To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Virgin Media to roll out nationwide gigabit broadband by 2021

Over a million people will have access to the service by the end of the year

Virgin Media has today announced “Gigabit Britain”: its plan to bring superfast gigabit broadband connection to 15 million homes across the UK by the end of 2021. The firm will start rolling out gigabit internet this year, and hope to provide access to over one million people by the end of 2019.

The move comes on the back of a government initiative to spread gigabit-capable connections around the country, with Virgin vying to be the first to roll out the service. Virgin Media chief Lutz Schüler has called the company’s move a “giant digital leap forward for the UK”.

The trial has already been launched in Southampton, where customers are testing out Virgin’s hyperfast internet services. Given the rapidity of expansion, gigabit internet is set to be made available via Virgin for one million people before the year is up, spanning two UK cities.

The aim for the next two years is to extend gigabit internet to Virgin’s entire network, in turn making Virgin the largest provider of residential gigabit connectivity.

READ NEXT: Best broadband 2019 – the UK internet providers worth signing up to in 2019

What exactly is gigabit internet? It’s essentially a superfast broadband service, with speeds of 1Gbit/sec (1,000Mbits/sec) opening up a world of technology for its users, including cloud gaming, VR entertainment and 8K video streaming across households.

Gigabit connection operates at a rate 20 times faster than the UK average broadband connection, which sits at a humble 54Mbits/sec. Given the lightning speeds, customers will be able to download 4K films and TV shows, huge files and 360-degree videos near-instantaneously, even with multiple people in one household connected to the service.

What’s more, existing customers will be connected via existing cabling; all users need to do is plug in a new router to secure access.

READ NEXT: Virgin Media Broadband review (2019) – a very fast, very likeable ISP, but far from the cheapest

For his part, Schüler did not hold back in singing the operation’s praises: “Virgin Media has been the unparalleled speed leader for many years. Very soon, for the first time ever, millions of people right across the country will be able to experience hyperfast and reliable gigabit internet connections thanks to the latest technology and the power of our network,” he said in a press release.

The tests currently underway in Southampton are being conducted using trial routers. We will update this page as and when we hear more about Virgin Media’s gigabit broadband hardware in the coming months.

Read more