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Virgin Media upgrades its entire network to gigabit broadband

Virgin Media upgrades its entire network to gigabit broadband

Virgin Media O2 has officially switched on gigabit broadband speeds across its entire network. This means that if your property can get a Virgin Media connection, you can now enjoy internet speeds up to 1130Mbps, which is over 14 times the UK average.

Virgin Media has always been one of the fastest broadband providers in the country, offering ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds up to 600Mbps through its own dedicated cable network. But for the last two years, the provider has been taking this a step further — upgrading all of its connections to be capable of 1Gbps and over.

The UK government has set a target to get gigabit broadband to 85% of UK properties by 2025. And since Virgin Media’s nationwide coverage is about 52%, this rollout has driven nearly two-thirds of the country’s gigabit ambitions alone, four years early.

As a result, it has quickly become the UK’s largest gigabit broadband provider, since gigabit-capable full fibre by other means had only reached 24% of the country as of this autumn.

Find out what gigabit broadband means for Virgin Media customers, and how the provider was able to achieve such a feat so quickly.

What is gigabit broadband?

Gigabit broadband is the gold standard for internet speeds, and is the UK’s goal for the future of its broadband infrastructure. 1Gbps (gigabit-per-second) is equivalent to 1000Mbps (megabits-per-second).

Homes that can access these broadband speeds will be future-proofed for decades to come, since they’ll be able to handle the rapidly-increasing demand for internet that society will undoubtedly have.

As more home electronics and appliances require internet connectivity, and as the quality of the content we watch (and play) improves, our internet usage will skyrocket. So we need technology that will be able to handle what we’ll want to do online in advance.

But it’s not like you’ll only see the benefits of gigabit broadband in the future. There will be a number of immediate results straight away, such as:

  • Lightning-quick downloads of huge files, movies and video games
  • Ultra-smooth streaming of the highest video quality
  • Easy access to internet-heavy activities like cloud gaming
  • Zero issues with multiple people in the household using the internet at once

If you’d like to learn more about what gigabit means, take a look at our gigabit internet guide.

Project Lightning

Virgin Media was able to complete this speedy rollout thanks to Project Lightning — a programme it started two years ago to upgrade all of its existing broadband connections to gigabit.

For most providers to deliver gigabit connections, they have to do so with full fibre. They need to dig up and lay brand-new fibre-optic cables down each street, and then connect them to each individual property on that street. It’s a long, expensive process that takes a lot of time to do for every home in the country.

However, fortunately for Virgin Media, it already had cables connecting directly to each home on its network. So upgrading its connections to gigabit speeds was a much more simple task of modifying its existing technology to be faster.

That’s a much easier operation to roll out than a nationwide network of new cables, and that is what helped Virgin Media make gigabit broadband available on its network so quickly.

Compare Virgin Media broadband deals with Uswitch.

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