Virgin Media’s Gig1 fibre broadband service offers download speeds of more than 1Gbit/s with a Hub 4 router.

In the UK, Virgin Media has launched their new Gig1 fibre broadband service. Claiming to offer the UK’s fastest home broadband, customers on Gig1 will get an average download speed of 1,104Mbps and an average upload speed of 52Mbps.

You can get Virgin’s Gig1 service if you’re connected to the Virgin Media network and living in the area around eleven major cities (Belfast, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Reading and Southampton). Around 6.8 million homes currently have access to Gig1, with Virgin aiming to increase this to 15 million by the end of 2021.

The Gig1 broadband service comes with Virgin Media’s new Hub 4 router. It currently starts from £64/month on an 18-month contract.

In this article, we’ll review Virgin’s Gig1 broadband service, including the download speeds available and where you’re able to get it. We’ll then look at the included Hub 4 router, the Gig1 price plans and how they compare to other broadband internet providers.

Virgin Gig1 Broadband Speeds

Virgin Media’s new flagship home broadband service is their Gig1 fibre broadband service. With average download speeds of 1,104Mbps (around 1.1Gbps), it’s the fastest home broadband service currently available to consumers in the UK.

For comparison, the download speeds available on Virgin’s Gig1 service are about 18 times faster than a standard fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connection offered by ISPs like BT, Sky and TalkTalk. It’s also nearly 4 times faster than ultrafast home broadband services currently offered using G.fast technology at other ISPs.

Broadband Service Average Download Speeds Average Upload Speeds
Virgin Media Gig1 1,104Mbps 52Mbps
BT Full Fibre 910Mbps 110Mbps
Full Fibre FTTH
(e.g. Hyperoptic & Vodafone Gigafast)
900Mbps 900Mbps
Virgin Media M500 516Mbps 36Mbps
Virgin Media M350 362Mbps 21Mbps
Ultrafast G.fast (e.g. BT & Sky) 280Mbps* 45Mbps*
Virgin Media M200 213Mbps 12Mbps
Virgin Media M100 108Mbps 6Mbps
Superfast FTTC (e.g. BT & Sky) 60Mbps* 18Mbps*
Virgin Media M50 54Mbps 3Mbps
Standard ADSL Broadband 11Mbps* 0.8Mbps*

* The average download speed and upload speed depends on your phone line and your internet service provider. ISPs using an Openreach phone line for FTTC and G.fast broadband include BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky and TalkTalk.

The average upload speed on Virgin’s Gig1 service is 52Mbps. Although this is faster than the upload speed on fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband connections, it’s still significantly slower than the upload speeds found on full fibre services such as Hyperoptic and Vodafone’s Gigafast Broadband.

Behind the scenes, Virgin’s Gig1 service is making use of DOCSIS 3.1 technology, running on top of Virgin Media’s existing cable network. Rather than being a full fibre service, it uses the existing co-axial cable connections from Virgin. Because of this, it doesn’t require new fibre optic cables to be laid all the way to your home.

Areas with Gig1 Broadband

At present, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is available in around 6.8 million UK homes. You can get access to the service in the following UK cities and the areas around them:

  • Belfast (includes Ballymena, Bangor, Carrickfergus, Derry, Dunmurry, Lisburn, Newtownards and Portadown)
  • Birmingham (includes Dudley, Halesowen, Kidderminster, Redditch, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Walsall and West Bromwich)
  • Coventry (includes Bedworth, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick)
  • Edinburgh (includes Bathgate, Bo’ness, Bonnyrigg, Broxburn, Leith, Linlithgow, Livingston and Musselburgh)
  • Glasgow (includes Airdrie, Bellshill, Carluke, Clydebank, Dumbarton, Falkirk, Larkhall and Motherwell)
  • Liverpool (includes Bootle, Newton-le-Willows, Ormskirk, Prescot, Southport, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan)
  • Leeds (includes Bramhope, Guiseley, Harewood, Kippax, Pudsey, Rothwell, Seacroft, Wetherby and Yeadon)
  • Liverpool (includes Bootle, Newton-le-Willows, Ormskirk, Prescot, Southport, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan)
  • London (includes Bromley, Chelmsford, Dartford, Enfield, Harrow, Kingston, Romford and Twickenham)
  • Manchester (includes Altrincham, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Bury, Knutsford, Oldham, Stockport, Warrington and Widnes)
  • Reading (includes Basingstoke, Bracknell, Crowthorne, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Newbury, Thatcham and Wokingham)
  • Southampton (includes Eastleigh)

If you’re unsure whether your address is covered by Gig1, you can check by visiting the Virgin Media website. Enter your postcode in the box to find out whether the Gig1 service has been enabled at your address.

Virgin has said that the Gig1 service will gradually be rolled out to the entirety of their network, covering all 15 million homes by the end of 2021. You can register your interest on the Virgin Media website if you’re living in an area without access to Gig1 broadband.

Hub 4 Router & WiFi Booster

Customers signing up for the Gig1 service will receive Virgin’s new Hub 4 router (model number TG3492LG-VMB). The new router supports 802.11ac wi-fi (Wi-Fi 5), with 3×3 MIMO at 2.4GHz and 4×4 MIMO at 5GHz. There are also 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting a wired device to your network.

When you sign up for Virgin’s Gig1 service, an engineer will visit your home to install the service. During the initial installation, they’ll assess the quality of the wi-fi signal in your home. If they identify a wi-fi coverage blackspot (e.g. because the signal isn’t strong enough to reach the other end of your home), they’ll offer you a Gig1Fibre WiFi Booster device. There is no additional cost for a WiFi Booster and you can have up to 3 WiFi Boosters at your registered address.

It isn’t possible to access the Gig1 service on Virgin Media’s older Hub 3 router. This is because it lacks support for the DOCSIS 3.1 standard which is used by Virgin to offer their Gig1 service. If you’re an existing Virgin Media customer upgrading to Gig1, you’ll be given a new Hub 4 router when you upgrade.

Gig1 Broadband Plans

The Gig1 fibre broadband service costs £64/month on an 18-month contract when you take it on a broadband-only basis. There’s also a £35 setup fee for activating the Gig1 service.

When you sign up for the Gig1 service, you’ll receive a Hub 4 router to use for the duration of your plan. You’ll also receive up to 3 Wi-Fi Boosters at no extra charge if an engineer deems it to be necessary during the service installation.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Virgin Media
Gig1 Fibre
1104Mbps download18 month contract£35£64/month

For an extra £5/month, you can get a home phone service added to your Gig1 broadband plan. It’s also possible to add a range of TV plans along with a mobile phone SIM card if you take an Oomph bundle.

Virgin offers a fixed monthly price for the first 24 months so you’re guaranteed not to experience any price rises during this time.

Comparison to Alternatives

In terms of download speed, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is best compared to full fibre services like Vodafone Gigafast and Hyperoptic Broadband.

For comparison, Vodafone’s Gigafast full fibre service uses the Cityfibre network and is available in 12 UK towns and cities. At the time of writing, you’ll pay £45/month for a 900Mbps symmetrical connection (offering the same upload speeds and download speeds). This is cheaper than Virgin’s Gig1 service and also offers significantly faster upload speeds if you’re able to get it where you live.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Vodafone Broadband
Gigafast 900
900Mbps download24 month contract£0£45/month
Hyperoptic
Hyperfast
900Mbps download12 month contract£29£45/month
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£59.99/month
Virgin Media
Gig1 Fibre
1104Mbps download18 month contract£35£64/month

It’s also possible to compare Virgin’s Gig1 service with the ultrafast home broadband services from BT and Sky. These offer up to 300Mbps download speed so are still substantially slower than Virgin’s Gig1 service. However, they’re typically priced at around £50/month so you might be able to save a bit of money with them if you don’t need the fastest available download speeds. These services may also be available in locations where Virgin’s Gig1 service is not yet available.

Switching to Virgin Media

It’s easy switching to Virgin Media’s Gig1 broadband service, even if you’re currently using a different broadband provider.

Start by ordering your new Virgin Media Gig1 broadband service online. When you do this, you’ll be given a choice of potential installation dates for the service, which will normally be in the next 2-3 weeks. The engineer will set up the new Gig1 broadband service along with your Hub 4 router.

You’ll need to call your old provider to let them know that you’re moving to Virgin Media. You’ll need to cancel your service with them on the same date that your Virgin Media service is set up.

For step-by-step instructions on switching to Virgin Media, please select your current broadband provider below:

Switch to Virgin Media
Your step-by-step guide to switching

Select your current broadband provider:

More Options

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gig1 fibre broadband?
Gig1 is Virgin Media’s new gigabit home broadband service. It offers download speeds of 1,104Mbps and upload speeds of 52Mbps.
Where can I get Gig1 fibre broadband?
The Gig1 service is currently available in Belfast, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Reading, Southampton and the surrounding areas of each city. Enter your postcode on the Virgin Media website to see whether the Gig1 service is available where you live.
What is the Virgin Media Hub 4?
You’ll get Virgin Media’s new Hub 4 router when you sign up for the Gig1 broadband service. This supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) connectivity with up to 4×4 MIMO on 5GHz Wi-Fi. You’ll also get 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your network.
How much does Gig1 broadband cost?
At present, the Gig1 service costs £64/month on an 18-month contract. There’s also a £35 fee for setting up the service. You’ll need to add £5/month if you’d like a phone line, or a range of packages are also available with inclusive TV and mobile.
How do the speeds on Gig1 compare to alternative services?
With an average download speed of 1,104Mbps, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is faster than rival home broadband services. The downside, however, is you’ll only get upload speeds of 52Mbps. For comparison, you can get 900Mbps on both the download and upload when taking full fibre services from Hyperoptic or Vodafone Gigafast.

More Information

For more information about Gig1 Fibre, please see the official Virgin Media website.

Your Comments 38 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 38 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken, we’ve just had VM works carried out in the area. They have installed micro ducts in the street along with new Fibre cabinets as part of a new full FTTH network.

    Do you know if the 1Gig service will offer a higher upload speed as the only part of the connection using the Coax will be from the outside wall box on my house, through the wall and to the VM hub.
    As the network is full fibre with fibre blown from the cabinet to premises I’d assume that the restrictions on download and upload speeds aren’t there with the older coax hybrid fibre network?

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe Virgin Media are using a technology called RFOG (Radio Frequency over Glass) which means they’re still deploying DOCSIS technology over their FTTP network. I believe that still means you’ll get the 52Mbps upload on Gig1 (DOCSIS 3.0), though they could in theory upgrade this in the future when they move to a newer version of the technology.
      Ken

  • Soon my contract up i am leaving virgina media as no way i am paying £64 quid for gig1 i rather use threes 5g network as its only £29 pound for 24 months

    #virginmediawelcometoripoffbritain

  • my review of gig1 is that it doesn’t work, i upgraded from a 300mbps service and it has intermittent sync drops and the speeds keep dipping. Engineers keep showing me that the SNR goes out of whack each time, 3 engineers in 2 weeks and they cant fix it. I would avoid this nonsense service until they figure out what the hell they are doing.

    • Zachary Andrews replied:

      Next time you contact them, ask them to check the area around where the cable travels. I’d also suggest you keeping a record of incidences (if you aren’t already) as there may be a pattern. My suspicion is that this is nothing to do with Virgin or their equipment – it is quite likely that a third party is unknowingly causing bother.

      Source: I am a senior network engineer for a large company with sites around the world and have dealt with similar issues regularly. Quite often it is a factory or large office block that, when everything gets turned on each day, would screw with the nearby broadband cables.

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