Since Gig1 Fibre went live in Southampton in September, it has been switched on in Greater Manchester, Reading and surrounding villages
Virgin Media has announced that more than one million homes across the West Midlands are set to get access to its gigabit home broadband service in the coming weeks as part of the service’s largest roll-out to date.
Since Gig1 Fibre went live in Southampton in September 2019, it has been switched on across Greater Manchester as well as in Reading and its surrounding villages. The roll-out begins in early March and covers Birmingham and Coventry before extending to the surrounding areas over the coming months.
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Described by Virgin Media as the UK’s fastest gigabit home broadband package, Gig1 is at 1,104Mbits/sec reportedly 25 times faster than the national average – recorded at 40Mbits/sec speeds in Ofcom’s 2018 Connected Nations Report – and offers upload speeds of 52Mbits/sec. Virgin Media is so sure of this claim, it has a speed comparison chart on its website.
Interestingly, Virgin Media’s current broadband offerings did not rank highly in the recent Broadband Genie home broadband awards.
Analysis of 91,000 speed tests, carried out between 1 January to 3 December 2019, found Hyperoptic (and not Virgin Media) offers the fastest broadband in the UK with an average download speed of 211Mbits/sec and an average upload speed of 166Mbits/sec – faster than any other ISP tested.
In fact, Hyperoptic’s 211Mbits/sec was an impressive 42.6Mbit/sec faster than runner-up Vodafone, which isn’t that far off the total download speed of 76.5Mbits/sec offered by EE.
Virgin Media came third overall for upload speeds in the Ultrafast broadband category and last for uploads. It is unclear if any of the speed tests were conducted on Gig1 homes, especially considering the service is still in its relative infancy, but it’s interesting that its superfast speed claims for other services don’t quite make the grade.
In what will come as no surprise, these packages don’t come cheap. For broadband only, you’ll be paying a minimum of £62/mth for Gig1. This price does include Virgin’s latest Hub 4 router, though, which has more antennae than its predecessor, the Hub 3, meaning it can manage more devices at the same time.
This monthly price rises as you add on more features, including Virgin TV, and the most expensive package costs a staggering £119/mth. The details of each bundle are shown below.
|Broadband and phone|
|Big Bundle (Mixit TV, broadband, phone)|
|Bigger Bundle (Maxit TV, broadband, phone)|
|Bigger Bundle + movies (Maxit TV + Sky Cinema HD, broadband, phone)|
|Bigger Bundle + sports (Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD+ Sky Sports HD, broadband, phone)|
|Bigger Bundle + sports and movies (Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD and Sky Cinema HD + Sky Sports HD, broadband, phone)|
|Ultimate Oomph Bundle (All the TV, Ultimate Oomph Bundle broadband, phone and a truly unlimited SIM)|
These prices are available to new and existing customers on an 18-month contract with a guaranteed price freeze for at least 24 months.
Virgin Media will announce which cities are next to benefit from its Gig1 service later this year when it continues its national gigabit rollout plan.