Virgin Media has today switched on the UK’s fastest gigabit home broadband services across Greater Manchester, offering connectivity which is  26 times faster than the current local average.

It is the second city to benefit from the company’s plan to bring gigabit speeds to nearly 15 million homes – the entire Virgin Media network – by the end of 2021.

Virgin Media’s Gig1 is now available to around 500,000 homes in Greater Manchester, following the initial launch in Southampton, with another major UK city set to follow soon. As well as Manchester city centre and surrounding areas such Wythenshawe, Sale, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Old Trafford, towns including Altrincham, Warrington, Bury, Bolton, Stockport and Knutsford will also benefit from these gigabit speeds.

As broadband data use increases tenfold every 7 years, this service provides the connectivity needed for future applications like 8K streaming, cloud gaming and virtual reality telepresence without the need to excavate roads and streets to install new cables.

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Manchester is a major centre for Virgin Media and the place our Project Lightning network expansion first started, so switching on our hyperfast gigabit services will help to once again transform connectivity across the city and surrounding areas.

“This service is more than 26 times faster than Manchester’s average broadband speed, meaning that households can do everything they want to do online, at the same time, without delay and are well set for whatever comes next.

“The Government has called for nationwide gigabit connectivity and we’re helping them leap forward to reach this ambition by turning on our next-generation Gig1 broadband across our entire network over the next 24 months – a speed and scale unmatched by anyone else.”

Gig1 – faster speeds, new router 

The hyperfast Gig1 service offers an average peak-time download speed of 1,104Mbps.

Gig1 broadband is available to new and existing customers and can be packaged with or without telephone, TV and mobile services.

Customers taking Gig1 will benefit from Virgin Media’s new and best ever gigabit capable router – the Hub 4. The new router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and features improved WiFi hardware to provide speedy and reliable connectivity throughout customers’ homes.

The Hub 4, boasts more antennae than its predecessor, the Hub 3, meaning it can manage multiple devices at the same time around the home which can all share the hyperfast speed.

The new router makes use of the operator’s next-generation broadband technology, known as DOCSIS 3.1, which it will deploy across its entire cable network over time.

The power of Gig1 speeds

With Virgin Media’s hyperfast gigabit connection, ultra-high definition 4K films and TV programmes, very large files and 360 degree videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection. The connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.

Virgin Media has the largest gigabit-capable network in the UK which currently passes nearly 15 million UK premises. The network consists of both fibre-rich cable and fibre connected directly to the premises, both of which can provide customers with gigabit speeds.

Virgin Media, through its Project Lightning programme, is also continuing to expand its ultrafast network to more homes and businesses across the UK. Almost 2 million premises have been passed since the project began.

Read more about our Gigacities throughout Europe here.