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Virgin Media celebrates 5th birthday with speeds soon to double

Kat Orphanides
8 Feb 2012
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UK's fastest broadband provider continues to gain ground in Ofcom speed tests

Virgin Media has been around in its current form for five years now. In 2006, the services that had previously existed as NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile UK conglomerated. This created the first company capable of providing TV, broadband, landline and mobile telephony services, which finally re-emerged as Virgin Media in February 2007.

Since then, the company’s presence has added a new edge to competition between UK service providers, with much of the benefit going to the consumer. The company’s fast fibre-optic broadband services now provide speeds of up to 120Mbit/s and the company has now set out to double the speeds of all its fibre customers’ broadband connections. Packages that currently provide speeds of 10Mbit/s are being doubled to 20Mbit/s, while 50Mbit/s bundles become 100Mbit/s.

Virgin’s speeds have certainly had an influence on rival providers. In order to compete, BT has rapidly rolled out fast Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) and even Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) broadband, which is to give two-thirds of UK households access to speeds of up to 40Mbit/s by 2015, with further speed increases promised to provide future maximums of 80Mbit/s.

However, when it comes to raw speed, Virgin Media’s dedicated cable network still takes the prize, and – according to Ofcom – while the average speed of UK broadband was just 7.6Mbit/s in November 2011, Virgin 50Mbit/s cable customers get an average download speed of 49Mbit/s.

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