19 March 2020
Virgin Media has switched on the Midlands’ fastest gigabit home broadband service in Birmingham offering connectivity more than 20 times faster than the current local average.
In the UK’s largest ever gigabit broadband switch-on, more than a million homes across the West Midlands can now benefit from the next-generation broadband service.
Hundreds of thousands of homes in Birmingham can now benefit from the broadband boost which is part of the company’s plan to bring gigabit speeds to nearly 15 million homes across its entire network by the end of 2021.
Ahead of the launch, Oliver Dowden CBE, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Andy Street CBE, Mayor of the West Midlands, visited Virgin Media’s National Apprenticeship Centre at its Eagle Court office in Birmingham.
Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “This is a next-generation broadband boost for more than a million homes in the West Midlands.
“Gig1 Fibre Broadband offers speeds more than 20 times faster than the local average broadband connection, meaning that households can do everything they want to do online, at the same time and without delay.
“This year we’ll bring the service to even more cities as we rollout gigabit broadband across our entire network at a speed and scale unmatched by anyone else. Whatever the future holds, we’re connecting our customers to what’s next.”
**Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:**“Connectivity like this has the potential to make life easier for people here in the West Midlands and is sure to help our businesses and economy grow. I’ve spoken frequently on the need for good, reliable connectivity in the region and Virgin Media’s investment here in network expansion is an important step towards making the West Midlands one of the best connected places in the country.”
Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden MP, said: "Today’s announcement means we’re a million homes closer in delivering our plans to deliver gigabit broadband to everyone in the UK. We’re working closely with companies like Virgin Media and investing £5 billion to ensure the hardest to reach areas aren’t left behind - so that every part of the country can enjoy the benefits of a world class internet connection.”
Gig1 Fibre Broadband – faster speeds, new router and competitive pricing
As broadband data use increases tenfold every 7 years, this service provides the connectivity needed for future applications like 8K streaming, cloud gaming and virtual reality telepresence without the need to excavate roads and streets to install new cables.
The hyperfast Gig1 Fibre Broadband service offers an average peak-time download speed of 1,104Mbps.
The service is available to new and existing customers and can be packaged with or without telephone, TV and mobile services. Prices start from just £62 per month on an 18 month contract with a guaranteed price freeze for at least 24 months.
Customers taking Gig1 Fibre Broadband will benefit from Virgin Media’s new and best ever equipped gigabit capable router – the Hub 4. The new router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and features improved WiFi hardware to provide speedy and reliable connectivity throughout customers’ homes.
The Hub 4 boasts more antennae than its predecessor, the Hub 3, meaning it can manage multiple devices at the same time around the home which can all share the hyperfast speed.
The new router makes use of the operator’s next generation broadband technology, known as DOCSIS 3.1, which it will deploy across its entire cable network over time.
The power of gigabit broadband
With Virgin Media’s hyperfast gigabit connection, ultra-high definition 4K films and TV programmes, very large files and 360 degree videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously. The connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.
A recently published report for Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, by leading economists Oxera, found that the rollout of gigabit broadband will lead to transformative changes in the way people interact, socialise, work and stay healthy. The report says the widespread rollout of gigabit broadband will lead to major benefits to society and dramatically improve people’s lives by improving the quality and availability of healthcare services, reduce time lost travelling, help in the fight against climate change and create new ways of interacting with friends and family.
Virgin Media has the largest gigabit-capable network in the UK which currently passes nearly 15 million UK premises. The network consists of both fibre-rich cable and fibre connected directly to the premises, both of which can provide customers with gigabit speeds.
Virgin Media, through its Project Lightning programme, is also continuing to expand its ultrafast network to more homes and businesses across the UK. More than 2 million premises have been added to Virgin Media’s gigabit capable network since the project began.
Virgin Media will announce which further cities are set to benefit from its Gig1 Fibre Broadband service later in the year as it continues its national gigabit rollout plan. Last year, the company launched gigabit broadband services in Southampton, Greater Manchester and Reading.
Customers can find out more and buy Gigabit Fibre Broadband at https://www.virginmedia.com/broadband/gigabit
Notes to Editors
Source for broadband speed claims
The average (median) download speed in Birmingham is 52.8 Mbps. Source: Ofcom, Connected Nations Report 2019, published 18 December 2019.
The Hub 4 is powered by an Intel Puma 7 chipset and supports the wave 2 802.11ac WiFi standard. It offers 3x3 MIMO on the 2.4GHz band and 4x4 MIMO on the 5GHz frequency.
Speed and Pricing
Gig1 Fibre Broadband has a download speed of 1,104Mbps and an upload speed of 52Mbps. It is available to new and existing customers across all of our Solus, Dual, Triple and Oomph bundles on an 18 month contract with a price guaranteed for at least 24 months.
Broadband and phone
Big Bundle (Mixit TV, broadband, phone)
Bigger Bundle (Maxit TV, broadband, phone)
Bigger Bundle + movies (Maxit TV + Sky Cinema HD, broadband, phone)
Bigger Bundle + sports (Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD+ Sky Sports HD, broadband, phone)
Bigger Bundle + sports and movies (Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD and Sky Cinema HD + Sky Sports HD, broadband, phone)
Ultimate Oomph Bundle (All the TV, Ultimate Oomph Bundle broadband, phone and a truly unlimited SIM)
**The West Midlands’ fastest home broadband
**Based on Gig1 Fibre Broadband average speed of 1.104Mbps (exact figure) vs fastest average speeds of residential broadband services provided by UK internet service providers. To verify, see virginmedia.com/Gig1Compare
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