Gigabit economy: Virgin Media switches on 1Gbps broadband

Lightning fast gigabit broadband services have been switched on and are available to 1m premises across Ireland.

Virgin Media has switched on its 1Gbps (gigabit) broadband service across its entire network in Ireland.

In a move that makes Virgin Media Ireland’s largest gigabit broadband provider, surpassing rival networks, Ireland’s transformation into a digital economy is taking shape.

“We’re not announcing plans or ambitions or focusing on limited areas. Instead, from today, we’re providing lightning fast broadband connectivity across the country on our gigabit network”

The news comes after it was announced in recent days by National Broadband Ireland, the company tasked with delivering the National Broadband Plan, that broadband speeds on its network will be 500Mbps, more than three times faster than originally planned.

The new 1Gbps service covers 97.5pc of premises connected to Virgin Media’s network.

As such, an estimated 1m homes passed by Virgin Media’s network are gigabit-enabled.

Effectively 50pc of all occupied premises in Ireland are now passed by the Virgin network.

Leading the charge

 “We’re proudly leading the charge to make Ireland faster by offering gigabit connectivity across our footprint. No ‘roll outs’, no timeframes, just 1Gb broadband now, for everyone,” said Paul Higgins, vice-president for Commercial at Virgin Media Ireland.

“We’re not announcing plans or ambitions or focusing on limited areas. Instead, from today, we’re providing lightning fast broadband connectivity across the country on our gigabit network. We’re able to do this as a result of our constant investment across many years in our infrastructure and network capacity, now totalling over €1bn, together with the most advanced in-home customer experience.”

With Virgin Media’s lightning gigabit connection, ultra-high definition 4K films and TV programmes, very large files and videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously.

Data-hungry digital nation

Dark-haired man standing in front of Virgin Media sign.

Paul Higgins, vice-president, Virgin Media Ireland

Covid-19 has accelerated moves towards digital technology, with Virgin Media research finding that consumers’ digital habits have shifted permanently in recent months.

Recent research commissioned by Virgin Media indicates a widespread use of broadband to avail of online services and supports in relation to users’ wellbeing, fitness and mental health. This is borne out by metrics which show a 40pc increase in data usage and a 22pc increase in Wi-Fi usage across Virgin Media’s high speed residential broadband network during the period from March to June inclusive (2020).

Over the first 10 weeks of lockdown, Virgin Media households downloaded over 50pc more data per day on average, making use of their ultrafast speeds.

Homes and businesses using the new 1Gbps service will get to use Virgin’s new V2 router which is equipped to handle DOCSIS 3.1, the next generation cable broadband technology.

“We know our customers are using their broadband more than ever before with data usage increasing by 40pc since March. With our announcement today, we’re able to give customers the option of 1Gbps broadband and the latest in-home technology to unlock the power of this new capability. The fastest just got faster.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 20 August, 2020