Cable operator Virgin Media
will today launch a refreshed range of broadband and TV bundles, which take account of the recent price rises (details
) and also introduce a new VIVID 200Mbps “Gamer
” package that includes two big changes: 1) Faster upload speeds and, 2) The removal of Traffic Management.
At present subscribers who take Virgin’s normal 200Mbps (Megabits per second) broadband package will receive an Internet upload speed of just 12Mbps, but back in May 2016 we revealed that the operator was also in the process of trialling faster upload speeds (here
); this reflected a 10:1 ratio of download to upload performance.
Suffice to say that today’s launch of the new VIVID 200Mbps Gamer package confirms that a 20Mbps upload speed
has been adopted and that Virgin’s Traffic Management
thresholds no longer apply (this includes its removal from uploads). However this appears to be a new package tier rather than an automatic upgrade.
Gregor McNeil, Managing Director of Consumer at Virgin Media, said:
“VIVID 200 Gamer takes our leading ultrafast broadband to boss-mode levels.
We understand the frustrations when it comes to lag, disconnects and bandwidth issues, so right from the start we wanted to design a tier that builds on our superior connectivity to give gamers and streamers what they need.
With the fastest speeds and reliable connectivity, this is broadband built for gamers.”
The VIVID 200 Gamer package will be available from 1st September 2016
and should cost an additional £5 per month above the VIVID 200 tariff which has download speeds of 200Mbps and upload speeds of 12Mbps. The service also promises “lower pings and latency,
” which Virgin believes can be delivered because of the faster upstream speeds.
We doubt the faster uploads will affect latency for normal online games (most multiplayer games don’t need a fast upstream speed), although it will help those who live stream their games or remote play games using video streams, such as via PlayStation Now.
Quick Summary of New 200Mbps Gamer Packages
New broadband solus
– VIVID 200 Gamer – up to 200Mbps, no phone line required, 18 month contract:
£50.25 a month
New broadband solus for students
– VIVID 200 Gamer – up to 200Mbps, no phone line required, 9 month contract:
£52 a month
New broadband and phone dual
– VIVID 200 Gamer and phone line – 18 month contract with 12 months welcome discount for new customers
£30 a month for 12 months (£39 a month thereafter)
We should also remind subscribers that Virgin Media’s new line rental charge is now £19 per month or the equivalent of £16.33 per month for the annual Line Rental Saver option. Similarly the activation fee for each service has risen from £9.99 (one-off) to £14.99.
Virgin has also introduced a new range of triple-play (broadband, phone and TV) bundles called “Big Bundle Triples
“, which will replace their current set (Big Easy, Big Bang, Big Fun, Big Kahuna set and VIP). All of these come with an 18 month contract, although there’s also an initial 12 month discount attached to each.
Big Bundle Triples
– Player Bundle: up to 50Mbps fibre optic broadband, 70+Channels & Phone only £12 a month for 12 months (£26 a month thereafter)
– Mix Bundle: up to 50Mbps fibre optic broadband, 150+Channels & Phone only £18 a month for 12 months (£31 a month thereafter)
– Fun Bundle: up to 100Mbps optical fibre, 180+Channels & Phone only £26 a month for 12 months (£41 a month thereafter)
– Full House Bundle: up to 100Mbps optical fibre, 230+Channels, Sky Cinema & Phone £30 a month for 12 months (£52 a month thereafter)
– Full House Movies Bundle: up to 200Mbps optical fibre, 230+Channels, Sky Cinema & Phone £45 a month for 12 months (£77 a month thereafter)
– Full House Sports Bundle: up to 200Mbps optical fibre, 230+Channels, Sky Cinema & Phone £55 a month for 12 months (£87.50 a month thereafter)
– Full House Sports & Movies Bundle: up to 200Mbps optical fibre, 230+Channels, Sky Cinema & Phone £62 a month for 12 months (£94.50 a month thereafter)
– VIP Bundle: up to 200Mbps optical fibre, 230+Channels, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, bigger 1TB TiVo Box, more HD Channels, A V HD box for another room & Phone with Unlimited Calls £68.50 a month for 12 months (£101 thereafter)
It’s worth pointing out that in the land of multiplayer it is latency, not raw service speed, that reigns supreme. The reality is that most of the modern fixed line superfast broadband services already do an excellent job of delivering a low latency connection with reasonable upstream performance.
More speed is always better, but it probably won’t make a big / noticeable difference to actual online video gaming performance, unless you use a lot of live streams or remote play streams. The new package also means that Virgin Media can now match the top upload speeds available on Openreach’s (BT
We can confirm that the removal of traffic management does indeed apply to upload speeds too.