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Virgin boosts broadband speeds

Virgin Media announced plans to begin the first part of a major broadband upgrade programme.

Customers on Virgin Media's 'L' tier broadband package will be upgraded for free, taking their service from 4Mb to 10Mb.

The upgrade will roll out by regions from late February and will give customers more than double the speed of their current package, a significant speed advantage over regular 8Mb ADSL connections.

The average speed of ADSL connections in UK is far less than the stated 8Mb with the usual speed hovering around 3Mbps.

On the new 10Mb service, a Virgin Media customer will be able to download a typical music track in just four seconds; an album in under a minute or a TV show in around five minutes.

The speed upgrade was announced on the eve of a high level Government symposium on "Superfast Broadband" which Neil Berkett, acting CEO of Virgin Media, is speaking.

Following successful trials in Ashford, Folkstone and Dover, Virgin Media will also be extending its upgrade programme to a superfast 50Mb.

Virgin Media currently offers its customers a top speed of 20Mb, and the new 50Mb service will be made available to over 9 million homes in the UK by the end of 2008.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.