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Virgin Media UK to Cut 50Mbps and 152Mbps Broadband Bundle Prices

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 (9:13 am) - Score 3,471

Cable operator Virgin Media will today reduce the cost of their entry-level 50Mbps “Big Connection” broadband and phone package and their 152Mbps triple-play “Big Kahuna” bundle significantly for the first 12 months of service, although the new prices will only be available until 12th March 2015.

At present the Big Connection and Big Kahuna packages cost from £12 and £39 per month respectively for the first 12 months of service (£17.50 and £49 per month thereafter), although under the new offer the first 12 months for both packages will cost from just £8.75 and £33 respectively.

As usual an 18 month contract applies to both and Virgin Phone Line Rental for £16.99 a month is also payable on top of the broadband price, although the line rental can be reduced to the equivalent of £13.66 per month when pre-paid for one year in advance.

Big Connection
* Download Speed up to 50Mbps
* Upload Speed up to 3Mbps
* Unlimited Usage
* Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines, 0870 numbers and Virgin Mobile numbers
* FREE Setup
* FREE SuperHub Router
* FREE Web Safe Internet Security
* 5GB Free Storage

PRICE: £8.75 per month (£17.50 thereafter) + Line Rental

Big Kahuna
* As above, plus..
* Download Speed up to 152Mbps
* Upload Speed up to 12Mbps
* XL TV Package (BTSport, ESPN, 46 HD channels, 16 Sky channels etc.)
* TiVo 500GB Set Top Bot

PRICE: £33 per month (£49 thereafter) + Line Rental

It’s important to point out that Virgin Media’s cable network is mostly only available in dense urban areas and covers around 44% of the United Kingdom, although over the next few years this will be expanded to reach around 60%.

NOTE: At the time of writing only Virgin’s Big Kahuna bundle has added the discount, but to see the Big Connection price cut you have to go here until they update the public site.

Leave a Comment
28 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    £50 per month for 150Mbps – sounds like a real bargain. If it works well.

    By contrast:

    http://www.upc.nl/pakketten/abonnementen-alles-in-1/alles-in-1-extra-power-pakket/

    £29.50 per month.

    1. Avatar MikeW says:

      I read that UPC deal as 71euro pm, discounted to 40euro pm for 3 months. Or £52, discounted to £29. Can’t see that there is a “line rental” to add.

      VM’s offer is £50pm, full price £66pm.

    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      You can get 240/20 with UPC in the Czech Rep for £30 a month http://www.upc.cz/internet/

      Sadly you have more chance of winning the lottery than actually getting those speeds. I’m in a “busy” neighbourhood on 40/4 http://www.speedtest.net/result/4164739135.png

    3. Avatar PaulC says:

      Must be a fluke poor test, that ISPs average is…

      http://www.netindex.com/download/2,83/Czech-Republic/
      “UPC CESKA REPUBLICA, S.R.O. 3.7 stars and 42.94 Mbps”

      Compared to this country…
      http://www.netindex.com/download/2,4/United-Kingdom/

      HYPEROPTIC LTD 4.6 Stars and 114.14 Mbps
      VIRGIN MEDIA 3 Stars and 52.62 Mbps (the closest to a similar performing service not surprisingly)
      KCOM 1.9 Stars and 26.79 Mbps
      BT 2.5 Stars and 25.81 Mbps

      Apart from Hyperoptic No ISP here does what i would deem thrash them. Virgin is reasonably similar and the rest are no where even in the picture to performing the same and certainly not better.

    4. Avatar AndyH says:

      In what way is it a fluke? I’m in a large residential area and speeds are always slow for us. We’re waiting for the FTTH upgrade in our area.

    5. Avatar PaulC says:

      I can only apologise if i have offended you, i believed you were UK based.

    6. Avatar Ben says:

      Alternatively in enabled areas you can get 300/300 FTTB with Elion (TeliaSonera) in Estonia for a mighty €33 (£24). 100/100 is only €26 (£19).

    7. Avatar Paul says:

      Nice find Ben, lucky Estonia i guess. Then again large areas of Europe still seem to be better of both for speed and Price than us in the UK based on prior reports on here.

    8. Avatar MikeW says:

      Of course, the average wage in Estonia is a quarter of that here, so those prices probably feel less affordable to the average Estonian.

      Lucky for TeliaSonera, too, that 69% of Estonians live in flats (second highest rate in Europe, to the Latvians at 72%), while the UK has a much lower level at 18%. That massively helps their rollout, predominantly FTTB.

    9. Avatar Bob says:

      What’s with the ridiculous comparisons to bundles in places like the Czech Republic? The cost of living over there is much lower than the UK so isn’t comparable in the slightest. Even though it seems cheap to us it’s actually expensive for the people living and earning a wage there.

    10. Avatar Paul says:

      I think it is a fair compare. How much does a 300/300 or 100/100 service cost here in the UK if you want it?

      Factor that against average wages for this country and Estonia and i think you will find the cost works out about the same percentage wise to your wage. In fact probably worse for us in the UK.

      The actual headline figure you pay for the service does not really enter the equation if you are basing things on wages, only the amount you have to pay out of your wages for the services does.

      A 100/100 Ethernet service here in the UK would likely cost you around £200-250 per month or 10 times the cost of the 100/100 (£19) service in Estonia. Our average wages though are NOT 10 times greater than Estonia they are only around 3-4 times better. So it is them that are getting the better end of the deal and better product for less cost.

      The UK despite higher wages has some of the highest living costs in Europe, for food as well as common household bills.

  2. Avatar Bloke says:

    Still have the pitifully slow upload speeds I see, and that’s before the throttling starts.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Cable – 12Mbps

      VDSL – between maybe 0.2Mbps and 19.5Mbps

      4G – between nil and maybe 50Mbps

      In what way is cable “pitifully slow”?

    2. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

      I got 42.88 upload on EE today probably highest I’ve ever seen.

    3. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

      Nice at moment I only have a HTC One M7 which is LTE Cat 3 so not getting full benefit of 2x20MHz. iPhone 6 16GB is on the way from Apple so I will be doing some speed tests when it arrives. People of said I should of got a LTE-A phone but most of UK won’t get that for at least a good couple of years. iPhone 6 has VoLTE support so least it will least me a while.

  3. Avatar Bob says:

    Still can barely scrape 4Mbps DSL, have to rely on 20Mbps 3G for big downloads.

  4. Avatar adslmax says:

    The upload on VM is still traffic management except download. The upload can be varies from 8Mbps to 12Mbps depend on usage allowance and traffic management.

    Plusnet FTTC upload is unlimited, no traffic management and getting 19.5Mbps!

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      PlusNet FTTC is affected by distance and line quality. You wouldn’t be seeing 19.5Meg at say 1km, more like 6Meg at best. Additionally I read more reports of congestion with BT, PlusNet and Sky than any other ISP. Anecdotal, but these seem to come in “waves” and take a while to get fixed.

      I thought that I’d have a look at VM’s traffic management. It isn’t entirely clear to me but it looks like it’s only P2P and newsgroups (do people still use those?!)

      So to me this reads as a non-issue unless you’re into pirating material or distributing large files via P2P.

    2. Avatar PaulC says:

      My post for some reason was removed that highlighted similar things including if upload is important mobile is probably best, download then Virgin Media is best.

    3. Avatar adslmax says:

      Lucky my FTTC is only less than 200m away from the street cabinet, so I getting maximum sync rate.

    4. Avatar MikeW says:

      Upload best via mobile? Not around here.

      Using EE 4G with a cat4 device, I’d get daytime speeds of around 15/2, but by mid-afternoon that would regularly drop to 5/0.01 – totally unusable. The absolute best, in the middle of the night, would be 30/5.

      That is with an external antenna and RSSI of 90%.

      I’m very pleased to be back to my dependable FTTC.

      VM’s limitation with upstream speeds is a non-issue until other subscribers on your cable segment manage to saturate it for you. The real problem is that it doesn’t take many such users to cause this.

    5. Avatar Paul says:

      “Upload best via mobile? Not around here.”

      I guess like everything broadband it depends on where you live. The one thing that is without question though as demonstrated by other posters is that Mobile can and does deliver higher upload speeds than BT based FTTC or Virgin based services.

      The only thing that stops mobile being more popular at the moment is costs, otherwise in many areas it could and would especially for people be the service to have. I imagine based on some of DTMark posts he can only dream about getting the speeds he does on his mobile connection via a fixed line where he lives.

      No doubt as you point out for other locations FTTC or Virgin performs better. The MAXIMUM capable upload speed though for general home services clearly goes to mobile though.

  5. Avatar Dragon says:

    @DTMark

    Virgin still have STM on the upstream which throttles the upload speeds, probably because the way cable works and the upstream being shared, it also appears to be 2 DOCSIS channels at QAM16 (at least that’s what my Vm router says it’s seeing), Compare that with 8 channels at QAM256 for the downstream. They have considerably more downstream capacity on the access network than upstream.

    Vm’s network performance also varies depending on areas, some areas the access network is in a better state than others.

    You can see the traffic management thresholds for upstream throttling here.

    http://my.virginmedia.com/traffic-management/traffic-management-policy-thresholds.html

    1. Avatar Paul says:

      I actually thought the VM upload management was worse than that but that is not bad at all. You would have to be hammering your upload to reach several gigs in an hour. On the 12Mb upload by my rough calculating you would have to be running that at full pelt for half an hour to be affected. I tend to agree with DTMark “a non-issue unless you’re into pirating material or distributing large files via P2P”.

    2. Avatar DanielM says:

      ““a non-issue unless you’re into pirating material or distributing large files via P2P”.”

      nonsense. you can easily use the cap. i for one suffer this cap, i do alot of streaming on the likes of twitch.

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      No idea what Twitch is, but it strikes me that residential broadband connections are not designed to be used for streaming on the upstream.

      But then while ISPs persist with the socialised model of spreading the cost of heavy users across the entire customer base as opposed to charging customers for what they use, people will then rightly think “I’m entitled to make full use of this”.

      I recall posting something similar about setting up a webcam on our bird feeders on an ADSL connection costing about £20 per month. No need to turn off the streaming at night, nobody will see anything and the data will go to waste, but it won’t cost me a penny more.

    4. Avatar Paul says:

      Twitch only requires around 3500Kbps tops to upload in 720 and 1080 and that is Variable bitrate so not constant at that rate. Partner streams are only around 1500-2000kbps.

      At that speed you would not be affected by VM traffic management on any package except the 30Mb service (playing it close on the 60Mb which ironically is lower limit than the 50Mb package).

      The 50Mb package with 3Mb uploads you could not even upload at twitches max for starters and even if you could with the limit of 1000Mb per hour to do that you would have to be uploading for nearly the whole hour (40mins) at the max bitrate of 3500kbpsa. Which you could not do with only 3Mb anyway.

      With the 100Mb, 120Mb and 152Mb (one being 6Mb up and the other two being 12Mb up) you would not get need to worry about the throttle either.

      Even if you did get throttled that brings you down after the first hour to 3072kbps on 100Mb and 6144kbps on the 120 and 152Mb packages so you would still be able to stream to twitch at basically full pelt.

      You can force twitch to stream over 3500kbps but they do not support it or recommend it. So no idea how you were affected there Daniel 🙁

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