Virgin Media switches on one gigabit broadband for its entire NI network

Virgin Media has made its gigabit service available to all its customers in the north. Pictured is Virgin Media engineer, Paul Murphy.
Ryan McAleer

VIRGIN Media has made its gigabit broadband service available to its entire network of almost 400,000 homes in the north.

The operator has said the average download speed of 1,140 megabits per second (Mbps) on offer is the fastest in Northern Ireland and around 20 times faster than the average download speed here (55.5Mbps).

But the Gig1 service is only available in areas where Virgin has laid its cable network, with prices starting from £62 a month on an 18-month contract.

Customers will also need Virgin’s new router – the Hub 4. The operator said the service can also be bundled in with its phone, TV and mobile offering.

Virgin Media switched on its gigabit network south of the border during August.

The operator said its investment in the north in the past five years has now reached £150m with the company expanding its network and opening a new office in Belfast for its 350 staff here.

Virgin said the gigabit connection will enable customers to download ultra-high definition video, and very large files almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously.

It also said it will future proof users for new technologies from virtual and augmented reality to 8K streaming and cloud gaming.

The operator’s regional director Seamus McCorry, said Northern Ireland now boasts some of the world’s fastest broadband speeds as a result of the switch-on.

“These hyperfast speeds will empower those working from home, learning online, video calling friends and family, or binging on a box set in 4K – all of which can be done at the same time, without delay,” he said.

“Whatever the future holds, we’re connecting our customers to what’s next.”

Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, said: “I welcome Virgin Media’s investment in Northern Ireland and this significant achievement in further expanding gigabit capable fibre services to citizens and businesses.

“This comes at a time when the importance of telecommunications has become so prominent. Connectivity will play a vital role in re-building the Northern Ireland economy as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.”

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