118,000 Brits now take Virgin Media’s 50Mb broadband

Three times as many Brits are taking Virgin Media’s 50Mb broadband than a year ago, as the UK’s second biggest broadband company’s customers swell to 4.3 million.

Brits are switching to Virgin Media's faster speed broadband packages, as homes have embraced connected devices and online video.

118,000 homes now have Virgin Media's50Mb broadband package, which is triple the number at the end of 2009. Customers on the 50Mb broadband typically received 49.32Mb in January 2011, according to Virgin Media's research.

Virgin Media said that there was a 40% increase in its customers taking its broadband packages offering speeds of20Mb broadband or more in 2010.

In its annual financial statement, it said: "We now carry over half a terabit of data per second during busy periods. At that rate it is possible to download 62 copies of the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica every second."

In December, Virgin Media started to roll-out ultrafast 100Mb broadband and this will continue over this year and next. The equipment provided to 100Mb customers will be capable of carrying speeds up to 400Mb.

Virgin Media CEO, Neil Berkett, said: "Together with the rollout of our ultrafast 100Mb broadband, across our growing cable infrastructure, we will further accelerate our lead in next-generation services and meet the ever growing demand for greater connectivity."

Michael Phillips, product director at Broadbandchoices.co.uk said: "When the UK telecoms regulator investigated broadband speeds last year, Virgin Media was the runaway winner when it came to providing speeds which were the closest to its advertised speeds.

"Virgin Media is continuing to push the limits by providing the fastest broadband packages in the UK, and tackling the issue of upload speeds with the aim of ensuring they are always at least 10% of a customer's chosen download speed."

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