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Price Hikes as Virgin Media Start Boosting Broadband Upload Speeds

Monday, July 1st, 2019 (10:55 am) - Score 11,121
Virgin Media 2014 UK Logo

Cable ISP Virgin Media UK appears to have quietly started boosting the upload speeds of customers on their 200Mbps ultrafast broadband (download) packages, which previously experienced an upload rate of 12Mbps but is now being boosted to 20Mbps. On top of that they’ve also hiked some of their prices.

Regular readers may recall that our sources predicted this increase, which we covered as part of the 500Mbps launch in April (here). At the time we said that the new product would be followed by the introduction of faster upload speeds (i.e. taking some of the packages to a 10/1 ratio of download to upload speed – except on 350Mbps and 500Mbps where the uploads are both 35Mbps).

By the looks of it this process will be a phased upgrade and it appears to have started with their 200Mbps plan. At some point this should be followed by 50Mbps (down) subscribers being given an upload boost from 3Mbps to 5Mbps and 100Mbps (down) subscribers going from 6Mbps to 10Mbps. A somewhat overdue change given that considerably slower FTTC lines have been offering uploads of 10-20Mbps for many years now.

On top of that Virgin Media has begun offering bill credits worth between £50 and up to £125 on their range of ultrafast broadband and phone packages for new customers, although these will only be available to take until 3rd July 2019. At the same time they’ve hiked their one-off setup fee from £25 to £35.

As usual all new customers will also receive a Hub 3.0 (SuperHub v3) wireless router, a 12 month minimum term contract, unlimited usage, access to Virgin’s UK network of WiFi hotspots (e.g. London Underground), free UK weekend phone calls, internet security / parental controls and email.

UPDATE 10:58am

Just as we posted this Virgin Media sent an announcement about some annual price rises, which makes the news somewhat bitter-sweet.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said:

“Changing prices is not a decision we take lightly. We invest more than £1billion a year in our network and services to keep giving our customers great value.

We continue to do more for our customers and lead the way with the fastest broadband speeds – now reaching 500Mbps with gigabit speeds launching soon – giving them the worry-free ability to stream, game, shop and chat on multiple devices whenever, wherever and however they want.

As well as increasing speeds for our customers, we’ve launched new Intelligent WiFi features to improve in-home connectivity and automatically solve issues, as well as putting our best TV box and router into millions of homes. Our customers are doing more with their connectivity, with data use increasing by almost 40% each year and video streaming accounting for more than 60% of traffic. Despite a 300% increase in business rates, which is a direct tax on our ultrafast network, we continue to support this demand with our ongoing investment.

“We are committed to giving our customers an incredible service with unrivalled connectivity, great, high-quality programming and innovative new upgrades – and our customers can expect much more to come.”

Here are the details on what is changing:

* Prices will change for most of our cable customers, with the significant majority of those seeing an increase between £2.50 and £4.50.

* The average increase is £3.30 (inc VAT)

* The average price increase is 4.9%

* We’ll be writing to our customers to explain these changes and we’ll continue to make sure they can experience even more from Virgin Media

* Customers will see their September or October bill change – the date the price change is effective will be made clear in the communication sent to customers

Prices tend to rise because operators are frequently adding all sorts of new services, developing new systems and consumers are also gobbling significantly more data every year. Suffice to say that service improvements and rising demand cost money, which means that ultimately customers will end up paying more and all big ISPs seem to follow the same trend.

Providers are also under pressure to adopt all sorts of new rules, such as having to cater for the hugely expensive new system of automatic compensation (here) and Ofcom’s revised broadband speed code of practice (here).

Many of the above increases may go above inflation and could thus become subject to Ofcom’s rule against mid-contract price hikes, which means that existing customers may be able to exit their contract penalty free (you need to do this within 30 days of receiving Virgin’s formal notification letter/email). Just remember that other major ISPs will also be increasing their prices.

Alternatively customers could try contacting the operator directly and haggling for a lower price (Retentions – Tips for Cutting Your Broadband Bill).

UPDATE 11:39am

The upload speed upgrades on Virgin’s 50Mbps and 100Mbps packages are indeed expected to follow during this summer, but a solid date has not yet been confirmed.

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Mark Jackson
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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21 Responses
  1. Avatar bob

    They could charge me double if they wanted for my 350Mb, there is no way i could go back to BT FTTC.

    • Avatar Rob

      I would happily pay double to get Virgin Media Broadband, unfortunately it’s not available in my area, stuck on FTTC, right now I’m load balancing 2 FTTC lines just to get a semi-decent connection.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Similarly for me, price isn’t an issue – availability is. I’m stuck with load-balancing ADSL and 4G, and both together I still don’t have a superfast connection.

    • Avatar Ian

      I actually went from virgin 350 to nowtv broadband.

      Best move ever.

      Virgin are a complete joke in my area, they offered 350 mbps and in the evenings they gave me maybe 1% of that at 3 mbps.

      Its a scam.

      They continually told me that it would get better for months and reused to let me leave without a penalty. scammy company.

    • Avatar mrpops2ko

      Similar scenario, I went from their 400/22 package to a BT 80/20 connection, and noticed serious gains in stability. I’ve kinda come to the conclusion that its oversubscription in my area, I remember a period of time with Virgin Media where it was rock solid for over a year but then deteriorated severely.

      I think people who have the best connections are in areas that are serviced by multiple providers. I’m probably switching back to VM next cycle, just to see what its like and if its improved, I miss having crazy fast downloads.

  2. Avatar Dominic Davis-Foster

    I used to be a Virgin Media customer, but left because I was only getting 2Mbps upload speed when they were promising 12. What would I get now? 10Mbps?

    • Avatar kaptainkandikat

      i had a similiar experience.

      They told me that as long as I was able to use the service then there was nothing for them do to. up to 200mbps. 10mbps was fine apparently.

      virgin media? I’d rather go without

  3. Avatar Danny

    Cureently with VM one their 250mbps with the gamer addon (this meant i was already getting 20mbps upload due to having this so what do i do now cancel that or do i get an improvement on top of what i was already getting?

    Plus I have had issues with service before with VM but always found their tech team and engineers to be top notch and sorted my issues out on numerous occasions over the past decade I have been a customer,
    To be honest little chance of me changing anyway as im my street there is no FTTC but the rest of the estate does (they missed my street out for some reason) so i can either get VM with the speeds I do or go to sub 1mbps speeds! thankfully virgin work amazingly in my area.

  4. Avatar Moses Jonson

    I’ve been with CM for 2 years and 6 months now and love package(tariff broadband 100mbps/ Mbps up), i do not mind the upload speed upgrade, i also don’t mind paying a little bit more for it too, I can never go back on ISP that is connected to a BT infrastructure generally they’re the worst in terms of providing quality speeds and internet life (since i am constantly connected.

  5. Avatar KC

    Really wish HyperOptic would spread out. Virgin’s the only REAL option for me where I am. Noticed the 36MB upload speed at the weekend; thought it was a blip!

    • Avatar Archie

      Nope! Keep your eye on this page. It’s been for over a month now and all it required was a reboot for your router!

  6. Avatar Mart

    Why is their upload speed so slow? Can someone explain to me? Is it the system?

    • Avatar Archie

      Look up the DOCSIS standard for cable connections. You’ll see that with 3.1 they’ll be able to go a lot higher.

  7. Avatar Dave

    I left Virgin Media last year after yet again another price rise, moved over to NowTV.

    It’s always take take take from them for pretty much nothing extra, my bank balance is quite happy at not having to shell out all that cash per month for something that I’m not actually missing at all

    • Avatar Neil

      I was on the VM 150mb and had finally reached £43.74, and thought enoughs enough, rung up to cancel and got the price down to £29.00 for the next 18 months (plus raises of course). Put a more in the diary to ring up again in 17 months.

      Every 2 to 3 years I go through a crappy period where the network gets oversubscribed and the upstream network can’t cope.

      On the whole very positive about VM.

  8. Avatar Bob

    Can’t really complain about the BB itself. Consistently get over what I pay for 380/38 but really hope they replace the modem as even in modem mode the latency can be noticed. Also the CS is trash and this price hike is gonna be a pain to renegotiate. If u cancel and reorder in a someone else’s name do you need to have any downtime?

  9. Avatar Rachel

    Virgin Media SuperHub 3 and TP-LINK hub Wi-Fi is working now just fine Brodband available service my bedroom need downstairs room for high speed data quick 24 hours ago.

  10. Avatar Adam

    You guys do realise that if you call up the retentions department they give you insane discounts right?

    I’m paying £35 a month for basic TV, phone line + weekend calls + 200mbit.

    You can’t get unlimited broadband at BT’s *lol* superfast 74mbit ish speeds anywhere for that, let alone the TV as well.

    I think BT’s 4mbit basic package is like £28 a month or something dumb, serious, the first thing I do when I’m in the last month of my Contract is to call retentions and have them switch the price, they won’t let ya go.

    • Avatar Andy

      Er you can… Plusnet at £27.99/month with no setup fee. 80/20 FTTC and basic phone.

      Not affiliated with PN, just a happy user.

  11. Avatar Mike

    I’ve had virgin for the past 15 years. Since last January I’ve had to use 4G in the house as it’s faster than the WiFi. I’ve spoken to them and they sent me a booster. Still no difference. I’ve upped from 100 to 200 still no difference. I don’t understand how something that worked so well can suddenly deteriorate so bad.

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