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Virgin Media has increased the top speeds offered by its fibre-to-the-premises broadband services to 120Mb, it has been revealed.

The broadband provider is also planning to double the download speeds accessible to more than four million of its subscribers, as it bids to meet demand for next-generation services.

From February 2012, Virgin Media will spend 18 months upgrading its national communications infrastructure to boost the end-user experience.

Businesses and households signed up for the firm's 10Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb and 50Mb services will see their speeds at least doubled, while 100Mb subscribers will gain a 20Mb boost to 120Mb.

Virgin Media claimed the faster speeds will ensure customers get high quality access to the huge growth in new online services.

"The widespread availability of super-fast broadband supports the government's ambitions of ensuring that consumers have access to the best broadband services in Europe by 2015," the firm stated.

"Virgin Media's upgrade programme forms part of its on-going commitment to delivering the fastest broadband speeds in the UK and will catapult Britain into the world’s broadband premier league."

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive of the broadband provider, said the burgeoning market for better connectivity has given the firm "an opportunity to transform the digital experience of millions of customers".

The upgrade will bring about "a massive step change" in the number of UK consumers who have access to exciting, next-generation services.

"Virgin Media has a track record of leading Britain’s digital development and this major initiative will meet the growing demand for faster broadband as well as provide significantly more value to our customers," Mr Berkett stated.

"The internet has become an integral part of our social, work and family lives, so we think our customers are going to love this."

He said people are increasingly doing more online, and getting connected to the internet with lots of different devices.

As such, having a fast, reliable broadband service should not be a luxury.

"We want to make sure that consumers have access to the best value broadband service and that means a superfast connection," Mr Berkett stated.

Even the Prime Minister took the time to welcome the latest Virgin Media announcement.

David Cameron said the upgrade will provide "a great boost" for the economy and change the way many households, consumers and businesses use the internet.

"Rolling out super-fast broadband across the country is a critical part of our plan to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure and build a new and smarter economy," the PM added.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at, commented: "Today's pledge is a real breakthrough for the UK's broadband infrastructure, and a decisive step towards the country having a service that can compete with the best in Europe.

"With the increasing prevalence of bandwidth-heavy services such as catch-up TV and internet ready devices including smartphones and tablets becoming commonplace, faster broadband speeds are becoming essential.

"However, it's worth bearing in mind that Virgin still only has roughly 20 per cent of the UK broadband market, and without similar investment across the board there is a danger that a two-tier broadband market will develop.

"We only hope that rural areas that have not yet seen fibre-optic broadband installed are not forgotten in the bigger picture, and will see similar levels of investment and development, in order to prevent the gap between themselves and urban areas becoming even greater."

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