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Broadband provider Virgin Media is now offering its market-leading 50Mb service for just £18 per month, potentially bringing super-fast broadband within reach of millions more Britons.

As of today, consumers who sign up for the company’s XXL broadband deal and also take a Virgin Media home phone line and M phone package will pay just £18 per month for the first three months of their contract. Thereafter, the charge rises to £28 per month. Previously, customers paid £35 per month.

This entitles subscribers to unlimited downloads, PCguard Total security - including anti-virus, firewall and pop-up blocker -, free modem, free wireless router, unlimited online storage and 100 free photo prints each month.

Meanwhile, the M home phone add-on offers free weekend local and national phone calls to UK landlines. This is subject to landline rental of £11.25 per month.

Customers can also take 50Mb broadband from Virgin Media as a standalone product. Following the price reduction, this is now charged at just £33 per month and £38 for the remainder of the contract.

Commenting on the price drop, Jessica McArdle, marketing manager at Top 10 Broadband, said: “Virgin Media is really bringing its premium service to the masses with this price drop; at just £18 a month this deal represents outstanding value for something that is up to six times faster than its up to 8Mb rivals.”

Running alongside the new reduced monthly charges for the 50Mb cable broadband product, Virgin Media is currently running a promotion on its 10Mb service. Under the terms of the incentive, Britons benefit from three months free broadband when they subscribe to the company’s package that combines the L broadband deal with the M home telephony product.

Once the introductory period expires, they pay £14 per month for their fibre optic broadband service and £11.25 line rental. As with the 50Mb deal, installation is free of charge provided customers sign up online.

Virgin Media recently won plaudits from the broadband industry and consumers alike after topping a home broadband speed study. The Ofcom report found that the average speed a Virgin Media 10Mb subscriber actually receives is between 8.1 and 8.7Mb. Conversely, Tiscali customers receive an average of 3.2 to 3.7Mb, while those with O2 an expect a broadband connection speed of between 4.1 and 5.1Mb.

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