Your questions answered
What’s Virgin Media Essential broadband pack and who is it for? What’s Virgin Media Essential broadband pack and who is it for?
Our Essential broadband pack is a broadband-only service we offer to customers receiving Universal Credit to make sure they can get online and stay connected at a low cost.
How much does it cost? How much does it cost?
If you meet the eligibility requirements and switch to Essential broadband, you’ll be charged £12.50 a month. Every 12 months we'll ask you to provide evidence that you still receive Universal Credit and if you do, you'll continue to be charged £12.50 a month. If you no longer receive Universal Credit, or you can’t provide evidence when we ask for it, the monthly price will go up to £23 a month.
Will I be able to change back to my old package whenever I want? Will I be able to change back to my old package whenever I want?
Of course. Just give us a ring whenever you’re ready to go back to your usual Virgin Media services and we’ll sort it all out for you. We won’t ask about your financial situation, but the price of your usual services will not be the same as before. After that, if you change your mind and want to switch to Essential broadband again, you can reapply anytime as long as you’re still eligible.
What changes will I see? What changes will I see?
Our Essential broadband pack is a broadband-only service. If you have TV and home phone services with us, they’ll be disconnected when you switch over. So, it's important to make sure you have alternative options for TV and phone calls, like Freeview TV and a mobile phone. Any TV services you get outside of the Virgin Media TV box won’t be affected. If you’re using extra high-definition TV streaming or other high-bandwidth services, you should check that they’ll still work with M15 Fibre Broadband speeds. Head to our speeds page for more info on the speed you can expect from our Essential broadband pack.
If you have any services connected to your phone line – like telehealth devices, care alarms, fire alarms or security alarms – they won’t work when your home phone service is disconnected. You won’t be able to make or receive phone calls using your home phone, including emergency service calls – so please make sure you have a mobile phone or something else ready. If you rely on your home phone for these services, Essential broadband isn’t right for you at this time.
If you have a mobile SIM as part of an Oomph bundle (either on its own or as part of a handset deal), you can change it to one of our mobile offers or cancel it when you move to Essential broadband. Any mobile or SIM contract with us that’s not part of an Oomph bundle won't be affected. If you have a Freestyle handset, any payments for it will continue whether you choose to keep your SIM or disconnect.
What if I’m already in a contract with Virgin Media? What if I’m already in a contract with Virgin Media?
Once your eligibility checks go through for Essential broadband, we'll swap you over right away and you won't have to pay any extra fees or charges for changing from your current Virgin Media services.
Who can apply for Essential broadband? Who can apply for Essential broadband?
Only the person receiving Universal Credit who’s registered as the account owner of the Virgin Media account – or someone approved to take care of the account on their behalf – can submit the application. Once you've given us all the details we need to put through your application, we’ll check the information and process your switch to Essential broadband. We might call you to confirm your details and make sure you’re up to date with how Essential broadband could differ from your current service.
What information do I need to prove eligibility for Universal Credit? What information do I need to prove eligibility for Universal Credit?
You'll need to send us evidence that you’re eligible for Universal Credit before we can move you to Essential broadband. We'll send you more info on this after you submit your application. Please note, only the account owner – or someone approved to take care of the account on their behalf – can submit the application for Essential broadband.
Terms and conditions Terms and conditions
Existing Virgin Media customers in receipt of Universal Credit are able to apply to move their plan to Virgin Media Essential broadband by completing the application form found here virginmedia.com/essential.
Customers applying will not be eligible if they are currently in arrears or on a scheduled repayment plan.
In the event of a successful application, your existing services will be migrated to our Essential broadband 15Mbps. This broadband service is governed by our standard terms and conditions which can be found here virginmedia.com/legal.
If you currently receive TV or landline services from us, these services will be terminated if and when you migrate to Essential broadband. You’ll need to ensure you have an alternative method of making calls, such as a mobile. If you rely on your landline for emergency calls, telehealth alarms or care devices (or other services that are supported by your landline) Essential broadband may not be right for you at this time.
If you migrate to our Essential broadband tariff, you will be ineligible for any future new customer discounts if and when you decide to migrate.
If you currently have an Oomph bundle that includes a mobile SIM, you will need to transfer your SIM to one of our current Virgin Mobile SIM only tariffs or cancel it. If your Oomph bundle includes a Freestyle handset agreement, this will be unaffected by a migration to Essential broadband and your monthly payment will need to be paid as normal.
You’ll need to submit evidence when requested to demonstrate you are still in receipt of Universal Credit to continue to receive Essential broadband at £12.50 per month. If you do not submit this evidence, your bill will increase to £23 per month. Once evidence is submitted and accepted, your monthly charge will revert to £12.50 per month.
If you migrate to our Essential broadband tariff, your price won’t change whilst you are receiving Universal Credit payments.
We estimate that at peak times the download speed to your Virgin Media router will range between 16 and 17 Mbps and your upload speed will achieve 2 Mbps. However, the actual speed you experience will vary and may be lower than your estimate. This may be due to a number of factors including your use of WiFi, your equipment, your internal wiring, peak time congestion and the number of subscribers accessing a particular website.
The minimum download speed to your Virgin Media router should not fall below 8 Mbps. If this happens for three consecutive days or more and we are unable to fix the problem within 30 days of you reporting the problem to Virgin Media, you may have the right to exit your Virgin Media contract without penalty. If you receive a download speed to your Virgin Media router which is below the minimum download speed, please contact us.
For more information on estimated speeds, how speeds may be affected by policies such as traffic management and fair usage, our commitment to Ofcom's Broadband Speed Code and what to do if you experience speed problems, check out virginmedia.com/ourspeeds.