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Virgin Media cranks top download speeds up to a ‘vivid’ 200Mbps

Cable ISP Virgin Media is boosting the download speeds of its superfast broadband services up to 70Mbps, 150Mbps and 200Mbps. 

From October 1 onwards, customers on the 50Mbps, 100Mbps and 152Mbps services will be able to contact Virgin Media about getting boosted up to the higher speeds. 

Like the last time Virgin Media did this, network upgrades will roll out in a phased manner, but customers who want to get a speed upgrade ASAP will be able to recontract with Virgin Media and get those new speeds ahead of schedule. 

By the end of 2015, 90 per cent of Virgin Media customers will have the opportunity to upgrade to faster speeds. 

Folks who don’t want to jump the queue won’t have long to wait however. Virgin says that it’ll have every one of its customers upgraded by June 2016. The last big network upgrade took roughly 18 months to complete, so if all goes according to plans, this will be done in about half the time. 

To herald in the new era of speed boosts, Virgin Media has decided to rebrand all triple-digit download services as ‘Vivid’ instead of ‘ultrafast’ as everyone else calls services delivering this kind of bandwidth. 

Virgin Media managing director of consumer Gregor McNeil, said: “Our message is simple: if you want to be certain that you are signing up to true ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mbps and above, Vivid from Virgin Media is the new standard.”

“The speed of a customer’s broadband connection matters; when you have more you can do more.”

Whatever you want to call it, the new services promise speeds far in excess of what you can currently get from an ISP using BT’s Openreach network to resell superfast services. 

BT’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) technology currently delivers a maximum download speed of 80Mbps and that’s only a theoretical maximum as well – the further away your property is from a street cabinet, the slower your download speeds will be. 

That said, Virgin Media’s  pipes suffer from network congestion as much as any other ISP, so getting 200Mbps at peak times will be something of a tall order. 

BT has a small FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) footprint that delivers top download speeds of 330Mbps, but this is only available in few hundred thousand locations. Virgin Media’s cable network passed around 12.5 million premises, and it’s due to get bigger over the next few years

It’s unclear if Virgin Media plans to raise prices for its new packages. Nothing has been announced or confirmed so far, but the last time Virgin Media bumped its speeds up, it was after punters had to face down a 6.7 per cent price rise

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