Virgin Media switches on Wales’ fast home broadband
- Thousands of homes in Cardiff and across South Wales can now benefit from Wales’ fastest home broadband offering average speeds of 1,140Mbps – 18 times faster than the average connection speed in Cardiff
- Locations across South Wales including Barry, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Port Talbot, and Rhondda Cynon Taf can now access Virgin Media’s Gig1 service
- More than half of Cardiff residents said they would not move to a house where they could not get fast broadband
- Virgin Media has now switched on gigabit speeds in all four of the UK’s capital cities
Virgin Media has today switched on Wales’ fastest home broadband, delivering connectivity more than 18 times faster than the average in the Welsh capital.
Virgin Media’s next-generation Gig1 broadband, providing average download speeds of 1,140Mbps, is now available across its entire network in Cardiff and surrounding areas including Adamstown, Ely, Grangetown, Lisvane, Pentwyn, Rumney, Saint Mellons, Thornhill and Whitchurch.
Cardiff is joined by homes across South Wales in Virgin Media’s latest gigabit switch-on. Other areas set to benefit include Barry, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The major broadband boost for Wales comes at a time when many people are relying on fast, reliable connectivity more than ever as part of their day to day lives. This includes working from home, video calling friends and family and staying entertained by streaming TV shows and movies as well as playing games online.
The Government has set a target for a minimum of 85% of UK premises to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025. To date, Virgin Media has switched on gigabit connectivity to more than 7 million homes, making it the UK’s largest gigabit provider, with a plan to bring these next-generation speeds to its entire network by the end of 2021.
Says Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas:
“Virgin Media’s investment in Cardiff, making the Welsh capital its next Gigabit city, is great news for residents and businesses. As we seek to recover from the pandemic, it’s clear that telecommunications and connectivity will become even more vital. This investment will see Cardiff have some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world which can only help businesses and people working from home.”
Adds Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media:
“With our latest switch-on in Wales today, all four UK countries and capital cities can now benefit from our next-generation connectivity and the rest of our network will follow suit next year.
“Whether people are working from home, learning online, video calling friends and family, or binging on a box set in 4K, with Gig1, they’ll be able to do it all at the same time without worry or delay.”
Cardiff’s digital habits revealed
The launch of Virgin Media’s Gig1 service comes as new data reveals how essential fast broadband is to people in the Welsh capital. More than half (54%) of Cardiff residents say they would not move to a house where they could not get fast broadband with a third (33%) saying they would pay more for a house with a good broadband connection.
Four in ten (40%) believe that if they had faster broadband they would be able to work from home, with two thirds (64%) saying it would make them more productive. Streaming, online shopping and gaming are the top reasons why those in the city want ultrafast broadband speeds.
Cardiff residents report spending more time online than the national average. UK adults spend 4 hours online each day on average according to the latest Ofcom data, but Cardiff residents report spending more than 4.5 hours online every day.
Last month, Virgin Media also published new research that revealed that people working from home are wasting an average of 11 minutes per day to slow broadband – equivalent to four full working days since the start of lockdown in March.
Virgin Media’s Gigabit Opportunity report identifies that eradicating this lost time with gigabit broadband could unlock a potential economic benefit worth more than £11bn a year in saved working hours.