Virgin to bump 50Mbps plans up to 120Mbps

Virgin to bump 50Mbps plans up to 120Mbps

Summary: Cable broadband customers on its 50Mbps plan will get a free upgrade to 120Mbps, the ISP has been forced to reveal after mistakenly sending out announcement emails to the wrong subscribers


Virgin Media customers on 50Mbps plans are in line to get 120Mbps at no extra charge, the company revealed after mistakenly sending upgrade emails to some of its cable broadband subscribers.

Virgin Media engineers

Virgin Media customers on 50Mbps plans are getting a boost to 120Mbps at no extra charge. Image credit: Virgin Media

Last week, the ISP announced it will increase headline speeds across all its packages, with the top-tier plan going from 100Mbps to 120Mbps, and other plans doubling in speed. On Monday, Virgin Media confirmed it had incorrectly sent an email to some customers across all its tariffs, saying they would be upgraded to 120Mbps once an infrastructure upgrade had been completed.

"Our first email, intended for our 100Mb customers, was accidentally sent to some customers on other tiers which may have led to some confusion. We're sorry for any misunderstanding and will be writing to customers again soon to clarify how the upgrade will affect them," a Virgin Media spokesman said.

"In the meantime, as part of our double-speed programme, we are delighted to confirm that 50Mb customers will actually be upgraded to 120Mb," he added. Previously, the company had said people on the 50Mbps plan would move to 100Mbps.

The price of the 120Mbps package will stay the same for current 50Mbps subscribers, while those on 100Mbps packages will see their cost drop to the 50Mbps level — £35 per month if taken without a Virgin phone line, or £25 with a phone line.

Some 50Mbps customers may initially see a speed increase to 100Mbps before the 120Mbps tier has been provisioned in their area, Virgin Media said. The upgrades are scheduled to begin rolling out in February and should to be completed by mid-2013, it added.

In September, BT introduced plans to "roughly double" the speed of its 40Mbps fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service to around 80Mbps. In addition, it said it will use fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology to deliver speeds of up to 300Mbps to some customers during 2012, but did not say exactly when these services will be launched.

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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.

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  • Their 50 mbps is nowhere near that figure most of the time, mine is usually below 10 mbps and often below 1 mbps. I have see 50 mbps on my line but its rare and brief. The clue is in their advertising, it says "up to 50-meg", "up to" actually means "less than" which is accurate. I'm not excited about the upcoming speed increase.
  • @johnafish You should contact customer support and make sure no other devices are on your local network leeching bandwidth. Their website claims that the speed 'up to 50Mb' customers get is "49.54Mb" and ofcom have them @ around the 50Mb mark even during the sluggish periods after work.

    I have the 10Mb service and it's dead on 10Mb. You do know that 50Mb/sec is 6.25MB/sec (megabytes)?
  • I'm guessing @johnafish is using file download speeds instead of a good quality speed test or maybe wireless interference is causing slowdown.
  • I concur with are-dee. There is clearly a problem on your line johnafish and you should bring it to the attention of virginmedia. I'm on a 30Mb and very rarely go below 28. In fact, I have numerous occasions when it is hovering around 33Mb.
  • I also received an 'Oops' email from Virgin Trains to correct their previous email offer of cheap first class single train fares London/Glasgow at £49.00. The new 'corrected' cheap first class single is now £72.50. This represents a huge percentage increase over the £54 available last year. These figures are, of course, for early bookings and previously could be cheaper than later bookings in standard class. Free Internet, included food and greater comfort did make this a good deal.

    I'm on a 10Meg Virgin Media cable connection (no more than 60 feet from the cabinet) which has always been highly erratic, subject to drop outs and well below this speed. However, recently, it has ground to a virtual halt, delivering web pages in as little as the single kB figures with many breaks and taking forever with downloads, if completed.

    Previously, I found my freebie TalkTalk connection often more satisfactory but this has also slowed dramatically recently, so I cannot chose between them for poor and erratic performance. Nothing has changed in my setup since a better, not necessarily good, performance was experienced. I am able achieve a better result from my mobile dongle, which is ridiculous.
    The Former Moley
  • @moley

    I too am on the 10meg service and likewise it has been crap for the first time in years. Am waiting for a new hub to be delivered.

    Have you tried to contact them via the VM forum (whilst using your VM BB)? If you do they will check your noise/power levels for you.
  • This is great news! I almost always get the full 5MBs a second and although (like every other ISP) they do limit the speed at peak times I get around this when needed by connecting onto a virtual private network (VPN) and it removes the limits Virgin sets, so basically I constantly get the full speed regardless of day or time.

    If anyone is having speed problems firstly make sure you have the most recent Modem from them, that said it's much more likely to be an issue with your cheap laptop working on wireless, to test this out just try connecting direct into the actual modem (from virgin) with a ethernet cable.

    A very important thing is to make sure your wireless network is secured with a password so no one is on your network and using your bandwidth.

    I can't see BT ever providing a better service than you, I bet they are kicking them selves for refusing to take up NTL's offer to share the cost of the fiber optic lines they were installing, now they have to rip up everyone's street to install a second unessasary line.
  • I recently requested an upgrade from 50Mb to 100Mb and got a planned install date of 19 January, with a monthly increase of c.£10! I then found the Virgin "Good news" and subsequently the "Oops!" emails in my overcrowded inbox Having seen this article today, I emailed Virgin, referring to it, and stating that I expect they will now be carrying out the upgrade at no extra cost.

    Incidentally, I consistently see download speeds in the 40s on two ethernet connected AIO PCs, with average c.15 Mb on a couple of laptops over wireless (possibly slowed by my dubious wi-fi extender!)
  • I love the talk about Virgin and BT cable speeds, but here in the NW, in Lytham and St Annes (pretty well heeled) we can't get cable. It runs straight past us - to Blackpool. I've asked formally and been told - not for the foreseeable future. I live with 8 Mbsec - in reality 4 or 5. I have a friend at the other end of the Fylde coast who gets 256 - 500 kbsec. Why can't a "good" cable service get to us/ No one seems to want to speak up. Help!!!!
  • Yes, I know what mbps are , I am using more than one reliable speed test and I am aware of the limitations of my wireless network so I have conducted tests with a single pc connected to the router with a good, old fashioned cable. My Virgin broadband is slow and unreliable. I have contacted Virgin more than once who have done nothing. Because I need internet for work I have even had ADSL installed so I have an (even slower) backup connection available when the Virgin broadband doesn't work. I got a leaflet this week telling me I had been upgraded to 100 mbps. I tested the speed and got 3.5 / 4.1 / 8.0 / 6.7 / 14.2 on five tests through the evening, not even close to 50 mbps, never mind 100 mbps.

    I'll soon be able to cancel the Virgin broadband and if they are true to form the cancellation will stimulate some activity.

    I'm sure the 50 or 100 mbps service is terrific when it works, but mine doesn't.