Virgin Media Begins 120Mbps Broadband Upgrade

Max ‘Beast from the East’ Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope.

If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

Follow on: Google +

100Mb customers move up to the fastest connection in the UK for free

Today, Virgin Media has started upgrading its 100Mbps broadband customers to 120Mbps – the fastest speed currently available to UK residents – as part of the “Double Your Speeds” programme announced earlier this year.

The company said that 40 percent of its network has already been upgraded, at no expense to the customer.

Double the fun

Double Your Speeds, announced in January, is a £110 million programme designed to increase the broadband speeds of nearly 13 million existing Virgin Media customers, doubling it for at least four million.

Instead of 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 30Mbps and 50Mbps connections, Virgin Media’s broadband service will offer speeds of 30Mbps, 60Mbps and up to 100Mbps/120Mbps, making it the only ISP in the UK with superfast speeds as standard.

The wider availability of superfast connections should help achieve the target set by UK government in August of having the fastest broadband in Europe by 2015.

Over the past eight months, Virgin Media has been working to update the fibre infrastructure and provide more broadband capacity to its customers. By now, 40 percent of the planned maintenance is complete.

“Virgin Media has led the greatest developments in broadband in the UK over the last decade and our 120Mb service continues to ensure that our consumers across the country get the very best that today’s technology offers,” commented Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media.

The Double Your Speeds programme is due to complete around mid-2013. Customers can check when their area will be upgraded here.

Last month, newly appointed culture secretary Maria Miller unveiled plans to relax rules governing installation of broadband infrastructure.

By 2015, the government wants to provide 90 percent of homes and businesses in the UK with Internet access offering at least 24 Mbps download speeds. It is investing a whopping £680 million in superfast broadband, but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has blamed bureaucracy for delaying the roll-out and “jeopardising the country’s economic recovery”.

Do you know the secrets of Wi-Fi? Take our quiz!