Virgin Media M50 Fibre Broadband

Last updated: 18 March 2024   By Lyndsey Burton

Virgin Media's entry-level M50 plan is their cheapest way to get a home phone line.

While M50 is no longer Virgin's cheapest plan, it offers an accessible connection for those who prioritise a phone line.

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Virgin Media M50 fibre broadband offers average download speeds of 54Mbps at peak times, and is available bundled with a phone line and free weekend calls to UK landlines.

Ideally suited to smaller households who don't place too much strain on their broadband connection, M50's speeds will still support streaming TV and film in HD.

While M50 has now been surpassed by M125 as Virgin's cheapest broadband-only option, this plan still offers value for money for households who need a home phone.

virgin media broadband

At a glance

Price £28
Setup cost Free (was £35)
Minimum term 18 months
Out of contract price £56 after 18 months
Annual price increase RPI + 3.9% from April 2025
Download speed 54Mbps
Upload speed 5Mbps
Usage allowance Unlimited
Router Hub 3
WiFi guarantee 30Mbps for £8/mth
Parental controls Virgin Media Web Safe
Home phone Included
Anytime calls £10/mth (inc. UK mobiles)
TV Optional: Virgin Stream
Pros Cons
Cheapest Virgin plan with a home phone M125 broadband-only is cheaper
Includes free calls to UK landlines at the weekend, and anytime calls only £10 extra No longer available with Virgin TV 360
Can be bundled with Virgin Stream TV Out of contract pricing is expensive
Social plans available for households in receipt of benefits
Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Who is M50 fibre broadband best suited for?

Virgin Media M50 fibre broadband is the provider's entry-level plan, although it's fast being replaced by the M125 plan.

M50 is only suitable for households who prioritise having a home phone line, and don't want to consider a broadband-only package.

This is because M125 fibre broadband-only from Virgin Media costs just £24 per month, while M50 fibre broadband costs £28 with a home phone line, and is no longer available as a broadband-only option.

On the positive side however, M50 fibre broadband and phone comes with free calls to UK landlines at the weekend, and customers can add call plans, including anytime calls for just £10 a month.

So, M50 fibre broadband is best suited to:

  • Smaller households, where only one or a maximum of two people are going online at the same time
  • Lighter internet activities, such as browsing and emails, as well as streaming HD TV content without sharing the connection
  • Households who prioritise having a home phone line and don't want a broadband-only package
  • Those in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, as they may be eligible for Virgin Media Essential Plus broadband, which offers M50 broadband for just £20 per month, although there is no home phone line

Lastly, households who use or would consider using O2 as a mobile provider, may also want to consider M250 Volt Fibre Broadband and Phone - it's Virgin's cheapest Volt plan and includes a home phone line and a 6GB O2 mobile SIM with unlimited minutes, and costs just £4 more per month at £31.99.


What does M50 Fibre Broadband offer?

Virgin Media's M50 fibre broadband plan offers average download speeds of 54Mbps at peak times, and average upload speeds of 5Mbps.

It's only available with a Virgin home phone line, and customers get free calls to UK landlines included at the weekend for no extra cost.

Here is current pricing for M50 broadband and phone:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

While M50 broadband and phone includes the Weekend chatter plan, it's worth noting this covers calls to UK landlines only.

Other Virgin Media call plans, including Anytime chatter, cover calls to both UK landlines and UK mobiles, although customers have to pay extra for this.

The call plans available to add to M50 broadband and phone include:

Call plan Includes Monthly price
Weekend & evening chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles 7pm to 7am during the week and all weekend £5
Anytime chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time £10
International anytime chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time, plus calls to 50 destinations worldwide £15

For those on a budget, it's worth noting that Virgin Media contracts taken out since April 2023 are now subject to contractual annual price rises of Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3.9%.

This means the prices advertised will increase by RPI + 3.9% in April of each year, even for customers still within their minimum term. In addition, trying to exit the contract early can incur early termination fees.

Note however that those who sign up between February and April 2024 won't see price rises until April 2025, which has been confirmed by Virgin.

M50 Fibre Broadband + Stream TV

While M50 is no longer an option for those who want to take Virgin Media's TV 360 platform, customers on this cheaper deal can still choose to bundle Virgin's newer Stream TV service.

Stream offers an online set top box which offers access to a variety of premium channel packs through Virgin, as well as support for a range of on-demand apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, Paramount+, Disney+, and also benefits from the recent addition of Apple TV+.

Package TV Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter + Stream 52 54Mb average £28 £35 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee on broadband (save £35) + Get 10% Stream credit back on every subscription you add to Stream

Stream costs £35 upfront but there are no monthly subscription fees to pay except for optional content plans which are all offered on monthly rolling contracts.

In addition, for those in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, customers can get Stream for a reduced price of £20, which we look at in the next section.

Read more about Virgin Stream TV in our guide.


Virgin Media Essential Plus Broadband

Essential Plus, launched in November 2022, offers access to the M50 broadband plan at a reduced price for households in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.

While customers are unable to add a home phone line on this plan, it costs just £20 per month and isn't subject to the usual early termination fees or annual price rises as standard plans.

For those who are eligible, Essential Plus from Virgin Media can offer an easier way to budget when finances are tight to help homes stay connected.

It's also possible to bundle Essential Plus with Virgin Stream TV, which is available to eligible customers at a reduced setup fee of just £20.

Eligibility for the Essential broadband plans includes receipt of Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, and Pension Credit. Both new and existing Virgin Media customers can apply too.

You can read more about Virgin Media Essential Broadband here.


M50 vs M125 Fibre Broadband

Customers looking at the M50 Fibre Broadband plan from Virgin Media may also want to consider the cost difference with M125, as well as M250 Volt as we'll look at below.

M125 fibre broadband is the cheapest way to get Virgin Media, and costs just £24 per month for the first 18 months on a broadband-only plan.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mb average £26 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £26 per month + No setup fee (was £35)

M125 broadband-only is cheaper than M50 broadband and phone, and there is no longer an M50 broadband-only package, which makes M125 the cheapest option. It could save £72 over the length of the 18-month contract so is worthwhile considering if households don't need a home phone line.

For households looking at M50 because they want the cheapest option with a Virgin home phone line, M250 Volt fibre broadband and phone is also an alternative worth looking at.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M250 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 264Mb average £33.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts (Ends 31/05/2024)

While it may seem counter-intuitive to jump up to such fast-broadband speeds as M250, the Volt version of this package bundles a home phone line, as well as an O2 mobile SIM, and only costs £4 more per month than the M50 broadband and phone plan.

Where it would make sense to upgrade is when customers are already O2 customers and would make use of that additional SIM plan. Volt benefits also mean all existing O2 plans in a household receive double data, as well as a free WiFi guarantee to boost wireless coverage around a home worth £8 per month.

Overall, while M50 broadband and phone remains the cheapest option to access a Virgin Media home phone line, other options should be considered depending on individual requirements to find the best value for money.


How does M50 fibre broadband compare?

In terms of broadband speed, M50 fibre broadband from Virgin Media most closely compares with superfast fibre to the cabinet deals, which usually offer average download speeds around 60Mbps.

However, in comparison to these equivalent plans, Virgin Media M50 broadband and phone isn't always the cheapest option.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
Super Fibre 63Mb average £21 £10 12 months
offer Offer: Save £3/mth until 4 July 2024 then £24/mth + NOW TV membership available reduced for 12 months (Ends 04/07/2024)
Superfast Broadband 61Mb average £27 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Superfast Fibre Plus 67Mb average £25.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Many broadband providers no longer offer a home phone option, or where they do it costs extra. However, NOW Broadband, Sky and Vodafone all offer cheaper broadband and phone deals to Virgin M50.

The plans in the table above only include line rental, and calls are all on a pay as you go basis, which is one area M50 wins in as that plan includes free calls at the weekend.

For example, while it's possible to add Evening & Weekend calls to NOW Super Fibre, the plan then costs the same as Virgin Media M50 + Weekend calls, at £28 per month.

Looking at larger providers, TalkTalk Fibre 65 has higher monthly costs at £35.95 per month, while BT's Fibre 1 plan with pay as you go calls costs £39.99 per month.

Overall, depending on a household's location, some people may prefer the extra reliability of a Virgin Media broadband connection, especially when they otherwise live a long way from their nearest telephone exchange.


Is M50 fibre broadband fast enough?

As Virgin Media's slowest standard broadband plan, it's worth considering whether M50 fibre broadband will be fast enough for your needs.

M50 fibre broadband offers average download speeds of 54Mbps at peak times. That means at least 50% of Virgin Media's customers on M50 get that speed or faster when the network is busiest in the evenings.

Average download speed Average upload speed
Virgin Media M50 54Mbps 5Mbps

Virgin Media also offer personalised estimates when customers sign up online, and provide these speed ranges, along with a minimum guaranteed speed for M50 customers.

Estimated download speed Minimum guaranteed download speed
Virgin Media M50 52 - 55Mbps 27Mbps

Virgin Media promise a minimum download speed of 27Mbps on M50 fibre broadband. This means if a customer receives a speed less than this for 3 consecutive days or more, and Virgin Media don't resolve the issue within 30 days, the customer can exit their contract penalty free.

This minimum speed guarantee is a result of Virgin Media having agreed to voluntary terms on broadband speeds with the industry regulator Ofcom.

It should give customers reassurances that'll they'll receive a broadband connection with a minimum service guarantee.


Broadband router

Virgin Media M50 fibre broadband comes with the Hub 3 router. This supports dual-band wireless over the WiFi 5 (or 802.11ac) protocol.

The Hub 3 offers 5 internal antennas, that's two less than the Hub 4 and Hub 5, which means the wireless signal won't be as strong as on Virgin Media's newer routers.

Unfortunately, because M50 is Virgin Media's slowest broadband plan, it's unlikely they'll send out an updated hub for this package.

However, customers do have the option of taking out Virgin Media's WiFi Max add-on.

Using intelligent mesh, WiFi Max provides customers with up to three WiFi Pods which work in combination with the Hub 3 to extend wireless coverage around a larger area (or home).

The WiFi Max add-on costs £8 per month, and promises minimum download speeds over wireless of 30Mbps in every room - including on the M50 package. If customers don't get this speed, they can claim a £100 bill credit and cancel the WiFi Max add-on.

This is another reason why the upgrade to M125 or M250 Volt is worth considering. All Volt bundles, including M250 Volt come with WiFi Max for free, and the package is only a few pounds more per month than the M50 fibre broadband and phone plan.


Verdict: Is M50 fibre broadband any good?

While M50 fibre broadband has mostly been superseded by M125 as Virgin Media's entry-level broadband deal, it still has a place for those who want a home phone line.

M50 fibre broadband and phone is the cheapest way to get Virgin Media broadband with phone, and customers also get free calls to UK landlines at the weekend.

However, while M50 is adequate for smaller households and those who don't use the Internet too much, faster options can offer better value for money.

M125 fibre broadband-only is cheaper for example, while M250 Volt fibre broadband includes a home phone line and an O2 mobile plan and only costs £3.99 more per month.

Overall, M50 broadband and phone is a good budget option, but it's no longer the most popular or best value plan.

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