I’m thinking of getting Virgin Media broadband and TV, but apparently it isn’t available everywhere. How do I find out if I can get it for my house?
Andrew B, via email
You're right that Virgin Media isn't available everywhere, Andrew. Its network only covers somewhere around 70% of the UK population, though that figure is rapidly rising.
It works a little differently from most providers, because it has its own network totally separate from regular phone lines. If you can get BT services, there's a good chance you can also get broadband from providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, or EE; but it doesn't mean you can get Virgin Media too. Annoyingly, it doesn't always seem to match up geographically either - lots of new builds, for instance, are often excluded from the Virgin network.
The best way to check if you can get its services is to enter your postcode on this page:
If it turns out that yes, you can indeed get Virgin Media, we'll show you all the packages you can get. Add on TV too if you want a money-saving bundle.
What can I get from Virgin Media?
The good news is that if you can get Virgin Media in your home at all, you're able to subscribe to all its services - broadband, home phone, and TV. Value big bundles that combine the three are available too.
You can get its broadband with average download speeds of 108Mb, 213Mb, or 362Mb, all of which are extremely fast.
Then there's TV, with up to 245 channels and a swanky V6 box based around TiVo.
And of course home phone, which includes free weekend calls to landlines as standard - though you can upgrade it to cover anytime calls too.
You can mix and match its packages as you please, or just get one service on its own - including broadband without a landline if that's what takes your fancy.
What if I can't get Virgin Media in my area?
That sucks, but luckily you have options.
If you've really got your heart set on Virgin, you can register your postcode on its site here.
That doesn't mean the provider will rush to your neighbourhood to install its cables - alas - but if there's enough interest from a particular area, it'll consider rolling its network out there. No area is too small: Virgin has expanded to small towns in the past simply because residents were keen enough.
In the meantime, take a look at other, similar providers…
For fast broadband
You're more likely to be able to get fibre optic broadband from a provider like BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet, or others - it's available to more than 90% of us. Average speeds are as high as 67Mb in most areas, which is plenty for most households.
If you're lucky, you may even be in an area where BT is trialling its G.fast broadband, which has average speeds of 300Mb - though it's a lot more expensive than Virgin Media. Or, you may be in an area served by smaller, niche providers such as WightFibre.
Liked the look of Virgin Media's TiVo system, with all those oodles of channels and features? Go for Sky instead, Virgin's nearest rival. You get even more channels - up to 350, plus tons of on-demand box sets - and the Sky Q tech is just as good as TiVo. Cost-wise, it's round about the same.
Or, if that sounds like a bit much for you, you can also get broadband-and-TV bundles from BT, TalkTalk, NOW TV, and EE.