Virgin Media switch on Gig1 broadband in London and NI

5 November 2020   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Virgin Media's broadband speeds of 1GB are now available to three million more customers in the UK.

Households across London and in Northern Ireland are now able to sign up to Virgin's fastest broadband package.

It means a total of 6.8 million homes across the UK are now able to access Virgin's Gig1 service, around 45% of the total Virgin Media network.

In related news, Virgin have released their quarterly results which shows their broadband network has expanded to over 16 million premises.

virgin media shop sign
Credit: Jevanto Productions/

New Gig1 areas

London and Northern Ireland are the latest areas of the UK to benefit from Virgin Media's gigabit-capable switch-on.

It brings speeds of 1140Mb to the almost 70% of Londoners who are connected to Virgin Media's network and the full 400,000 premises in Northern Ireland (including Belfast) who could previously only receive Virgin's 516Mb broadband.

The price of Gig1 broadband starts at £62 per month for standalone broadband, rising as customers add extras such as a home phone line and TV services.

Find out what we think of Virgin Media broadband in our review.

Gig1 expansion

It's taken over a year for Virgin Media to switch on their 1Gb broadband in London, having first started their Gig1 rollout in Southampton back in October 2019.

Since then, Virgin have rolled the service out in Manchester, Reading, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh and Liverpool, with their most recent switch-on covering almost a million homes in Glasgow, Leeds and Bradford.

The expansions into London and Northern Ireland mean 6.8 million premises across the UK are now able to sign up to Virgin's fastest broadband.

This amounts to 45% of Virgin's total network footprint, and the intention is to complete the rollout to their entire network by the end of 2021.

At the same time, Virgin are continuing to expand their network through Project Lightning, so more homes will be able to opt for gigabit-capable broadband in future.

Quarterly results

Virgin's quarterly results gave some indication of how their expansion plans are going.

By the end of Q3 2020, they had passed 16.1 million premises with their broadband, adding an extra 125,000 premises in that quarter.

This was an increase on the 93,000 premises passed in both Q1 and Q2, perhaps a sign of work speeding up after the first coronavirus lockdown altered the way companies operated.

The total number of extra premises connected by Project Lightning currently stands at 2.4 million. Compared to the end of September 2019, Virgin have added 440,000 extra properties to their network.

The results also showed:

  • Virgin Media have 6.02m fixed line customers
  • They added 37,300 new customers in the year to the end of September 2020
  • 58% of customers take three services from Virgin (TV, broadband and phone)
  • Virgin Mobile currently has 2.46m subscribers

Looking to the future, the results confirmed the joint venture with O2 is still on track for completion, although no details were given on what it means for customers just yet.

In addition, the report mentioned Virgin TV 360, which is planned to launch in the UK by the end of the year.

This TV service is being billed as the next generation of Virgin Media TV offering the following features:

  • Voice Search and Control for improved streaming
  • Entertainment all in one place including Sky channels, catch-up services and built-in apps
  • Streaming, control and management with Virgin TV Go

The service began trialling in September, and it's looking likely it will become more widely available by the end of 2020.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.

Get insider tips and the latest offers in our newsletter