Virgin Media is one of the biggest broadband and digital TV providers in the UK, with some of the fastest broadband speeds available to customers. However, with the growing presence of full fibre broadband on other networks, Virgin Media could soon see other providers out-pacing it.
Virgin Media has recently announced that it will be boosting the top speeds of some of its more comprehensive packages and allowing even more flexibility to new and existing customers when selecting and customising a TV and broadband deal.
Jeff Dodds, Virgin Media’s COO, said:
“We’re adding the racing stripes to our entire bundle line-up by making our M500 Fibre broadband available with all of our packages.
“It means our customers can live life in the fast lane and do everything they want online. Whether that’s streaming Spotify, binging a box set in 4K, gearing up for an epic gaming session or joining a work Zoom call — with our incredible connectivity you can do it all in the same home at the same time.”
One of the changes announced was that customers on Virgin Media’s Ultimate Oomph TV bundle would see their broadband boosted to 600Mbps, up from an average speed of 516Mbps. This is exciting news in and of itself, but Virgin Media is also making these top-end speeds more accessible as its 516Mbps tier connection is now available as a standalone product.
In the past, those wanting these incredible speeds would need to subscribe to the comprehensive Ultimate Oomph TV bundle. Previously, broadband-only customers could only get access to average speeds of 362Mbps.
At the time of writing, the new 516Mbps standalone broadband package costs £46 a month on an 18-month contract, and £52 a month for a broadband and phone package.
Finally, Virgin Media’s next-generation 1Gbps broadband service is set to become more affordable. Virgin’s gigabit broadband service is currently only available in parts of Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Reading and Southampton, and will be reduced to £64 a month from £67.
As one of the major digital TV providers, Virgin Media is following the likes of Sky TV and BT TV in making its TV offerings more flexible and customisable. Virgin Media’s ‘Personal Picks’ allow customers to personalise the TV they subscribe to at a lower price than before.
Personal Picks are now £7 a month + £5 for each subsequent Pick and can be added to a bundle instantly and removed simply by giving 30 days notice. The new pricing structure means that customers could end up saving at least £60 a year when taking two or more Picks. Existing customers will be moved onto the new, lower price, too.
A significant change across Virgin’s broadband and TV packages is the length of each fixed-term. Virgin Media has typically offered 12-month contracts, one of the shortest on the market. However, these new deals will be 18-month contracts, which the provider claims will allow customers more time to benefit from discounts.
A longer contract may sound like a negative, as it means you’re tied in to use that provider for a lengthy period of time and won’t be able to switch to a new one without paying a penalty. However, introductory offers like those detailed above will tend to only run for the initial contract period, jumping up significantly in price afterwards.
A longer contract also means you could enjoy a lower monthly price for that period, plus you won’t have the hassle of finding a new broadband deal every year.
Ernest Doku, broadband spokesperson at Uswitch said, “On the face of it, these offers may seem quite tempting when it comes to looking for an all-singing, all-dancing bundle for your home broadband and TV package. Virgin Media also offers broadband download speeds which are hard to match from most other providers, however, they won’t necessarily be right for every customer.
“Deals that lock you in for 18 months keep you tied to your contract for longer and it is also worth bearing in mind that your provider can increase the price of their offer at any time, providing they give you an opportunity to leave the deal penalty-free.
“These are also still introductory offers, which can increase significantly in price when the deal comes to an end.
“If you are an avid sports fan, or keen on having access to the Sky movie channels, these deals offer a degree of simplicity, as it is all there on one platform. However, if you use services such as NOW TV or Amazon Prime Video, you can turn your subscription on and off, which could save you money in the long run.
“Overall, Virgin Media’s bundled deals will be right for some consumers, however, it is always worth running a quick comparison on the different products and services available before signing for the next 18 months.”
If you can't get Virgin Media at your home, try our Network Checker — currently in its beta stage — to see what providers you could get at your address.