Virgin Media to double broadband speeds in 30 towns

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.

The first areas to have their cable connections upgraded by Virgin Media through March and April include:

  • Newcastle
  • Tilbury
  • Southend
  • Ely
  • Melton
  • Andover
  • Poplar
  • Dover
  • Ashford
  • Rawtenstall
  • Belfast
  • Solihull
  • Maidstone
  • Castlecary
  • Grimsby
  • Ipswich
  • St Mellons
  • Flitwick
  • Preston
  • Dundee
  • Glenrothes
  • Wakefield
  • Doncaster
  • Barnsley
  • Cambridge
  • Cosham
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Mansfield
  • Oldham
  • Bedford

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