Virgin Media relaunch 50Mb broadband packages

3 July 2017   By Samantha Smith

VIRGIN Media have relaunched their "up to" 50Mb broadband packages, barely three months after having first discontinued them.

virgin media shop sign
Credit: Jevanto Productions/

The VIVID 50 broadband and phone bundle, as well as the VIVID 50 broadband Solus package, were taken off the market on March 30th, when Virgin Media made 100Mb the entry level speed for their selection of products.

However, they have been reinstated as of today, with prices coming in at £26 for the broadband-only version and £29 for the broadband and phone bundle.

And while this may be a good deal for those looking for value for money as well as relatively fast speeds, it comes as a response to a disappointing set of figures regarding the expansion of Virgin Media's Project Lightning.

The deals

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There has been no fanfare or press announcement from Virgin regarding the relaunch, yet both deals are nonetheless now visible on their website and elsewhere for all to see.

As shown in the table below, they come with the following terms and conditions:

NameIntroductory monthly feeMonthly fee after first 12 monthsActivation feeContract length
VIVID 50 broadband£26£26£2012 months
VIVID 50 broadband and phone£29£40£2012 months

Source: Virgin Media

The obvious difference to highlight here is that the subscription of the broadband and phone bundle rises after the first year, from an introductory £29 to the less discounted £40.

Of course, while £40 is noticeably more expensive than the £26 monthly fee of the broadband-only deal (equalling £168 extra per year), the broadband and phone package comes with weekend calls as inclusive.

Not only that, but it is cheaper than comparable products offered by some of Virgin's main rivals. For example, BT's "up to" 52Mb Unlimited Infinity 1 comes with an introductory subscription fee of £29.99, and then rises to £47.99 after the first year.

As such, Virgin's reinstated deals do offer good value for money, even if the sudden U-turn on their part may come across as somewhat indecisive and confusing.

Hard times

Of course, the decision to reintroduce the two VIVID 50 packages suddenly becomes a bit more understandable when it's revealed that Virgin Media's Project Lightning is continuing to miss its targets by a fairly wide margin.

It was intended to extend Virgin's broadband network to an additional four million homes, yet earlier this year Virgin admitted that they'd overstated the progress of its rollout by 142,000 premises.

Worse still, The Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend that it had seen documents revealing that, in June, Project Lightning had connected 61% less homes than Virgin had originally forecast.

They'd also attracted only 57% of the 20,445 new customers they'd expected to gain in June, although to be fair some 11,653 new customers for a single month is hardly a catastrophe, considering that BT's latest quarterly showed that they'd gained only 29,000 new customers in three months.

New strategy

Nonetheless, these missteps come after Virgin announced that they would make just over 200 members of staff redundant and close 30 stores, as well as after a series of network issues that arose at the beginning of the year.

It therefore seems that, at the very least, they aren't quite expanding as quickly as they hoped, and that the relaunch of the two VIVID 50 packages shows them changing their strategy somewhat.

And given that there doesn't appear to be a massive public appetite for very superfast or even ultrafast broadband at the moment, it's likely that rebooting their 50Mb bundles is a sound one.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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