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 such as 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.

As a result, Virgin Media will single-handedly contribute almost two thirds of the Government’s minimum broadband ambition four years ahead of the target.

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “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.”

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “At a time when our services play a vital role in supporting people’s lives and powering the economy, Virgin Media is continuing to invest and as a result our gigabit footprint is growing like gangbusters.

“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.”

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.

The power of Gig1

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 simultaneously. As broadband data use increases tenfold every 7 years, the connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, 8K streaming, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.