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Virgin Media boosts XL broadband service to 30Mbps

Virgin Media has speeded up the middle layer of its fibre-optic broadband to 30Mbps.

Fancy a speed boost? Virgin Media has speeded up the middle layer of its fibre-optic broadband. The XL 20Mbps service accelerates to 30Mbps as of today.

Virgin reckons you'll get between 27 and 30Mbps download speeds from the new service. It's also quoting upload speeds of up to 3Mbps.

The Big V hasn't yet got back to us about whether it will continue the traffic-shaping policy currently enforced on all but the top tier of its service. Currently, when XL users download more than 7,000MB between 10am and 3pm, speed is cut by 75 per cent. Before 9pm, downloading 3,500MB earns the three-quarter reduction. Only 50Mbps and 100Mbps customers escape throttling, and we doubt that's going to change.

Virgin's 100Mbps broadband service launched at the end of last year in Yorkshire, Wales and the South-East. It's set to expand throughout this year -- possibly carried by electricity pylons.

The new XL service will cost £18.50 per month over a 12-month contract. That adds up to £368 over the year. Existing 20Mbps customers can upgrade from today, for a one-off fee of £30, which nets you a new 'SuperHub' DOCSIS 3.0 modem and router. If you don't want to fork out, there's always Virgin's lowest-tier 10Mbps offering at £12.75 per month, but if you sign up now it's £6.25 for six months.

Update: Virgin will continue to throttle the 30Mbps service. The details are the same, but there is a slight increase in the amount you can download before you're penalised, up to 1,000MB during the day and 5,000MB between 4pm and 9pm.