is probably because your using a docsis 2 modem and everyone around you is now running a docsis 3, leaving the legacy docsis 2 tier in your area relatively empty . Maybe instead of posting saying that because your alight must mean everyone else's reply must mean we all don't know what were doing and the problem is our own fault. Maybe instead you could consider some of us know what were talking about...
  • I live in kingston (london), and the 10mb package gives an average 9mb with a 1mb upload. Is Kingston considered an overscribed area? BB is mostly universal here, and a large student population too. Just wondering. Virgin's phone line is a rip off though £13.90 line rental, and the most expensive phone charges.
  • It's OK for those with fiber optics or cable but I have only got an ordinary phone
    broadband connection on Virgin.