Virgin Media O2 has become the first major UK broadband provider to launch a residential 2Gbps service, dubbed Gig2, and introduce symmetrical download and upload speeds across all speed tiers as an optional add-on for customers.
The new blisteringly fast Gig2 broadband service, which offers speeds more than 28 times faster than the UK average, is enabled by XGS-PON full-fibre technology and builds on Virgin Media’s existing 1Gbps Gig1 service.
Gig2 will be available across the nexfibre network, which currently reaches almost one million premises across towns and cities including London, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Manchester, and Glasgow. Nexfibre is a fibre network joint venture between Virgin Media O2 and investment fund Fern Trading.
According to Virgin Media O2, the significantly enhanced speeds of Gig2 will help power emerging technologies like AI, immersive gaming, and the metaverse.
The company has also introduced symmetrical download and upload speeds across all its speed tiers, from 50Mbps to 2Gbps, allowing customers to upload data as fast as they can download it. This marks the first time a major UK broadband provider has offered symmetrical speeds as a bolt-on option.
Customers who take Gig2 will receive Virgin Media’s new Hub 5x router, its first capable of supporting the XGS-PON standard. The router is made from 100% recycled plastic and aims to boost in-home Wi-Fi speeds by supporting Wi-Fi 6 devices.
Gig2 is priced at £84 per month, with the symmetrical speed add-on costing an extra £6 per month.
“Virgin Media O2 has always been at the forefront of UK broadband innovation and speed,” commented Jeanie York, CTO at Virgin Media. “Gig2 unlocks endless opportunities for customers by supporting emerging tech like the metaverse and AI.”
The company plans to expand Gig2 availability to more areas in the near future via its partnership with nexfibre. Around one million premises already have access at launch.
“Nexfibre’s full fibre network, powered by XGS-PON technology, provides a platform for progress, as demonstrated by Virgin Media O2’s exciting new Gig2 service with symmetrical speed options,” said Rajiv Datta, CEO of nexfibre.
“As our rollout continues at pace, we’re looking forward to empowering more consumers and businesses with the benefits of our significant investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure.”
(Image Credit: Virgin Media O2)
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