Millions of Virgin Media customers given free speed boost — do you qualify?

Millions of Virgin customers have seen their broadband speed boosted  (Nicholas T Ansell/PA)
Millions of Virgin customers have seen their broadband speed boosted (Nicholas T Ansell/PA)

Virgin Media O2 has given millions of its broadband customers an unexpected and extremely welcome speed boost at no extra cost.

Customers of the M100 and M200 tiers have seen their speeds boosted from today, with the tariffs getting a 22 per cent and 24 per cent increase, respectively. M100 goes from an average download speed of 108Mbps to 132Mbps, while M200 jumps from 213Mbps to 264Mbps.

Upload speeds have also been increased, doubling from 10Mbps to 20Mbps on the M100 package. The M200 gets a less significant but still welcome upload boost, from 20Mbps to 25Mbps.

As a result of these changes, the existing names no longer seem appropriate, and Virgin Media has renamed them M125 and M250.

Neither existing customers nor new subscribers will have to pay extra for the added speed, with prices still starting at £26 per month and £30 per month respectively. Customers who get have a phone contract with O2 can also double their paid-for speed free of charge via the company’s Volt offer.

While some customers have reported the speed boost without needing to do anything, Virgin Media says that eligible customers may need to reboot their broadband hub by switching it off and on again.

But what do these new speeds mean in practice? Virgin Media says that the time to download an average 4K movie has been slashed from 19 minutes to 15 on the M125 package, and from nine minutes to seven-and-a-half for M250 subscribers.

Residential customers of the faster M350, M500, and Gig1 packages don’t get an upgrade to their download speeds, which remain at 362Mbps, 516Mbps, and 1,130Mbps respectively. However, Virgin Media has confirmed that small businesses on the Voom 600, 800, and 1 Gig packages will get an upload speed increase at some point in the new year.