Virgin Media broadband is prepping a free speed upgrade for 1.6 million customers

Behold, internet speed upgrades are coming

Virgin Media O2
(Image credit: Virgin Media O2)

Mega-fast gigabit broadband is now available to over 90% of Virgin Media O2’s UK network, with the group aiming to upgrade its entire network of 15.5 million homes by the end of the year. That means actually speedy internet could soon become a reality for many people and not just a pipe dream sold by various providers.

The switching-on of gigabit broadband will provide lightning-fast connectivity for a further 1.6 million UK homes with average speeds of 1,130Mbps, which the company says is 22 times faster than the national average. The move grows the firm's gigabit-ready network, with Bath, Lancaster, Ipswich, Huddersfield, Fife, Lincoln, Salisbury, and Slough among the areas to be connected.

As well as prepping homes so that they're ready for the next generation of apps, tech, and software, Virgin Media O2's gigabit speeds make it easier for consumers to go about their day-to-day digital business without any hitches. Many of us have had to work from home over the past year because of the pandemic and that has necessitated a reliable internet connection to work, stream, socialize, and everything in the middle. Stable internet is now a currency in itself, but many people still lack an accessible means to trusty connectivity. 

And let's be clear: internet connections have to put up with a lot, often with multiple devices under the same roof using a single connection. Whether that's the best iPhone, the best Android phone, or perhaps even the best laptop – your internet connection can get overwhelmed when too many people deluge it with requests. The gigabit switch-on, then, will come as good news for those who need the speedier capabilities of this next-gen connectivity, especially if there are loads of people gathered under one roof fighting for bandwidth. 

Gigabit for all

Virgin Media O2

Virgin Media O2 paves the way to more sustainable network expansion

(Image credit: Virgin Media O2)

As part of the gigabit switch-on, Virgin Media O2 has also upgraded thousands of homes in nearby Carnforth, Morecambe, and Bolton-le-Sands to gigabit speeds. Next-gen broadband is something that's seen as vitally important to futureproofing society, where we increasingly rely on the internet to not just supplement the workplace, but actually become the workplace by enabling people to work remotely, as well as flexibly. 

Virgin Media O2 chief executive Lutz Schuler said: “We’re making great strides ahead in upgrading the UK and are within touching distance of bringing the benefits of future-proof gigabit broadband to everyone on our network." Watch this space for more network updates. 

Scaling up

Virgin Media O2's plan to arm the UK may seem very ambitious, but then such lofty goals only seem fair considering it's the first joint project between the two firms following their eye-watering £31 billion merger earlier this year. 

The Virgin Media O2 link-up plans to lure customers from BT, which is still the biggest telecoms provider in the UK. BT remains synonymous with reliability and is typically a decent choice when it comes to picking your network service provider, so the Virgin O2 partnership needs to deliver on its promises to make good on its bid to take on BT.

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.