Virgin 100Mbps rollout 'ahead of schedule'

The ISP is pushing out superfast speeds quicker than it expected, but prices are going up come spring.

Fibre broadband

Virgin's 100Mbps fibre product is now available to 10 million homes, meaning the ISP is ahead of schedule in rolling out the service.

The announcement came as 100Mbps connections were established in areas of Bromley, Dundee, Norton Hawkfield in North East Somerset and Staverton in Gloucestershire.

Virgin had initially planned to reach the 10 million figure by mid-2012.

Broadband is coming of age as more people give up on slow DSL.

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"Soon half the country will be able to get superfast 100Mbps broadband from us. Reaching today's milestone puts us ahead of schedule as we help propel the UK up the global broadband rankings," said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media.

"Broadband is coming of age as more people give up on slow DSL in favour of superfast fibre optic speeds."

Last week, Ofcom said Virgin was providing the fastest average speeds to customers. The company's 'up to' 50Mbps offering had the highest average download speeds of around 49Mbps.

BT's fibre product Infinity achieved average download speeds of 36Mbps. Infinity achieved the highest average upload speeds of 8.8Mbps.

Last month, Virgin pledged to double the speeds of its broadband for all four million of its customers, apart from 100Mbps customers, who will be upgraded to 120Mbps.

Price rise

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Whilst delighting customers with speed increases, Virgin has also upset them by revealing prices will go up across various services from 1 April.

On average, customers are set to see the cost of their contracts go up by around 2.68 a month.

Customers of the likes of Sky and TalkTalk could see broadband prices go down, however, as Ofcom proposed cutting BT Openreach's wholesale prices.

Ofcom said it expected the savings ISPs will make from lower infrastructure costs to be passed on to consumers, as that was what happened in the past.

However, BT said it was considering appealing Ofcom's decision if it is ratified by the European Commission.

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