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Virgin Media UK Boosting Upload Speeds for 100Mbps Tier

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 (10:10 am) - Score 18,375
virgin media fast broadband 2017

Cable and fibre optic broadband ISP Virgin Media UK has continued the rollout of their planned 10:1 ratio boost to upload speeds by raising the upstream rate from 6Mbps to 10Mbps on their popular M100 (100Mbps download) package, with 50Mbps (M50) subscribers also benefiting.

The plan to increase upload speeds was first officially confirmed in July 2019 alongside their annual price hikes (here), although at the time they were only applying this to their 200Mbps tier (i.e. uploads went from 12Mbps to 20Mbps). Since the end of last month we’ve also been seeing customers on their M100 plan benefit from an upstream boost to 10Mbps.

The next group to benefit after the latest M100 upgrade were those on their entry-level 50Mbps packages, which have seen uploads boosted from 3Mbps to 5Mbps. The exception to this is their new 500Mbps tier, which has already been given the same upload speeds as their existing 350Mbps plan (i.e. 35Mbps).

However if you want a 50Mbps upload speed then you’ll need to wait for the launch of their 1Gbps package via DOCSIS 3.1 technology (here), which is currently in trial around Southampton (Hampshire, England) but will become available across virtually their entire network by the end of 2021.

Separately Virgin Media appear to have stopped selling their entry-level 50Mbps tier to new broadband and phone customers (at least it doesn’t show up on their public site), although it’s still available on standalone broadband and triple-play TV packages. Meanwhile the only way to take their top 500Mbps tier is still as part of a bundle with their Pay TV services, either that or as a business connection.

The ISP has also added a £50 bill credit this week to their existing broadband discounts for new customers.

UPDATE 2:57pm

A spokesperson for Virgin Media has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that their “upload boosts have now been completed across all products.” I’ve adjusted the language above slightly to reflect this because we initially weren’t sure if the rollout for their M50 package had also been completed.

Leave a Comment
26 Responses
  1. Avatar Bill

    Are there any technical reasons why Virgin have preferred lower upload speeds than Openreach?

    Or is it based on their assessment of what they think the customer needs?

    • Avatar Joe

      There were technical reasons originally but these days much less so. VM is far behind the Ul speeds of Euro rivals so…

    • DOCSIS technology has always had plenty of technical issues with upstream performance. If you look at UPC’s latest DOCSIS 3.1 network in Poland then its 1Gbps package shows a 40Mbps upload speed and Unity Media in Germany is 50Mbps on the same tier.

      DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex technology can do symmetrical speeds but that would require such a major upgrade to adopt in the UK that I can’t see it happening for a good few years, if ever.

    • Avatar Archie

      @Mark

      I’ve seen a number of people talk about the need for a massive upgrade for VM to do DOCSIS 3.1 synchronous. Would you be able to point me in the direction of somewhere or perhaps explain what would need to be done in order to achieve that, please? I’m interested in how it all works.

    • Well it would be cheaper than converting HFC to FTTP outright but that’s not saying much. Upgrading the existing HFC DOCSIS network to FDX (full duplex) is almost certain to require node + 0 (i.e. deeper fibre nodes closer to homes – very expensive), as well as the complete replacement of tap banks, splitters, isolators etc.

      Competition from full fibre may eventually force Virgin Media to consider this but it would be such a slow and expensive process that I can’t see it happening for a good few years yet. They’ll want to get some mileage out of the base DOCSIS 3.1 spec first and there is mileage to be had.

    • Avatar Matthew

      @Mark

      I think they will combine Full Duplex with going to DCOSIS 4.0 in a few years time if they ever do it.

    • Avatar CarlT

      4.0 is Full Duplex DOCSIS, Matthew. 4.0 is what was formerly known as Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1.

  2. Avatar SB

    I use Virgin Media but I’m really struggling with the upload speed. I have 100MB internet speed, but upload only reaches around 5-7MB. If you have a couple of web cameras and if you are doing some video meetings.. then it starts lagging, which isn’t great.

    • Avatar Mike

      Why not just upgrade your package?

    • Avatar Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry

      Well if you reboot your router, you’ll now have 10Mbps. But judging by my experience, you have to actually reboot the router to get the new speed.

      Running speetest-cli from a directly-attached Linux router got me 6.26 Mbps up before rebooting the router and 10.13Mbps up after, with 102.45 Mbps down each time.

      On the Hub 3 you can go to your hub page at https://192.168.0.1/?device_reboot&mid=ReloadAndReboot (Admin/Reboot and Reload) and then select Restart/Reboot at the bottom. Or just turn it off and on again if you prefer.

    • Avatar JW

      Not everyone is getting 10:1 ratio, according to Virgin tech support upload speed between 5-10% of you download speed is within guideline and nothing they can do.

      Also, the tech support I spoke to is very “competent”, keep asking me if I know how internet work, why do you want more upload speed when you download speed is good. I told him I have NAS at home which is why I want more upload but he doesn’t know what NAS is.

  3. Avatar Albert hanlon

    Just ditched robbing virgin..paid for 200 mb/s.my average over 6 months was 51 mb/s.complained 5 times….engineers havent a clue
    Virgin says it’s not qualified for compensation
    Strange how sky broadband is 11meg and dont have a problem….avoid virgin like the plague

    • Avatar Mike

      Why not just downgrade to the lowest package if 50Mbps is all they can do?

    • Avatar mike

      You downgraded to 11Mb because you got 50Mb? That makes so much sense. Why didn’t you use Virgin’s speed guarantee to get a discount?

    • Avatar Reality

      @mike

      take note of the “meg”, which means MB and not Mb… “11 meg” works out to 88Mb…

      perhaps learning the basics about computers would help you in these discussions lol

  4. Avatar aa

    £50 Bull Credit? This is new

  5. Avatar SimonR

    I get that some people could really do with these kinds of speeds, but there are many other areas where Virgin is going to find itself woefully behind the times soon.

    I’m with them, but am awaiting a fibre line. I would have waited for VM to improve, but their recent attitude towards competition in Southampton has made me want to leave ASAP. (I’m not in Southampton, but bullying from a company leaves me cold)

    • Avatar Spurple

      Huh? What’s wrong with competition between businesses?

      Virgin has basically said they’d match Toob in order to make it hard for them to gain a foothold. That means either lowering prices or improving speeds or both, since toob will be FTTP.

    • Avatar Ben

      I quite agree. I’m in Southampton and I can’t wait to ditch VM and get Toob.

    • Avatar SimonR

      @Spurple – competition is fine, an arrogant attitude is not in my opinion. If you publicly portray yourself as a bully or mock your competition, then you’re unlikely to get my business. Just how I am, and others will be different.

      As I say though, I’m not in that region. I’m in one of the many others where VM have had dominance for years and they’re doing very little to retain it. What they’re providing won’t be attractive in 5-10 years, I don’t think, and they’re not likely to fix that. Possible end of the road.

      (although I’m in two minds whether competition being good for the consumer is still relevant in some areas of modern life, but that’s a different story)

  6. Avatar Graham

    Have been with virgin for over 15 years so when I want to change my package to new £29 one I was told not a chance as new customers only ,,, joke ,, they offered me a cheaper deal but was told I would have to lose my landline which in the beginning was not a problem but now I try and get hold of Virgin on my mobile and I’m kept on the phone for over 40 minutes and still no reply why I am so going to dump this when my contract up absolute joke

    • Avatar Nick

      I’m no fan of VM, but they’re the best in my area for fibre. I downgraded from 200 to 100 as I don’t need the 200. I get a steady 109Mbps on a speed check and get the expected 13-14Mbps when actually downloading something from steam….. It’s slow, but hey, I’m in no rush. I pay 30ppm landline included. A fair price I think.

  7. Avatar Toby Adams

    I think they’ve made some core network improvements too. I now consistently get 8-9ms to fast.com whereas it always used to be around 13ms

  8. Avatar I..

    Bt have the worst WiFi my guarantee speed is 1 and I get 0.22 to 0.6 on my device and they said the guarantee speed is for the hub not the device any help on how to get out of the contract without paying the fee

  9. Avatar BenJ

    Here’s my speedtest with virgin media done just now;

    Ping: 8ms
    Down: 513.35Mbps
    Up: 48.04Mbps

    It’s a bit slow this morning. I usually get about 560 down and 55 up.

  10. Avatar Bob

    I moved from Australia where I was getting 100/30 for A$100 a month (about 50 pounds). I’m on FTTP here in the UK whereas I was only FTTN in Oz yet Virgin can’t offer more than 10Mb/s upload speeds…

    Hyperoptic make Virgin look like a bunch of clown shoes. Absolute amateurs.

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