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Virgin Media’s Next Broadband Speed Boost Edges Closer as 300Mb Spotted

Friday, April 10th, 2015 (3:27 pm) - Score 25,685

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a growing number of Virgin Media customers report a range of unusually high speedtests, which appear to lend additional support to the widely rumoured introduction of a new top 300Mbps download speed tier.

The unofficial news of another forthcoming double speed boost is nothing new and indeed we’ve mentioned the plans quite a few times since late last year, including as part of our Summary of 2014-15 Technology Changes. Such increases are usually deployed “at no extra cost“, although price rises that push above the level of inflation do tend to follow further down the line (just as they do with other ISPs).

At present the latest plan appears to focus on downstream speeds and there’s currently no certainty that Virgin Media’s upload performance will finally be given a much needed boost, although the indications do hint at an improvement (e.g. the new top-tier might see uploads rise from 12 to 15Mbps). As such we’re currently anticipating the following changes, which might surface sometime around the summer and late 2015 (note: this is not yet officially confirmed).

Virgin’s Predicted Cable Speed Boosts for 2015

Current Package: 50Mbps [3Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 100Mbps

Current Package: 100Mbps [6Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 200Mbps

Current Package: 152Mbps [12Mbps Upload]
New Speed: 300Mbps

The big change we’re seeing now is with the prevalence of Virgin Media customers who are making public their speedtest results, which appear to show improvements that mirror the above predicted increases.

Reports like this have cropped up all over the place since mid-March, such as here, here and not to mention in Thinkbroadband’s testing. It’s now arguably Virgin Media’s worst kept secret, although the operator cautions that it may only be a temporary trial.

A Virgin Media Community Support Agent said:

We are always trialling new faster speeds and this temporary speed increase is free of charge.

We will be returning your speed to the original tier of service when the trial ends but in the meantime please enjoy the free temporary speed increase on us 🙂.”

In fairness we can still recall the 200Mbps testing that took place several years ago and yet the related product never materialised. However, given BT’s plan to deploy G.fast tech and 500Mbps to “most homes” in the not too distant future, it’s understandable that Virgin Media, which are also busy extending their network to reach 60% of the UK (here), would want to keep ahead of the game.

Crucially any new boost will still be using Virgin Media’s existing DOCSIS / EuroDocsis 3.0 cable platform and not the latest DOCSIS3.1 technology, which will shortly see its first UK trials, yet the commercial deployment won’t follow until a little later (2016 perhaps). Naturally it would also make sense for Virgin Media to combine as many of these big upgrades and infrastructure investments together as possible.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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