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Virgin Media has announced it is to boost broadband speeds for existing customers to as much as 200 Mbps, for no extra cost.

The move, which will take effect from October 1st, will see the company contact 4.6 million broadband customers, offering an explanation as to how they can boost their connection speed to 70 Mbps, 150 Mbps and 200 Mbps, with Virgin's ultrafast speeds of over 100 Mbps coming under the 'Vivid' branding.

Vivid 200 speeds mean customers can download an entire two-hour HD movie in three minutes two seconds, and a music album in just three seconds.

The provider claims some 90% of customers will be eligible for the new speeds, while connections available to new customers will be 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps.

Gregor McNeil, Managing Director of Consumer at Virgin Media said: “Our message is simple:  if you want to be certain that you are signing up to true ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mb and above, Vivid from Virgin Media is the new standard.

“The speed of a customer’s broadband connection matters; when you have more you can do more.”

It means even Virgin customers on the lowest package will be able to receive broadband speeds at the top end of the range available from providers operating on the BT network.

The company has been investing heavily in its ultrafast network in order to meet consumer demand.  

A total of £3 billion has already been set aside as part of a programme to connect four million more homes and businesses to ultrafast broadband speeds.

The news comes on the back of a decision by Sky to connect customers in York to its own ultrafast service this week.

Commenting on the news that Virgin Media will now look to follow suit, Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch.com, said: "Offering existing customers faster broadband for free is a smart move.

"But three-figure speeds are some way off becoming a household essential. Providers are already looking to the future, with Sky and TalkTalk running a 940Mbps speed trial in York, while BT is experimenting with G.fast speeds of up to 1Gbps.

"Yet the majority of consumers are yet to catch on to the benefits of faster broadband, with only one in three using existing superfast services.

"But this is going to change with time."

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