Cable group Virgin Media is upgrading the broadband connections of 2.6m households on its lowest-speed service to set a new minimum offering of 10Mb per second.
Upgrading connections from just 2Mbps to 10Mbps will allow more members of a household to use high-bandwidth services such as the BBC iPlayer video catch-up service and online games at the same time.
Virgin Media said it would start rolling out the upgrade — at no extra cost to customers — in May.
The Guardian said the move follows last year’s upgrade of 4Mbps connections to 10Mbps and will leave Virgin Media customers able to choose between speeds of up to 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 50Mbps.
At the moment subscribers with 2Mbps broadband pay around $20 a month, depending on their package.
They will continue to pay this rate after the upgrade, less than the $28 a month paid by existing 10Mbps customers who also have a Virgin phone line.
However, the new 10Mbps customers will have to pay the higher rate to receive the online protection package PCguard, which blocks nuisances such as viruses and pop-ups.
Neil Berkett, the company’s chief executive said, ‘Our entry-level broadband product is now twice the speed of comparable services and, with our new 10-20-50 range, we clearly offer the highest quality broadband service in the UK.’
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