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Virgin Media to launch 152Mbps ultrafast broadband in 2014, plus 20Mbps speed boosts for all – UPDATED

Virgin Media has announced that it will be launching a new up to 152Mbps service in 2014. 

There’s no official launch date for the new service yet, Virgin Media has announced that the new service will be available to buy early in 2014. 

Virgin Media also mentions that prices will be going in February and it wants to give customers more for their money. Costs will go up by 6.7 per cent on average (over double the current rate on inflation) though some services like home phone plans will remain unchanged. 

‘Can you go any faster?’ ‘Keep stroking my beard and we’ll find out.’ Richard and Usain discuss Virgin Media’s latest speed boost plans.

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s chief executive officer said: “As people connect more things simultaneously to the internet more often, they need powerful broadband with the bandwidth to deliver a great experience for everyone in the home. 

“Our top speed will be twice as fast as BT and all the others reliant on their old copper telephony infrastructure as we extend our lead as Britain’s ultrafast broadband provider.”

This isn’t entirely true as BT offers a 300Mbps service, but only in selected areas where pure-fibre FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) is available. The majority of customers will be able to order BT Infinity 2, which has a top speed of 76Mbps (or half of 152Mbps) that’s possible using FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) technology, which uses a copper connection to complete the last mile. So from a technical perspecitve it is accurate.

As Openreach connects more and more locations to its growing fibre network, Virgin Media is distinguishing its coaxial cable product from FTTC, which the majority of premises covered by the superfast Openreach rollout will be able to get. Tests carried out by Ofcom have shown that Virgin Media can provide faster download speeds and so it’s keen to press this advantage. 

Virgin Media to launch 152Mbps ultrafast broadband in 2014, plus 20Mbps speed boosts for all

Not content to just steam ahead with a new 152Mbps product, Virgin Media will also be rolling out speed boosts to existing customers. These will increase customers download speeds by at least 20Mbps. 

Customers on the current 30Mbps service can look forwards to getting 50Mbps in the new year while 60Mbps customers can expect download speeds of 80Mbps, or maybe even higher. 

Mockridge added: “We are boosting speeds again and ensuring our customers can get even more value from their Virgin Media subscription.” 

This news comes after Virgin Media’s recently posted quarterly results showed that most customers were getting speeds of 30Mbps, or superfast as standard for the first time. 

This news also perhaps sheds some light on what Virgin Media has been doing buying URLs for websites called superdooperfastbroadband.co.uk and uberfastbroadband.co.uk. 

Virgin Media customers can check out when they’re due for an upgrade by entering their postcode here

Update: We’ve been sent this screengrab from a reader in Highbury, London. This shows that speed upgrades aren’t due until July 2014 at the earliest in this area. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that launch of the 152Mbps service will be around the same time. 

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