Virgin Media announces 100Mb/s service

Virgin Media has announced the official opening of pre-registrations for its long-awaited 100Mb/s broadband service, due to begin rolling out before the end of the year.

Designed to deflect attention away from rival BT's Infinity fibre-optic broadband service, which offers download speeds of around 40Mb/s, Virgin Media's new flagship service will allow its users to download at up to 24 times faster than the average speed offered by traditional ADSL services.

Neil Berkett, Virgin Media's chief executive officer, humbly described the launch of the service as, "a historic moment." It "will mean the UK will be comparable to other leading broadband nations," he said.

As well as the 100Mb/s service, Virgin Media has confirmed plans to extend its pilot 200Mb/s broadband scheme to Coventry, after signing up users in Kent back in May 2009. So far, however, it has not announced any plans for a general roll-out of the high-speed service.

Those who were hoping that the increased downstream speed would mean an equal increase in upstream bandwidth are in for a treat - the company has confirmed that the 100Mb/s service will also feature an impressive 10Mb/s upload rate.

The 100Mb/s service, which replaces the company's current 50Mb/s connection as its flagship offering, will cost £35 per month when bought as a bundle with telephone and TV offerings, or £45 per month as a stand-alone product.

The company has launched a pre-registration site for interested parties, with the roll-out starting this year and continuing through early 2012.