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Virgin Media is to slash the cost of its 50Mb broadband service and has extended its availability across the UK, potentially bringing super-fast broadband connections to the mass market for the first time.

As of September 1st, the broadband provider’s fibre-optic broadband 50Mb service will be priced at just £28 per month - down from £35 - for new and existing customers when taken with a phone line at £11 per month. Meanwhile, the monthly charge will drop from £50 to £38 for those who opt to sign up for it as a standalone product.

The forthcoming changes to the pricing plan of the company’s high-end broadband deals coincides with Virgin Media announcing that it has finished work on “Britain’s first next-generation network”.

This follows 18 months of upgrades, including the installation of cutting-edge DOCSIS 3.0 technology. As a result, Virgin Media has now tripled its network capacity and is able to offer a 50Mb broadband package to 12 million homes across the UK.

The 50Mb service is the fastest commercially available broadband connection on the market. By way of comparison, the current average broadband speed that copper wire, fixed line broadband consumers receive is 4.3Mb.

Jessica McArdle, marketing manager at Top 10 Broadband, said: “Virgin Media's 50Mb service is already enjoying great popularity on the site; the recent news that this offering will be available to 12 million homes at reduced prices from September means that UK broadband users are in for a treat!

“Launching in September will also allow consumers just enough to get your super-fast broadband set up to do their Christmas shopping.”

Virgin Media’s has also confirmed the impending launch of a new netbook which is optimised for 50Mb speeds and will be on offer for free when new and existing customers opt for selected broadband bundles. The Freedom laptop will be available this week and comes in a choice of black or red colour schemes, in keeping with the broadband supplier’s branding.

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