Virgin launches 50MB broadband service

Virgin Media

The cable operator claims its 50Mbps (megabits per second) broadband will enable users to download films in just over three minutes, TV shows in 60 seconds and a music album in as little as 11 seconds.

A high-definition film will take around 15 minutes to download.

New subscribers will have to pay up to £51 a month, but those who sign up for a landline phone (£11/month) will get 50Mbps broadband for an extra £35 a month.

And customers taking a bundled triple-play deal for a landline, Virgin cable TV and 50Mbps broadband will pay £66 per month. However, they'll also have to pay £30 for a new modem and a £50 'activation' fee.

"Today marks an historic moment for both Virgin Media and the UK," says Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media. "Our 50Mbps service represents the dawning of a neww era of high-speed services in the UK."

Virgin says it will have completed the roll-out of the new high-speed service to 40 per cent of its existing cable network covering Scotland, the Midlands and south London by the end of this year.

Roll-out to the rest of its network is due to be completed by summer 2009.