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Virgin Media UK Launch 2Gbps Broadband and Symmetric Speeds UPDATE2

Wednesday, Feb 7th, 2024 (9:05 am) - Score 15,640
Virgin-Media-O2-UK-Gig2-Hub-5x-Router

Broadband ISP Virgin Media (VMO2) has this morning announced that they’ve become the first “major” UK internet provider to publicly launch a residential 2Gbps broadband package (Gig2 Full Fibre). On top of that, they’re also introducing symmetrical download and upload speeds as an optional add-on. But initially only for nexfibre areas.

Just to recap. Virgin Media are currently in the process of upgrading millions of their legacy Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC / DOCSIS 3.1) powered lines to support the latest Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / XGS-PON) technology, which is a programme they’re aiming to complete by 2028. On top of that, they’re also rolling out FTTP to an additional 5-7 million premises – via nexfibre – using the same XGS-PON fibre technology.

NOTE: Virgin’s HFC and FTTP networks are both capable of 2Gbps and faster download speeds, but only the latest XGS-PON side can deliver symmetric performance to match that (faster upload speeds on HFC are still a challenge).

Regular readers of ISPreview will already be aware that Virgin Media has, over the past few years, conducted multiple trials of 2Gbps package speeds (usually reflecting a profile rate of c.2.2Gbps) – most recently in November 2023 (here). Suffice to say, we’ve known that a 2Gbps package was coming for a long time, although it’s still nice to see it actually happen. But there are some things to be aware of about today’s news.

Firstly, the Gig2 service is currently only available across the nexfibre side of their network, which is said to be “approaching availability to 1 million homes” in suburban and semi-rural areas across the UK, including Belfast, Cardiff, London and Glasgow. Those that sign-up or upgrade to Gig2 will also receive Virgin Media’s new Hub 5x router – it’s first to support XGS-PON technology (similar to the Hub 5, but it has a fibre port on the back / built-in ONT).

The Gig2 package is said to cost £84 per month, while the option to add symmetrical speeds across all speed tiers will set you back an extra £6 per month.

Jeanie York, CTO of VMO2, said:

“Virgin Media O2 has always been at the forefront of innovation to provide hyperfast and next-generation connectivity to homes in the UK, and Gig2 is our latest speed venture which will unlock endless opportunities for future technologies and the ever-changing digital needs of our customers.

Gig2 will operate across nexfibre’s XGS-PON, full fibre network which will support symmetrical download and upload speeds – a first for a major UK broadband provider as an optional add-on – and will enable users to send and receive data, files and much more at the blink of an eye. With our heritage in providing cutting-edge technology and hyperfast broadband speeds, which saw us complete the UK’s first national gigabit rollout programme, we are looking forward to taking Gig2 to more areas in the near future.”

At this point it’s worth noting that the language of the announcement, particularly with respect to how the symmetrical speeds add-on is supposed to be available “across all of its speed tiers“, may cause a little confusion, not least because it’s unclear if this is also restricted to nexfibre or will include their FTTP based RFoG network too.

However, we can at least rule out the symmetric add-on as applying to their existing HFC network, due both to its technical limitations and because they only talk about “full fibre“. In addition, the announcement doesn’t spell out precisely what upload speed the Gig2 tier will ship with by default. We’re still trying to clarify these details, so please be patient.

The move may be partly seen as a response to CityFibre’s new symmetric 2.5Gbps consumer tier, which is currently only available from some of their smallest ISPs. But Vodafone’s 2Gbps package is due to launch on that network in the next few days or weeks and no doubt TalkTalk will follow, at some point. CityFibre’s network covers around 3.5 million UK premises (3.2m RFS), which is currently three times bigger than nexfibre by itself.

By comparison, the best that Openreach’s FTTP network can muster is a 1.8Gbps tier, which is still technically in its pilot phase (EE is the only ISP to offer this via an average speed of 1.6Gbps), although it can’t achieve even come close to symmetric performance (its upstream maxes out at 120Mbps). On the other hand, Openreach’s network reaches 13 million UK premises, and most regular folk won’t be too fussed about symmetric uploads.

On the flip side, there are a lot of smaller alternative networks that can do much faster speeds than any of those players, provided you’re covered by them. For example, YouFibre (Netomnia) has an affordable 7-8Gbps tier, while B4RN can do 8-10Gbps and CommunityFibre has 3Gbps. Not to mention a few other providers with 2Gbps options, like Zzoomm.

As to the question of whether or not anybody needs or could even harness all of this speed right now, well that’s another debate entirely 🙂 . But it’s nice to have the option. Mind you, at the time of writing, Virgin Media doesn’t appear to have actually made the new package available to order in their nexfibre areas, but this will no doubt change over the next day or so.

UPDATE 10:02am

Virgin has confirmed that, “initially“, Gig2 and symmetrical broadband speeds are “only available on our full fibre network as part of our venture with nexfibre“. So those in Virgin Media’s own RFoG FTTP and HFC areas are out of luck, for now. Likewise, Virgin Media’s own XGS-PON FTTP upgrades, which have yet to go live, are out too. As we said earlier, regular consumers could be forgiven for finding this all very confusing.

UPDATE 10:42am

After a bit of back and forth, we can now confirm that the default average upload speed on Gig2 is 200Mbps (Gig1 remains at 104Mbps). In addition, for those who asked, the Hub 5x has the following Ethernet ports – 1 x 10Gbps and 3 x 1Gbps (the regular Hub 5 trades that 10Gbps port for a 2.5Gbps one).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
106 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Jonny says:

    Hopefully the catalyst needed for symmetric services to be considered the standard, let’s go

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Not with Bad Telecom. They love crippling services and telling us all there is no need for anything better and then eventually planning an upgrade with a load of smoke and mirrors that takes several trials and proof of concepts and then roll outs lasting many years…Meanwhile, everyone else just does it for those areas that have competition.

    2. Avatar photo 125us says:

      How so? It’s a chargeable extra that few people will pay for.

    3. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      Few households are going to want 2Gbps download either, especially not at £84 per month.

      Having said that, the *profit* to VM from one of those users will be the same as maybe 5 regular households, so it’s not a bad business if they can find some customers. And compared to a business leased line, it’s cheap.

    4. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      “Few households are going to want 2Gbps download either, especially not at £84 per month.”o
      I’d take it! – Compared to the alternative cost/speed.. Oh but I can’t not even in a VM area let alone a fancy Nextfibre one.

      Never mind.

    5. Avatar photo K says:

      125us:
      I’d pay for it if its only £6, as would most others if they wanted it.

  2. Avatar photo Rich says:

    What about RFoG areas? Vermin call them FTTP which is technically correct, but unless they are doing overlays of XGSPON (which is possible), then DOCSIS will still be a limiting factor on the upload.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      You’ll get XGSPON on the same fibre, Rich.

      Obviously can’t use the same ONT as for RFoG however that one has an optical out or they could remove it entirely and provide a new in-home installation.

      Same fibre to the outside of the house, though, when they’re ready to go. Nexfibre is a greenfield network so easier to deal with initially.

    2. Avatar photo No Name says:

      RFoG is becoming neglected at this point.

      We still can’t have the 100Mb upload in our area. All our hubs have been reprovisioned to 100 but the area only lets you have 4 3.0 upload channels, so you can’t physically get 100Mb up. It’s impossible.

      I really hope they plan to let those of us on RFoG who want faster uploads migrate over to XGS soon. Uploads are slower than HFC at this point.

    3. Avatar photo Matt says:

      @Mark can you query RFoG areas (e.g. the network purchased from Sky)? They seem to be forgotten about whilst they look at the new shiny network.

      Cheers!

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      RFoG is indeed having XGSPON overlaid on it. Believe some areas already have XGSPON running on the fibre and are awaiting release of products.

  3. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Virgin doing symmetrical connections! I thought pigs flying was more likely…

    Puts OpenReach firmly behind now (even though GPON is still a better technology than DOCSIS)

    1. Avatar photo Iain says:

      100% this. Pinch me: am I asleep?

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      by offering symmetric speeds, an already relatively niche requirement, in a fraction of their service area?

      I doubt Openreach are going to be too bothered.

    3. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Here goes BT Ivor again. Telling us al nobody needs something – the philosophy of BT for years till competition comes along and kicks their butt.

      This is GREAT news and paves the way for ALTNETS + VM to be symmetric – meanwhile dopey alseep on the job BT roll out legacy GPON still to this day, and knee capped upload speeds when people want to use fast cloud storage and site to site transfers.

    4. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      instead of accusing me of being a BT shill, why not look at the numbers.

      Openreach FTTP takeup is impressive. Altnets are generally not so impressive. It seems symmetric speeds are not that much of a draw.

      But the point was really that VM’s new product is hardly competition considering that it’s only available in a tiny fraction of their overall service area.

    5. Avatar photo Paul says:

      Ivan has a point, most consumers aren’t really going to want/need/care about upload. One day that might change.

      But saying OR numbers are impressive is not a fair comparison, their coverage is superior to most. Unless I have mis-understood the point?

    6. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Yes, you did miss the point. BT numbers should have been higher by now anyway had the done the right thing sooner instead of holding our for tax payer cash and sweating copper (I am not talking about Thatcher and 80’s stuff, its later than that when they could have invested). We were told nobody needed faster speeds and FTTC was future proof. Sound familiar???

      Anyway, Ivor came back with his reply AFTER the update about it being NexFibre. It doesn’t matter. VM will have upgraded their HFC Network by 2028 and still BT wouldn’t have gone symmetric by then.

      CHOICE is nice to have, even as a chargeable extra – rather than refusal to provide it all. On VM, this will probably be negotiated around contract renewal bundling anyway…..

    7. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      actually I mentioned it in both comments.

      It’s amusing that Openreach has always been the largest FTTP operator in this country, even when they apparently didn’t invest in it. It’s good that the altnets have convinced them to increase that investment substantially but my point still stands – they’re having to resort to gimmicks that hardly anyone actually wants, and still struggle to achieve viability. All while Openreach continually upgrades their fibre targets and build rates.

      Openreach will offer symmetric services as soon as *their* customers – the ISPs – demand it. And when they do, they can offer it on a much larger scale than anyone else. Whoever’s left by then anyway.

    8. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Ivor: do you know that CPs want symmetrical from Openreach? It would make sense if they do, it won’t increase their bandwidth bills as even on symmetrical download is considerably higher than upload at peak times.

  4. Avatar photo Ben says:

    I’m in an XGS area but the website doesn’t make any mention of Gig2 at the moment.

    The press release seems to indicate it will be £84 a month, or £90 for symmetrical.

    1. Avatar photo Iain says:

      Which is crazy expensive. On CityFibre you can get that for £55/month (when factoring in set up fees).

      Still, I presume this pushes down the price of other tiers. 1Gbps is no longer the new hotness.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      or £49 on Netomnia/You Fibre or£99 for 8gbps (actual average speed). Yes, I know they aren’t everywhere and even in places they said they would deliver like me its as patchy as hell. But if you can get them………..

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      It’s fine. People will be negotiating with VM retentions to get it for 2 buttons and a toy unicorn a month in no time: people do it every new speed tier 🙂

    4. Avatar photo Jonny says:

      I’m surprised they’ve managed to somehow build in a technical difference between Nexfibre areas and Virgin Media XGS-PON areas to the extent that this is a Nexfibre-only product at the moment. Thats four different networks that VM operate now with different service availability on each.

    5. Avatar photo Notomnia says:

      Notomnia are nonexistent enough to not deserve a mention. Even areas they say they cover they don’t. Areas they say they’re deploying they’re not. I could sell you the same amount of 8Gbps as they can.

    6. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Not just Netomnia out there though is it?
      And not non-existent if you are lucky enough NOT to be at mercy of just BT and can get symmetric services and a lot cheaper.

      BT fan boys out as expected.

    7. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Must be imagining the 8G service I’ve had since release. Strange given I’m on video doing a speed test.

      Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    8. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      @Jonny: VM has three networks: legacy HFC and RFoG and now XGS-PON. There’s no difference in what nexfibre’s doing because as soon as nexfibre builds its network it gets integrated into VM’s XGS-PON.

    9. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

      It’s great seeing people comment about how altnets are only such and such a low price a month.

      Well yes, if you go off the introductory prices advertised through their websites.

      However, after your first contract is up, those prices soon shoot back upwards.

      The altnets around my parents area are cheap, however after the initial 18 month or 24 month contract is finished, you are put on a new tariff which is nearly double the introductory offer.

      Altnets prices are attractive, but only for the first contract to get you onto their service.

    10. Avatar photo Oldtimeuser says:

      Quick check for altnet at 900 service, first charge is 49.99, after 18 months contract finished you are put back to 79.99.

      So much for cheap prices then!

    11. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ‘There’s no difference in what nexfibre’s doing because as soon as nexfibre builds its network it gets integrated into VM’s XGS-PON.’

      No. Nexfibre is not integrated into VM’s network. It’s actually the other way around: VM build it for Nexfibre but the asset is most definitely not integrated into VM. That would waste a major point of Nexfibre being a thing.

    12. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Some rural networks are more expensive as you’d imagine given their costs in deploying networks to rural areas.

      Urban areas are being built for £500 all in, some rural altnets are spending quadruple that.

    13. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      @XGS: VMO2 is debt-ridden so its owners – Liberty Global and Telefónica – brought in InfraVia as a 50:50 JV partner with InfraVia providing the funding and VM as anchor tenant. nexfibre and VM are joint build partners with nexfibre’s network being built close to VM’s and VM then integrating it into its network. In effect nexfibre is extending VM’s network. This is why VM is able to offer its broadband on nexfibre’s newly-built network.

    14. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Roger: VMO2 are a customer of Nexfibre. The only one for now, much as some other networks only have a single customer. Nexfibre are actively seeking more customers for their wholesale product. VMO2 build it, Nexfibre end up owning it. It’s largely to avoid Ofcom deciding VMO2 have significant market power and regulating them.

      See https://infraviacapital.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/ProjectFlow-MediaRelease-FINAL-nexfibre.pdf for instance. Note the ‘about’ sections and how VMO2 are buying Upp and ownership is ending up with Nexfibre. VMO2 get the Upp network ready, Nexfibre buy it from them.

      ‘Over the next 12 months Virgin Media O2 will proceed with completing Upp’s build currently in progress; integrating and aligning Upp’s fibre network and systems; and offering Upp customers a wide range of Virgin Media O2 services. nexfibre will then acquire the network assets, equating to approximately 175,000 premises, with this second stage transaction expected to complete within the
      next year and resulting in a de minimis net cash outflow for Virgin Media O2.’

      ‘Its shareholders and investment firm InfraVia Capital Partners, through a joint venture called nexfibre, are investing approximately £4.5bn to build fibre to 5 million homes and businesses not currently served by Virgin Media O2’s network by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an
      additional 2 million homes. As a *wholesale customer of this network*, Virgin Media O2’s total footprint will reach around 80% of the UK once build and upgrade work is completed.’

      Emphasis mine. Quite possible more assets will be transferred to Nexfibre and VMO2 will end up in a similar structure to BT Enterprise and Consumer with the network under their equivalent of Openreach, Nexfibre. VMO2 can raise much needed cash and pay down debt by selling assets to Nexfibre: Liberty Global have done this elsewhere.

  5. Avatar photo Tony says:

    For most people we’re just into numbers at this point. I and can honestly say I’ve only ever maxed out 1gbps when running speed tests. If it wasn’t for the 2 year contract and unlimited ETF I’d go for something slower

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      It’s the upload people want.

      ~100 on 1100mbit sucks.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      It’s a scandal on BT FTTP especially. BT should hang their heads in absolute shame.
      VM’s HFC I understand, its just because of technical constraints though they could up to around 200mbps which they may still do.

  6. Avatar photo Si says:

    Damn, they rolling out 2gb service and yet won’t even hook up us to their basic service, despite all the surrounding roads having virgin :/

    1. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      I know right!. I can see the VM street dig that runs diagonally across the end of our road from my kitchen window as I live at the start of an estate which for some reason they left us out .It’s literally running outside my property but I can’t get it either.

      Stuck on crappy FTTC because there is nothing else. Sucks proper balls I agree.

    2. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      I’m in the same boat. They will not connect up 6 properties on our street to their copper service.

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      They aren’t building out copper anymore and won’t dig and expand it. However once the area has been moved to XGSPON they can use PIA and Openreach ducts to reach properties. They are, as part of their upgrade, interconnecting their network extensively with the Openreach network.

      They can’t put coax into the Openreach duct but fibre is no problem.

    4. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      XGS – I’ve been trying since 2012. They simply won’t do it.

  7. Avatar photo Leslie Ingley says:

    The stupid thing is they could have a lot more customers if they worked with Birmingham city Council to find a way to gain access to tow block that have had sprinkler systems installed as a cabling is behind some ducting. There quite a few residents would love to have virgin, but can’t so basically the only option is any provider open reach

  8. Avatar photo Alex A says:

    Im predicting that the symmetric uncharge will be used for bundles during sales. Its very little cost for VM to provide compared to other benefits which get thrown in.

    Outside of sales its very much a ‘how much money are you willing to give us’ product.

    1. Avatar photo No Name says:

      Volt – free symmetrical upgrade.

      I can see it coming

  9. Avatar photo tech3475 says:

    Wow, I might have a reason to go with them now as it looks like they’re coming to my area.

    Sure I’d prefer an alternate, but symmetrical uploads would be handy for me.

  10. Avatar photo Steven Brown says:

    It’s a good move but it’s still too expensive especially when you have alternatives.

    1. Avatar photo tech3475 says:

      “It’s a good move but it’s still too expensive especially IF you have alternatives.”

      Fixed it for you.

      Remember, not everyone has a choice in the services they get where they live, I’d love to have a decent alt-net where I live.

    2. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      i either get Virgin or 20/5 “fttc”

  11. Avatar photo john says:

    Who will pay £84 though? Virgin don’t have a price list. You sign up with a deal at a random price and then they increase it 15% every year until you can be bothered to spend 3 hours on the phone threatening to cancel in order get a new deal, rinse and repeat until an alt-net or OR finally get around to hooking you up with fibre. (Please be soon.)

  12. Avatar photo RTT says:

    Currently you can’t even take them up on this. I live in a XGS area and have VM but the person when I called could not build the package as it didn’t exist past gig1 which I am on, is this released yet?

  13. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

    And nexfibre is imminent for me, happy days. Yes, I want symmetric 2Gbps.

  14. Avatar photo Robin says:

    How do you know what kind of area you live in?

    1. Avatar photo Rich says:

      Put your address in bidb.uk and see if it says XGSPON

    2. Avatar photo Robin says:

      Thanks for that Rich. It says Virgin media is live (1000Mbps – FTTP – PIA)

      Guess that means no symmetrical any time soon for me.

    3. Avatar photo No Name says:

      You are correct. FTTP – PIA refers to Radio Frequency Over Glass FTTP and PIA (Virgin delivered from Openreach poles and ducts)

    4. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      I’m in a FTTP PIA area, its not RFoG, its full xgs.

    5. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      At which point it will say XGS – PIA not FTTP.

  15. Avatar photo A M says:

    Personally the 2Gbps is great, but really it is all about symmetric. If you do any WFH and your firm has a lot of cloud hosted apps and file shares, this can be very useful.

    Just remember this is not going to work for RFoG customers (heartbeat issues when going faster than 50Mbps upstream from memory), and DOCSIS customers also won’t go down this route due to power consumption issues.

    Anyhow, I definitely see this as a great next step.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Yeah the RFoG folks can’t get 200 up as they can’t use DoCSIS 3.1 upstream. The HFC in some areas will manage 200 up but others very questionable. Ideally needs mid-split networks and many aren’t.

      VM’s network is usually too noisy at the lower end of the RF so not enough spectrum available to deliver 200 reliably as well as serving the 3.0 devices in the networks that aren’t mid-split. Doable if they can get rid of enough 3.0 and get the upstream spectrum clean enough both to allow use of lower end spectrum and get higher order modulations out of the 3.1 channel.

  16. Avatar photo Obbz says:

    The routers are always so painfully pointless though. Should have had 10gb slot with multiple 2.5gb. Pointless hardware.

    Also what about those on volt 1gb? Will they get 2gb free as volt is meant to ‘boost’?

    Virgin prices are ridiculous also. They only charge sky high as they are the only supplier available for many of us, even in cities. Desperate to cancel them end of this year

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      It’s a list price. Bundles and renegotiated contracts will often be lower.

    2. Avatar photo Rich says:

      They have a 10GB port. Would rather SFP+ than RJ45 myself but whatever.

      Surely most who order this will use modem mode. I will treat the Hub5X as an ONT.

    3. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      The hub 5X is similar to all the other VM hubs in that in one box there is the network interface (the ONT, previously the modem) and router with a 10Gbps port (hub 5 has a 2.5Gbps port). I see no reason whatsoever to change this.

      The hub 5X is under-developed in that it doesn’t support modem mode and phone (although I believe both are coming later this year).

    4. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      Rich, I think modemn mode is only working on the non 10gb port currently with the hub5x

  17. Avatar photo Sky says:

    Glad I’m with you fibre. Way cheaper for 2gb/2gb at £49 pcm inc fixed ip address..

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      The BT plants and fans will be out to get you. They won’t like hearing that. Nobody needs faster upstream they say, even if its an extra.

    2. Avatar photo Mark K says:

      Is the fixed IP address included in the YouFibre 2gb/2gb product? I thought they still charged £5 extra.

    3. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      Any company can price it however they like, but it might as well be a million a month where there is no availability

  18. Avatar photo Phil says:

    To be honest – 2Gbps/2Gbps @ £90 a month with VM but maybe they push it to 36 months contract with 6x increase in price. No thanks VM.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Its 18 months contract and has been for quite a while. Price increases in contract I agree are annoying, but BT started this nonsense of CPI+3.9% originally. VM actually held off for a long time before following, but they used RPI not CPI.

      Ofcom should make a ruling on this soon, as BT already changed for next year’s price increase event.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      36 month contracts aren’t a thing for home customers.

      Huge price increases would mean you could exit the contract early if they aren’t in there.

  19. Avatar photo XGS says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many people take up the offer of symmetric on the lower tiers. That’ll give a good indicator of demand and may nudge Openreach.

    1. Avatar photo No Name says:

      I’ve been saying for years all I really want is 300/300 and I only boost the download for the upload.

      I’d imagine a fair few home workers would be in the same boat as me. I think there is a decent market for 50/50, 100/100 and maybe 300/300.

  20. Avatar photo Marcos says:

    I’m on DOCSIS 3.1 – is it technically possible for VM to bump the upload speed up from 100mbit?

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Depends on your local network. Maybe manage 200 and that’s about it without extensive upgrade.

    2. Avatar photo Jordan says:

      QUESTION IS if docsis 3.1 can do 10gbps down and 2gbps upload, why cant vm just give these same speeds on people who have 3.1 instead of xgs….

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      The 10G down, 2G up is conditional on the network having enough spectrum/bandwidth. It’s actually written based on a high-split 1.2 GHz network that runs super clean. VM’s network isn’t high-split and in most areas isn’t 1.2 GHz – they use a regular sub-split and 750 MHz of spectrum for services right now.

      The 2G up expects nearly 200 MHz of upstream spectrum, VMO2 have 60 MHz in many areas with only 43 MHz of it usable and 32 MHz used by DoCSIS 3.0. Most of the time that’s nowhere near clean enough to run the high modulations the standard goes up to anyway.

      There is the odd cable network where customers can buy gigabit upload. A small part of Spectrum in the USA sells symmetrical gigabit over cable. VMO2 aren’t going to upgrade their network to do this: they’re building full fibre instead.

  21. Avatar photo Jamie says:

    Just checked my address which is XGS-PON via Nexfibre and no mention of Gig2 or symmetrical speed addon on the other speed tiers.

    1. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      I don’t see anything on my account either, and I’m actually on the 2gig plan!

  22. Avatar photo David M says:

    Avonline networks and BNE are building VM02’s network here in Exmouth, Devon, does this mean it’s Nexfibre or is this XGS-PON? (Green Straws to each house running back to 1ft x 1ft x 3ft tall white street cabinets in pretty much every street)
    Knowing my luck it’ll be XGS-PON with no symmetric upload speed option when they go live!

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      Nexfibre and XGS-PON are one and the same. Nexfibre is the wholesaler (infrastructure owner) and XGS-PON is the underlying technology that is being installed.

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe there would be any FTTP RFoG builds for Virgin happening any more.

    2. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      VM is in the process of migrating its entire DOCSIS network to XGS-PON. Although the bulk of the work is for the HFC network, there will be some work to be done for the RFoG network as it’s much smaller (and all-fibre). These legacy networks are not being expanded but will be supported until migrated to XGS-PON.

  23. Avatar photo Figures says:

    On CommunityFibre, 3 Gbps symmetric is £49/month. On VM, 2 Gbps symmetric is £90/month. Makes sense.

    1. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      I wonder if this is the “base” price? 1gig is £60 od? but is always avalible at £45 or lower?

      Really hope so or I’ll just down grade and stick with 1gig.

  24. Avatar photo MazPayne says:

    Do we actually have confirmation now if VM will be offering XGS-PON as an upgrade in areas in the future?

    1. Avatar photo Matthew says:

      Aparently there whole network is going full firber witch will take up to but not limited to 2028 not that I’m getting older or anything

  25. Avatar photo Rob says:

    “As to the question of whether or not anybody needs or could even harness all of this speed right now, well that’s another debate entirely”

    Surely this or the question as to what speeds do people really need would make a good article (if some tangible stats could be found). Virgin always enter into this peeing competition and in the early days of quite slow broadband it was needed to drive BT etc. However now we must have reached a point where the majority of people don’t need 2\1\0.5 Gbps speeds. The risk here for the fixed line bb providers is 5g which if that can do between 100 to 300Mbps reliably then it gives people more options. I say this as someone who has just dumped Virgin for Three 5g broadband on their business £6 a month deal. I did this as I’m out of contract and virgin was offering really bad deals as an existing customer relative to their new customers. So sod em, I can still stream, download, work from home and do a bit of hosting on 5g. It will suffice until I can be a new virgin customer or open reach provide fttp in my area. I might just keep going like this if it continues to give me good speeds.
    Just had to get this off my chest as despite the virgin service on the whole reliable their pricing for existing customers stinks.

    1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      The average household is downloading 450-500GB of data month.

      A 1Gbps connection would take 66m to download all of that data.

      Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. None of us consume data in one large chunk.

      If we assumed an even data consumption over a 6 hour period per day, we’d only need a consistent 6Mbps connection.

      Again, not actually how we consume data.

  26. Avatar photo Martyn says:

    Been trialing 2gig on Virgin for some time and upload is definitly 200mb. 2000 would be nice though 😛 but then I’d be happy with 1000/1000.

  27. Avatar photo Josh Welby says:

    It is not £6 a month, it is £84 + £6 a month
    =£90 a month

  28. Avatar photo anon says:

    still not buying it. not that I can anyway, since we’re HFC and only recently got 350mbit haha (seriously, like a year ago despite their “gigabit everywhere” claim)

  29. Avatar photo Mark says:

    About time we had symmetrical speeds or at least higher speeds anyway. They keep pushing all there cloud services but it’s currently impossible with most upload speeds! Just trying to backup my computer to the cloud at present, it’s taking ages! I’ve had to limit it to 10Mb/s so as to not bottleneck the connection for everyone else in the house! 3TB to backup and it’s gonna take about 6 months unless I leave my computer on 24/7 for a whole month!

  30. Avatar photo Mario says:

    I am on Virgin Media 1gig tier and I have no idea if I can get 2gig or not. Or the symmetrical thingy. Would be nice if Virgin Media actually let us know where its available so we dont have to go to the dire webchat or even worse, calling them.

    I would like the 1gig upload at least, then I can back up my stuff without it taking an eternity. I always found that a bit odd. When I first signed up it was 1gig down and 50meg up. Now its 100meg up. Very odd (and slow in comparison). Then theres the other technical fluff, would have to get a new network card if 2gig is available, not sure if the ethernet cable is fine as its a cat6 one. And the big question “do I need it??”. Nope but I want it!!

  31. Avatar photo Jason says:

    Wow, hopefully I’ll be one of the lucky few who will be able get this, nexfibre are deploying in my town in Wales at an impressively fast rate. They haven’t reached my house yet, but they keep edging closer so fingers crossed. From no fibre at all to 2gbps is like a dream.
    I thought Ogi would have been the first to get here, but they just seemed to have stopped all work entirely in the area at the start of the year.

  32. Avatar photo Somerset says:

    VM showing 1130M available here.

  33. Avatar photo SteveF says:

    I suppose the deciding factor will be how they incorporate gig 2 into their bundles and what the full package price is. Also I seem to recall those wanting to move from HFC to “full fibre” would need to pay for the upgrade so would 2 gig include free upgrade or at the very least the a minimum £30 engineer visit.

    1. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      still waiting for the price list my self, and I’m on 2gig as a trialist, its ending next month though, so hopefully prices come soon, or I’ll go back to 1gig for £42/mo

  34. Avatar photo Mark Tolson says:

    Its installed in my area (in Belfast), as I spoke with the engineer whilst he was doing it but doesn’t seem to show on the website yet.

  35. Avatar photo Moss says:

    Glad to see the offer is there. Personally I don’t need that. But…im confident there’ll be people that will sign up.

  36. Avatar photo Gadget34 says:

    Obviously just a marketing gimmick so they can say they are the first major provider to offer 2gb when it only applies to nexfibre areas which is a tiny part of Virgins overall network.
    A non major provider such as City Fibre likely has the ability to offer 2gb to more premises than Virgin based on this press release.

  37. Avatar photo chris ray gun says:

    Pointless considering their connections can barely break 100mbps at peak times

  38. Avatar photo Declan McGuinness says:

    £84 a month isn’t bad for a symmetric 2 gig service currently paying Virgin £32 for 1 gig and tv to get VOLT

  39. Avatar photo Dave M says:

    So I wonder how long it takes VM to actually implement the new speeds and symmetrical services offering?

    1. Avatar photo Jack says:

      I’m now able to add it online so I think a change happened yesterday

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