Virgin Media launches its fastest home broadband yet — this could be the key for better working from home at last, but businesses still miss out for now

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Virgin Media O2 has introduced even faster broadband connections for British consumers with the launch of its new Gig2 service.

Gig2, which delivers 2Gbps connections to eligible residential addresses, doubles the speed of the previous flagship connection, Gig1, and offers a staggering 28x increase over the UK average connection speed of around 70Mbps.

The launch should be a welcome boost for customers looking for stronger and more reliable home connections, whether that be for streaming media, or allowing them to work more effectively from home.

Virgin introduces Gig2 broadband

The faster connections will be powered by XGS-PON technology through Virgin Media O2’s partnership with nexfibre, and operates on a full fibre network.

Belfast, Cardiff, London and Glasgow will be among the first areas to get the Gig2 connection, which the company says has an availability of around one million homes.

The advancement also positions the company as the first major UK provider to introduce symmetrical download and upload speeds across all tiers as an add-on. Those with a fibre connection from 50Mbps to 2Gbps are eligible. For Gig2 plans, symmetrical speeds costs £6 per month on top of the basic plan price.

Unlike the DOCSIS 3.1 Hub 5, which has previously been available to Gig1 customers, Gig2 customers will get the upgraded XGS-PON Hub 5x, which benefits from a 10Gbps Ethernet port as well as three 1Gbps connections. The energy-efficient hub made from recycled plastics also supports Wi-Fi 6 connections.

Virgin Media O2 CTO Jeanie York commented: “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.”

The company provided some download time expectations for its Gig2 plan, including a full download of Call of Duty Modern Warefare III for PS5, which is a 240GB file. On a 2Gbps connection, it should take 16 minutes, compared with 7 hours and 41 minutes on a 70Mbps connection – the UK average.

An ideal boost for home workers and serial cloud games, Gig2 connections will cost £84 per month before add-ons. For comparison, we found a Gig1 connection without add-ons available for £45 at an address just outside Cardiff.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!