Virgin Media, the UK’s leading internet service provider, today announced it would begin the roll-out of a 100Mb broadband service, the fastest available commercial product in the UK, by the end of 2010.

Virgin Media customers will be the first to get broadband speeds more than 24 times the average speed provided by other ISPs*. The new speed tier is designed for tech-savvy users who want the very best the internet has to offer, and will act as Virgin Media’s flagship product in a strong portfolio of broadband speeds.

Virgin Media already leads the market for next generation broadband services in the UK and will have increased its top broadband tier from 20Mb to 100Mb in less than two years. By leveraging the technological superiority of its fibre optic cable network, the company has brought next generation internet speeds to 12.6 million homes throughout the country and is the only mass-market provider of ultrafast speeds in the UK. In addition, Virgin Media’s cable network means it is able to deliver very close to advertised headline speeds, unlike its ADSL competitors**, or that claimed by other operators’ embryonic investment in fibre.

Virgin Media’s chief executive officer, Neil Berkett, said: “There is nothing we can’t do with our fibre optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100Mb service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience. Just as we led the way by launching the UK’s first ever next generation service, we want to keep giving our customers the very best broadband available, by investing in technological innovation and transforming the experience they have when they are online. The launch of Virgin Media’s 100Mb service will be a historic moment and will mean the UK will be comparable to other leading broadband nations.”

The 100Mb service will allow users to download a music album in as little as 5 seconds, an hour long TV show in 31 seconds and an HD movie in 7 minutes 25 seconds. This is significantly faster than the time it would take a person using the fastest speeds on offer from competitors*** where a music album could be downloaded on average in 1 minute 15 seconds, an hour long TV show in 7 minutes 18 seconds and an HD movie in 1 hour 44 minutes.

In another major development for the broadband sector, Virgin Media will extend its 200Mb pilot to Coventry where it will look to recruit hundreds of customers to test the internet with this supercharged speed. The 200Mb pilot, which began in May 2009 in Kent, has been focusing on future technologies and applications, such as home teleconferencing and downloading HD programmes on-demand, which are likely to require fast speeds.

Virgin Media has 4.1 million broadband customers, with most on cable broadband, and currently offers 10Mb, 20Mb and 50Mb services.

For more information on Virgin Media products and services visit: www.virginmedia.com.

Notes to editors

* The average actual broadband speed was 4.1Mb according to Ofcom’s most recently published research, in conjunction with SamKnows, in July 2009.

** Virgin Media delivered 84% of its advertised speed on average, compared to the second best ISP which provided 58%, according to Ofcom and SamKnows’ research.

*** Based on a 24Mb connection.

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is one of the largest residential broadband providers in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs seven entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).

Copyright Business Wire 2010