Virgin to slash 50Mb prices, launches netbook

50Mb fibre-optic broadband is about to get a whole entire bunch cheaper, because in addition to launching its own netbook, Virgin's slashing the cost of its top-end broadband package

Nate Lanxon Special to CNET News
2 min read

Fifty-meg fibre-optic broadband is about to get a whole entire actual bunch cheaper.

From 1 September Virgin Media will cut the price of its top-end 50Mbps package to £38 from £50. Or, if you buy a phone line at the same time, you'll pay £28 instead of £35 (plus the cost of the line). The reductions will be given to all new customers in September, and existing customers will automatically have their bills slashed when the prices come into effect.

But that ain't all, friends. Virgin is also releasing -- wait for it -- a netbook! Epic yay, or whatever. What's actually interesting is that it's a netbook with the next-gen Wi-Fi technology, draft n, to ensure it's capable of fully maxing out your 50Mbps fibre-optic line. When used with a draft-n router, this will give you significantly faster speeds when sharing files around your home network, too.

The computer itself will be called the Freedom netbook, and is a Virgin-branded 10.2-inch Windows XP system, with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard disk. It should be available later this week as part of some broadband bundles, and will be free.

And as one small note, Virgin Media will soon start trialling upload speeds of 10Mbps with customers in the Midlands and North East England. This would theoretically allow you to upload data at just over 1MB per second -- handy for backing up your data to the cloud. A Virgin Media spokesperson told CNET UK that more details on how customers can take part in the trial "are to follow".