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Virgin Media UK Refresh Bundles and Add 600Mbps Broadband UPDATE2

Monday, June 29th, 2020 (8:07 am) - Score 6,505

Cable and full fibre broadband ISP Virgin Media UK has done exactly as we reported a couple of weeks ago (here) and today made their 516Mbps tier available as a standalone package for the first time (no TV bundle required). At the same time they’ve also bumped the top speed of their Ultimate Oomph TV bundle to 600Mbps.

At present most of Virgin Media’s customers – both via their Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based networks – are still covered by their existing EuroDOCSIS 3.0 platform (communication standard for cable networks) and this currently offers top advertised average speed of 516Mbps via their old HUB 3.0 router (i.e. max profile speed of 575Mbps download and 38.5Mbps upload).

Separately they’re also deploying a new DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade which, when using the new HUB 4.0 router, will make 1Gbps (50Mbps upload) speeds available across their entire network by the end of 2021 (latest roll-out update). But in the meantime the best that most subscribers can get is their 516Mbps plan and until now you could only take that as part of their Ultimate Oomph TV bundle (standalone or phone bundles max out at 362Mbps).

However Virgin Media has today confirmed the changes that we first leaked a couple of weeks ago. In short, the 516Mbps tier is now available on both their standalone broadband and broadband with phone bundles. At the same time they’ve moved to keep Oomph subscribers happy by injecting a mild speed boost to 600Mbpsat no extra cost” (this remains a EuroDOCIS product and doesn’t require the new DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade).

NOTE: The 516Mbps tier seems to replace 362Mbps on their advertised product pages, but 362Mbps still exists within the order system.

In terms of how much the new 516Mbps packages cost, customers can expected to pay £46 a month for 18 months (then £62 a month) for a standalone broadband package, which rises to £52 a month for 18 months (then £69 a month) for broadband and phone. A £35 one-off setup fee applies to both and there’s the option of a short 30 day contract term at extra cost.

On top of that the operator has increased the mobile data that’s available with their Oomph bundles (i.e. existing customers can “more than double their data” at no extra cost on selected SIMs) and introduced 18 month contract terms (previously 12 month), which they say “offer customers even greater value as they can lock in discounts for longer.”

Old Oomph mobile data allowance New Oomph mobile data allowance
2GB 5GB
5GB 15GB
15GB 40GB

Jeff Dodds, Virgin Media’s COO, said:

“We’re adding the racing stripes to our entire bundle line-up by making our M500 Fibre broadband available with all of our packages.

It means our customers can live life in the fast lane and do everything they want online. Whether that’s streaming Spotify, binging a box set in 4K, gearing up for an epic gaming session or joining a work Zoom call – with our incredible connectivity you can do it all in the same home at the same time.”

Meanwhile Virgin Media’s next-generation 1Gbps (DOCSIS 3.1) broadband service, which is currently available across big parts of Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Reading and Southampton, has been given a new, lower price point across many of its bundles. For example, a broadband and phone bundle now costs £64 per month (down from £67) and their top Ulimate Oomph costs £111 (down from £119).

Finally, VM has also tweaked their Personal Picks TV packs with lower pricing (existing customers paying the old pricing will be moved to the lower pricing). Personal Picks are now priced at £7 per month for the first Pick with each subsequent Pick costing £5 per month. Personal Picks were previously priced at £10 for the first pick with each subsequent Pick costing £7 per month.

On the 600Mbps upgrade we should point out that VM uses language like this: “Customers will be upgraded from M500 broadband to M600 … when the speed tier becomes available.” We have asked for clarification on the use of “when” in that sentence, although as we’ve previously reported it often takes several months for the operator to roll-out a speed boost across a particular part of their based (i.e. it’s usually done gradually in a phase way). We expect the aim will be to complete this by the end of 2020.

UPDATE 11:11am

We asked VM about the upgrade plan for 600Mbps on their top TV bundle and were told: “We’re unable to share the timescales right now, but we’ll let our Ultimate Oomph customers know in due course when their connection will be upgraded to 600Mbps at no extra cost.” Likewise we’ve noted that the old 362Mbps tier does still exist, but only if you start an order process, so don’t expect any upgrades if you’re on that tier.

UPDATE 3:44pm

One of our readers (thanks Marcel) has spotted this little line at the bottom of Virgin Media’s own product page: “Upgrades for eligible Ultimate Oomph customers from 500Mbps to 600Mbps will be completed by 31st March 2021.” Apparently nobody bothered to tell the operator’s media team this when we enquired earlier on.

Leave a Comment
85 Responses
  1. Avatar JamesW

    Probably get a lot of backlash for saying this.

    Would it not be in there interest to start sending out new router/modems to areas that are coming up for there upgrades? This would mean that they would get a lot of DOCSIS 3.0 modems off the network quickly.

    • Avatar CarlT

      You want to try justifying replacing perfectly reasonably working devices to the bean counters at not that far under 3-figures a pop?

      3.1 kit is still pretty expensive in the grand scheme.

    • Avatar Mike

      An alternative would be to let customers supply their own modem like cable companies in the US do.

    • Avatar CarlT

      It would be an alternative but not one that any operator wants to offer if they can help it.

      The cable operators have to maintain the DoCSIS side of all the modems which means firmware updates, etc, for all of them alongside ironing out any issues.

      There are really good reasons only the country legally required to allow users to bring their own devices does so.

  2. Avatar mike

    “NOTE: The 516Mbps tier replaces 362Mbps on standalone broadband and with phone.”

    Currently you can buy either 350/362 or 500/516 so it doesn’t seem to have replaced it.

    • Avatar James ™

      On their website it shows only the M50, M100, M200 then M500 for broadband and phone as a new customer!

    • Avatar Nikhil

      Yes, when you try and order broadband it now has 4 tiers available
      M50 £38 a month (£28 with phone)
      M100 £28 a month! (£38 with phone)
      M200 £34 a month (£40 with phone)
      M350 £40 a month (£46 with phone)
      M500 £46 a month (£52 with phone)

      all on 18 month contracts!

    • Avatar Gavin

      @Nikhil

      I noticed that pricing too. It seems very oddly priced that the M100 package is cheaper than the M50 package. What is the logic behind that? I know the price goes up after 18 months but by then you’d be out of contract.

    • Avatar VM

      @Gavin

      Wrong, the price can go up during 18 months contract not AFTER 18 months.

    • Avatar Sandra

      But you do get the chance to re negotiate or leave – could be worse – could be with Sky who do NOT allow such a thing to happen.

    • Avatar Gavin

      @VM

      It says it on VM’s own page that the price goes up after the 18 month contract. All of them do. M100 goes up to £44, M200 goes up to £50, M350 goes up to £56, M500 goes up to £62.

      Interestingly the M50 package that me and Nikhil observed as now disappeared from the page. I noticed they are updating the website as a testB pop up box keeps appearing when I load each page.

  3. Avatar André

    Out of interest, do speed upgrades involve any significant work on the physical layer of the network?
    Why do they take months to complete? I thought it would mostly involve a metaphorical “flicking a switch”…

    • Avatar CarlT

      There is the small matter of having the capacity there to actually deliver any results from the upgrade.

      Changing the configuration is a flick of a switch. The capacity to ensure it works is a little more involved.

  4. Avatar Granger

    So I am currently on their M350 tier and my contract is currently expired. I wonder if I will automatically be upgraded to M500 or whether I have to renew my contract.

  5. Avatar Jamie P

    Where is the option for 30 day rolling contract?. I’m not taking out a new contract as im out of it now.

    • Avatar VM

      No chance for M500 for no contract, you are forcing into 18 months contract for higher broadband stand alone! Crafty virgin media want to keep your money for 18 months including price will increasing during your contract.

    • Avatar Sandra

      VM or Max – stop spouting shit will ya!?

      You can leave if the price goes up – or get a better deal. you know this so why waste your time typing twaddle!?

    • Avatar CarlT

      VM/Max – you just agreed a 24 month contract with Plusnet. I really don’t think you are in a position to complain about contract lengths.

      You’re at times desperate for FTTP. Go check on the minimum contract lengths there without paying insane amounts a month.

  6. Avatar Rich

    Hmmm, annoyingly you can’t look at their packages from a VM connection anymore (trying to hide new customer prices?) but a bit of VPN later and I can see that 350m isn’t even an option anymore, does this mean the upgrade to 500 should happen automatically?

    I’m trying to get hold of someone to talk to at VM but it’s apparently impossible.

    • Avatar phb

      “Hmmm, annoyingly you can’t look at their packages from a VM connection anymore (trying to hide new customer prices?)”

      Actually, you can. You need to scroll right down to the foot of the page and click on “Not a customer?” to getto the new cutomer page and not the existing customer one (or clear your cookies).

    • Avatar Sandra

      You can also just go to https://www.virginmedia.com/postcode-checker and put your postcode and address in – or use a neighbours that’s what I do

    • Avatar Dummy Thicc

      You’re right. Noticed this a while ago, if you go to vm’s website with a vm IP, it hides the shop page. Go to virginmedia.com/shop I think

  7. Avatar David

    Well I called up to order it, the order failed as it’s not available to me.

    Now they are unable to reinstate 350 and want to put me back to 200 ‍♂️

  8. Avatar Jamie P

    I’m speaking to them on live chat here is what they said:

    Thanks for your patience . I see that we can offer you 500 mbps for £62.00 with a 30 days rolling contract . Is it ok ?

    • Avatar VM

      No they don’t offer this for 30 days no contract. They are not selling M500 for no contract. Only 18 months contract for M500.

    • Avatar Sandra

      Jamie if you got that in writing take it 🙂

      Ignore Max, he is annoyed as Plusnet never have and never will offer him more than the speed he gets – so he is a sour puss.

      But then he does not pay for it apparently, maybe his referrals blow like the wind – as one day it’s £10 a month and the next he is about £300 in credit… god knows.

    • Avatar JamieP

      I have 500 on no contract i am on it now. They upgraded me this morning.

    • Avatar VM

      @JamieP

      No contract on M500? Really? I think VM do not offer this! Check your Terms & Conditions as I bet there is 18 months contract on it. Or post here with a link with a screenshot that show no contract for M500 standalone broadband.

    • Avatar Karl

      @VM I got offered the same “£62.00 with a 30 days rolling contract” You can see a screenshot here of the service change receipt which has a red x through “Remaining minimum period” https://imgur.com/x6cefw8

    • Avatar Sandra

      Thanks Karl, I do hope that shuts him up!.

      Well played to get it 30 days 🙂

  9. Avatar Mr Sean Smith

    I do not think this is an upgrade from M350 to M500 for those customers, more the M500 is now available for anyone to order without having to have the TV oomph package to get it.

    BUT

    On the VM site the M500 package only shows on the oomph page.

    I have sent a message to VM to find out how much it would cost me. I currently pay £35 for M350 and Phone

    • Avatar DJBauer

      How? I’m paying £53 for just the M350…

    • Avatar Rich

      You need to negotiate with them, I’m currently paying £35 for M350 and a 2GB Sim.

    • Avatar Sandra

      £59 for the top bundle -but who’s counting 🙂

    • Avatar Harry

      I’m thinking of doing the same. My installation is booked for Wednesday. Will be paying £34 for 350 broadband only.

      I worry that they’ll quote me something stupid because I’m on a 12 month contract and can’t extend it as I’m only in this house for 12 months.

      Would be willing to pay around £40 but I doubt they’ll offer that.

  10. Avatar LewisB

    I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in East Grinstead. They’re in the middle of installing the FTTP fibres in the ground right now.

    The head-end is Crawley and the cabs already installed are labelled CRAWxxx

    Wonder if we’ll see DOCSIS 3.1 at launch or whether the head-end will still need upgrading before that can happen.

    I’m not sure if we’ll get FTTP to the router or FTTP to the external wall, followed by an HFC tail. Nobody has been provisioned in the town yet as it’s still in the dig stage.

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      Apart from the occasional HFC infill it’s all FTTP, so you should get fibre to the ONT on the exterior wall.

    • Avatar LewisB

      @Roger_Gooner

      Will the cable from the back of the ONT onwards be copper? So essentially it’s fibre to the outside wall, then converted immediately indoors.

    • Avatar LewisB

      Roger_Gooner

      Will the cable from the back of the ONT onwards be copper? So essentially it’s fibre to the outside wall, then converted immediately indoors.

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      It’s coaxial cable coming out of the ONT, this way the same hub and STB are used regardless of whether the network is HFC or FTTP.

    • Avatar paulreg

      Just got email from Virgin saying service ready in Sunnyside area of EG. They only dug up my road back in late April so very impressive speed.

      Only downside is I see they installed the connector on left side of my property and if I was to get VM installed I would need the connection run down on right side of property.

      Anyway still in contract with current ISP for another 9 months

  11. Avatar Rich

    I got through and was told I need to talk to the “oomph team” and they should be able to call me back in 3-5 days.

    VM’s customer service is honestly shocking. I can’t wait for Cityfibre to finish their Ipswich rollout.

  12. Avatar Graham Carter

    Called customer services and they stated to me that they can’t upgrade existing customers to the new M500 standalone service offered to new customers only

  13. Avatar Jordan

    I was in a chat with VM and I upgraded from 200 mbps to 500mbps standalone plan, which is nice. I did have the option to go to 350mbps but 500 seemed better since I download tons of games and updates are huge now.

  14. Avatar Sandra

    Just did a reboot to see if I had 600 and not yet. I assume they are doing it in stages over the next few weeks?

    • Avatar Sandra

      Although I do see the price has gone up from what I am paying – which I assume makes up the speed boost cost?

      Either way it says “soon” so this is exciting 🙂

    • Avatar Jordan

      They didn’t give a time when you get the 600mbps which is weird but hey enjoy the speeds! I will enjoy my 516mbps lol

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      I expect it will be in stages. If the new configuration file is downloaded at the same time to all the hub 3.0s the call centres will be overwhelmed if this went wrong.

    • Avatar Sandra

      Jordan indeed!

      I’ve had it for a while now – On Speed tests I’m getting 551/39 all the time. It’s fantastic!

    • Avatar Sandra

      Indeed Roger,

      I have noticed my tests go into the 650s and then throttle back. So I knew something might possibly happen. It’s just annoying someone can get 600 in 3 days time via a quick start pack lol

      But then again I am only using the BB and sim – so having the 2 TV boxes is a bonus should I ever want to watch TV again. (still in the QS pack) I can’t Complain!

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      Whenever I’ve had speed upgrades I was informed by email, so I expect VM to do the same again. Be prepared to wait several months to get the additional 100Mbps.

    • Avatar VM

      @Sandra

      who need more 80Mbps? I think it so stupid to have fastest speed while VM has more unreliable connection and a crappy hub 3!

      Waste of money! VM must laugh all the way in their bank account with your overpriced VM!

      PN FTTC 80/10 for £10.25 a month for 2 years is awesome and brilliant budget!

  15. Avatar R N

    I have just been chatting with VM on a webchat asking for an upgrade from M350 to M500, they quoted me £69, put in mind I am currently paying £62.50 for M350 and Phone *weekend only call*.

    I am shocked and have no words to say, frankly I am not sure VM will soon be for me.

    If anyone has any advice or information, please share.

    • Avatar Jordan

      Leave them and they will call you and give you a amazing deal, trust me i did it and they gave me huge discounts!

    • Avatar J1132

      Had a similar situation – spoke to someone on the live chat, who told me the only way to upgrade to 500Mbps was to take the Ultimate Oomph bundle for £110 a month on an 18 month contract.

      I told them about the M500 product now being a standalone offering, and they acknowledged that, then went right back to trying to convince me the only way to get it was as part of the Ultimate Oomph bundle.

      Such disparity between new customer offers and prices offered to existing subscribers who wish to re-contract, lousy customer support from staff who often have no idea what they’re on about, and the whole fiasco with the Hub3 are causing me to consider my options elsewhere.

    • Avatar Liam

      It took sitting on a live chat for 4.5 hours getting passed between 3-4 people with huge waits in between, but they eventually offered M500 at £51/month on an 18mo contract to me as an existing customer of 6 years. So they definitely will do it without Oomph and at less than the headline price, you just have to be ridiculously persistent.

    • Avatar Sandra

      @Liam,

      But I am seeing the headline price as £46….

    • Avatar Liam

      @Sandra sorry, you’re quite right. I should have said less than the headline price without new customer offers.

      I pushed a bit more and got it for the new customer price of £46/month on a new 18mo contract, so happy with that.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Furlough really hasn’t been good for people.

  16. Avatar VM Project Tortoise

    When are VM going to “cable up” more streets?

    Project Lightning was designed by a planners guide dog and was not done properly.
    It has simply amounted to a massive wasted opportunity where easy wins were in sight.

    And yet VM seem delighted to unveil a dogs breakfast of a network…

    Why won’t VM study the maps areas properly like OpenReach have been able to?

  17. Avatar Karl Betts

    It would be nice if I was an area where they didn’t keep messing around with the speeds what I mean is it used to be 512mb but they have change it back down to 350mb. Also regarding the outage last week they seem to have a new tactic. Instead of giving anyone compensation like they should do they say they use this automatic Ofcom compensation scheme but which more like means they just don’t give anyone anything even though they know they should. When I asked the customer service agent he didn’t even know there was an outage. Version I’ve just basically a bunch of useless greedy people.

  18. Avatar Steve price

    On 350 tier myself. Chatted with Virgin a hour ago. Only way to get 500 is via the oomph. No thanks

  19. Avatar Ryan Arbuckle

    Paying £32 for 350 / Talk Weekends / Player TV – they want £77 to go up to 500

    Think i’ll wait it out

    • Avatar mike

      How the hell do you guys get these deals? I’ve always renewed through retentions but they’ve never offered anything like this. I was paying £50/mo for 350, Player TV with V6, and Talk Weekends. My discounts just dropped off and am now paying £72.

    • Avatar Ryan Arbuckle

      I got mine through the CEO/Exec complaints team

    • Avatar Spurple

      These are usually new customer deals.

      I the past, I have had no trouble getting good deals when out of contract. They often don’t offer you a good deal while you’re still in contract, even for upgrades. Can’t blame them, it’s usually best to wait for your contract to run out before you try to negotiate.

  20. Avatar mike

    How do you get through to Virgin’s live chat? I’m struggling to find a route through their website that offers me it.

  21. Avatar David

    has anyone else been told their area is not supported? I thought this was a network wide tier

  22. Avatar Steve Price

    Just rung them. They wanted £81 a month for the 500 broadband only. Plus cancellation fees of 40 quid.

  23. Avatar Sandra

    Great! so the 600 speed might just come a month before my cancellation! (and no chance to renew due to relocation)

    So much for that then!

    • Avatar Sandra

      Ah MY bad! I forgot we are dealing with VM’s “soon” again – like it says on the website. Which means anytime between now and death!

    • Avatar Gary

      You are getting the speed you pay for, anything more is an extra freebie. People find anything to moan about. There is NO reason to be moaning about having to wait for something that is free.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Was an entire month of 600 instead of 500 before you moved going to make the Earth move for you, Sandra?

    • Avatar Sandra

      @gary I am not whinging – I was just saying how they are advertising Soon but not saying when. Working for the ASA sorry I can’t help but pick apart advertising. And most people are glad that I do!

      @Carl – Not at all. I am hoping the office with above flat I will be getting will have one of the Alt nets by then – currently got 2 building in the area it seems 9 CityFibre and Gigaclear)

  24. Avatar Bonkers

    “Ultimate Oomph” – who comes up with and approves of these silly marketing names! LOL

    No doubt they’ll come up with some other “eye catching” name for their 1 Gig service, something along the lines of: “Triumphant Ughhhh”

  25. Avatar Nik

    Hey guys, some advice please. My ultimate oopmph 12 month contract will end in september.(well, at least the discount does) and then it goes to an astronomical price above £100.

    The broadband has been great at 500mb with virgin, much better than my previous g.fast connection with BT that could only get approx 110mb/s due to distance from cabinet. The TV for me has been disappointing, not a patch on sky q, the SD catchup services are a deal breaker. I’m looking at keeping just the internet (will take phoneline too if necessary) and maybe a SIM (as use the current one in the ipad)

    When is the best time to start negotiation? should i give notice to leave 1 month before official end of contract then aim to speak to retentions or should i give notice after the 12 months and pay the higher price for one month while negotiating?
    Have never negotiated with virgin so just not sure? Alternatively will cancel and sign up to internet in wifes name.

  26. Avatar Saajan

    This would be good if they upgraded all the CMTS to something that can handle the speed. Our CMTS had a significant upgrade in 2014/2015 and can currently support the 350mbps package at a maximum.
    I signed up for Oomph the other week and they could still only offer the 350mbps instead of the 500mbps. They wouldn’t discount the monthly cost but gave £50 credit. Either way it’s still cheaper than paying for Sky & Virgin seperately.
    Hopefully they will upgrade the CMTS to support this new 600mbps tier and the 1gbs tier.

    • Avatar Sandra

      I agree, Sky has some good things VM don’t – it’s one of a few reasons why I currently have both – Sky is £69 a month – VM is £59 – both together give me the potential to bond VM, FTTC and 4G together, just need to find something to do it.

      But as things go. I can think of much worse things to spend £130 a month on. (no other options ever for that speed at that price point)

    • Avatar Sandra

      And I was always advised for this system to have some redundancy too.

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