Anyone sick of slow broadband speeds and dismal downloads might want to check their postcode. Virgin Media has just confirmed the launch of its new Gig2 internet service which is offering blistering quick internet access. Those who live in areas where Gig2 has been activated will now be able to access the web at speeds of around 2Gbps – that’s over 20 times the UK average and twice as fast as Virgin’s previous Gig1 plan.
As an example of how quick this option is, anyone with it beamed into their homes will be able to download a full HD movie in under 20 seconds.
The same film can take over 10 minutes using a basic 36Mbps connection offered by many Internet Service Providers. Things get even more impressive when it comes to gaming. The latest Call of Duty title, which weighs in at a massive 240GB will take just 16 minutes to arrive on consoles connected to Virgin’s new service – that same game will take well over 7 hours using a slower 70Mbps plan.
To help cope with the upgrade, Virgin is also launching a new Hub 5x router which features improved Wi-Fi 6 technology and a faster 10Gbps Ethernet port.
At launch, Gig2 will be available in around one million homes although this will grow to Virgin’s entire network over the coming months and years. Virgin says it hopes to have most of the UK hooked up to impressive broadband by 2028.
The only downside is that it’s not exactly cheap. Those wanting Gig2 will need to pay £84 per month to join which is pretty pricey but could be worth it if you live in a busy home.
Although 2Gbps may sound a bit excessive Virgin thinks we’re all going to need these speeds in the future.
It’s worth remembering that broadband is just like a motorway – the more traffic that runs through it the slower it gets.
If you have a home where everyone is downloading games, streaming TV, making video calls and using endless smart devices then the better the bandwidth to start with the less likely you are to face annoying stuttering.
Virgin says its Gig2 speeds are available from today, February 7, although you’ll need to check your street has been upgraded to the latest fibre technology to enjoy access.
Speaking about the update, Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Virgin Media O2 has always been at the forefront of innovation to provide hyperfast and next-generation connectivity to homes in the UK, and Gig2 is our latest speed venture which will unlock endless opportunities for future technologies and the ever-changing digital needs of our customers.
“Gig2 will operate across nexfibre’s XGS-PON, full fibre network which will support symmetrical download and upload speeds – a first for a major UK broadband provider as an optional add-on – and will enable users to send and receive data, files and much more at the blink of an eye. With our heritage in providing cutting-edge technology and hyperfast broadband speeds, which saw us complete the UK’s first national gigabit rollout programme, we are looking forward to taking Gig2 to more areas in the near future.”