Virgin jacks up prices but boosts broadband speed

Virgin Media has announced price increases across its customer base, but has taken a swipe at BT as it increased its top end speed to 152Mbps.

The ISP will raise broadband prices by 6.7 per cent on average across all cable customers, but it is tempering this with improved speeds "far beyond" BT offerings, or anyone using BT fibre.

Virgin had already offered high speeds of 120Mbps. It now has plans to boost customers' speeds by at least 20Mbps, depending on their current service.

"The speed increase is an optional extra boost customers can choose to get more value from their subscription," a Virgin spokesperson told IT Pro.

"There's no extra cost for the boost. The programme starts in late February and will roll-out area-by-area over the following twelve months."

The speed spat with BT has been raging for years now, ever since Virgin became the second most popular broadband provider in the UK. Whilst Virgin is winning the speed race, BT has greater coverage as it is set to supply 17 million homes and businesses with fibre. Virgin is only planning to hit 12.5 million.

"As people connect more things simultaneously to the internet more often, they need powerful broadband with the bandwidth to deliver a great experience for everyone in the home," Virgin Media chief executive officer Tom Mockridge added.

"Our top speed will be twice as fast as BT and all the others reliant on their old copper telephony infrastructure as we extend our lead as Britain's ultrafast broadband provider."

A BT spokesperson added: "BT's fibre broadband network will be the best choice for customers looking for genuinely widely available fibre broadband that is truly unlimited with great download and upload speeds."