Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Virgin Media promises to speed up to 100Mbps broadband

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Virgin Media is promising to ramp up the speed of broadband

Virgin Media says it will start rolling out broadband with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to homes by the end of this year.

It says the high-speed service will provide "very close to advertised headline speeds".

The company says this is due to its use of cable, rather than the more widespread ADSL technology used by competitors.

In some areas Virgin says it will offer even faster speeds of up to 200Mbps.

Virgin Media's chief executive, Neil Berkett, said: "There is nothing we can't do with our fibre-optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100Mbps service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience."

The extra-fast service, says Virgin Media, will let customers download a music album in as little as five seconds, as opposed to the 75 seconds the same download would take on a 24Mbps ADSL connection.

Catch-up

Currently, most internet services are provided at speeds from 10Mbps to 50Mbps, depending on the chosen package.

A BT spokesman said: "Virgin are playing catch-up as customers are already using 100Mbps over BT's network. It is fair to say we are bigger than them and we are growing faster too."

Virgin Media has has 4.1 million broadband customers and added 46,000 over the last quarter, while BT has just over five million subscribers - some 25% more - and is currently growing at around twice the rate of Virgin Media, adding 102,000 customers in the last quarter.

Revenues up

Virgin Media has not yet said where it will first offer the 100Mbps service, which is expected to be deployed across Virgin's entire cable network by the end of 2011.

It would also not say how much it would cost.

Its latest results, released on Thursday, showed revenue increased to £980m, a year-on-year jump of 3.3%. Its average revenue per cable customer rose 5.8%.

In November 2008, Virgin Media said it planned to cut 2,200 jobs by 2012, about 15% of its workforce, as part of a group-wide overhaul.



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