Virgin Media has switched on what it claims is the UK’s fastest gigabit home broadband services across Southampton. It is the first city to benefit from the company’s plan to bring gigabit speeds to nearly 15 million homes by the end of 2021 – the entire Virgin Media network.
Virgin Media’s Gig1 is now available to around 100,000 homes in Southampton with another major UK city set to follow in the coming weeks. As broadband data use increases tenfold every 7 years, this service provides the connectivity needed for future applications like 8K streaming, cloud gaming and virtual reality telepresence without the need to excavate roads and streets to install new cables.
To celebrate the launch of these next-generation Gig1 services, Virgin Media has joined forces with Southampton-born superstar, Craig David, to put on a free and exclusive one-off gig at St Mary’s Stadium on October 10th.
Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “By launching our hyperfast Gig1 services in Southampton today, we’re marking the start of next-generation gigabit connectivity across our entire network at a speed and scale unmatched by anyone else. This service is more than 20 times faster than the UK’s average broadband speed, meaning that households can do everything they want to do online, at the same time, without delay and are well set for whatever comes next. The Government has called for nationwide gigabit connectivity and we’re helping them leap forward to reach this ambition.”
Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, added: “I am pleased Virgin shares our ambition to boost the UK’s connectivity by investing in the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds. This will mean people can really take advantage of the digital revolution. It is fantastic Southampton will benefit from Virgin’s investment and progress is being made to get gigabit-capable connectivity right across the UK. We are also investing heavily to make sure the whole country can capitalise on next generation broadband and are committed to creating the right opportunities for industry to push ahead with nationwide rollout.”
The hyperfast Gig1 service offers an average peak-time download speed of 1,104Mbps. Gig1 broadband is available to new and existing customers and can be packaged with or without telephone, TV and mobile services, with prices starting at 62 per month on an 18 month contract. Customers taking the new service will also benefit from a guaranteed price freeze for at least 24 months.
Customers taking Gig1 will also receive Virgin Media’s new gigabit capable router – the Hub 4. The new router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and features improved WiFi hardware to provide reliable connectivity throughout customers’ homes. The Hub 4 boasts more antennae than its predecessor, the Hub 3, meaning it can manage multiple devices at the same time around the home which can all share the hyperfast speed.
With Virgin Media’s hyperfast gigabit connection, ultra-high definition 4K films and TV programmes, very large files and 360 degree videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously. The connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.
The Gig1 news is part of Liberty Global’s rollout of ‘GigaCities’ – with the launch of Gigabit broadband speeds throughout Switzerland, Brussels and Flanders in Belgium, as well as the UK.
Liberty Global’s Swiss operating company, UPC Switzerland, also launched 1 Gigabit speeds across its entire footprint last week, both in cities and rural areas. As a result, more than 75 per cent of all Swiss households can benefit from the deployment.
Mike Fries, CEO, and Liberty Global, said: “Once again, we are creating the next-generation of broadband in Europe. Our latest GigaCity rollouts show that we are the speed leader, but that’s just the start – security, reliability and privacy are just as important as fast broadband.”
The new rollouts follow 12 Polish cities, including Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk, and three cities in Slovakia, where Liberty Global has made Gigabit connections available at scale. More GigaCities are set to launch in the coming months and throughout 2020.