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UK internet service provider (ISP) Virgin Media has sweetened the appeal of its home broadband packages with its new branded VStuff services that let its broadband customers store and share photos online and benefit from free photo prints for up to a year.

The new service, which is part of a series of enhancements of Virgin’s broadband offerings, entitles customers on the ISP’s M and L deals to free back-up storage of 5GB. Meanwhile, those on the XL plan will get 10GB to play with, while XXL customers have unlimited storage.

Photos can be stored in easy-to-create albums, shared or printed-off for free, with another tier system in place for different packages. M and L customers get 25 complimentary prints every month, while XL and XXL are entitled to 50 and 100 per month respectively. Virgin will cover the cost of postage and packing for the first three deliveries.

Also on offer for those who sign up for VStuff, is the chance to store and remotely access their important documents. Both these and their photos can be managed by logging onto Virgin’s my.virginmedia.com customer area.

Customers who subscribe to any package other than the XXL deal and who want the VStuff service but do not want to be restricted by storage limits can opt to pay a monthly charge of £5, which also entitles them to 100 photo prints per month.

Jon James, director of broadband at Virgin Media, said: "Despite being the UK’s fastest broadband provider, we know that the internet is not just about speed.

"With the ability to store and share an unlimited number of photos and files online, and the unique facility to choose and print hundreds of photos for free, we’re going way beyond our customers’ expectations. Our great new V Stuff service is the perfect broadband companion to enrich our customers’ lives."

Similar services to VStuff have been launched by other broadband providers, with BT, TalkTalk and Sky all offering an auto online storage option. However, unlike VStuff these three companies apply a charge for customers.

Virgin’s decision to waive a charge for VStuff represents another innovation from the company, which is already leading the way in offering UK consumers faster broadband. The provider launched its fibre wire 50Mb service just before Christmas 2008 and has yet to be matched for speed by rival broadband companies.

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