Virgin launches 50MB broadband service

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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.