Cable Broadband Packages
Cable Broadband - Check, Compare & Buy
Cable Broadband is the second most popular way to connect to the internet in the UK. Unlike ADSL it doesn't operate over copper phone wires but instead utilises underground cabling which, in the past, was only used to supply television services.
It has now been adapted, like telephone lines, to carry a high speed internet service as well. Virgin Media is the largest company operating a cable broadband service in the UK, and is the owner of all of the cable broadband services previously owned by NTL and Telewest after a merger and re-branding occurred in 2006.
Cable broadband is available in speeds of between 2Mbps and 50Mbps depending on the type of cabling that is used in the area in which you live, and you can use our site to check what kind of speeds you can expect in your area.
Cable broadband can be purchased on its own, but is usually better value when bought as part of a package including TV and phone packages, all of which will be transmitted to you down a single cable. Many customers prefer the convenience of only having to make a single monthly payment for all of their communication services.
Fibre Optic Cable Broadband
Virgin Media are beginning to expand their network of fibre optic cabling so that more and more UK consumers can take advantage of the incredibly fast connection speeds made possible by this technology. Currently fibre optic cabling is limited to just a few areas of the country, but over the next year this is being extended to encompass many more UK towns and cities.
Cable broadband deals bring download speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is blisteringly fast and far superior to the average ADSL ISPs maximum of around 8Mbps. Also, fibre optic technology allows the speed of your broadband to be the same no matter how far your are from the main network hub, unlike ADSL, so you'll be more likely to achieve the maximum advertised speed.
Keep your eye out for fibre optic cable broadband coming to your area soon, as at the moment around 55% of UK households are in areas with access to Virgin cable broadband.
Because cable broadband is capable of such fast download speeds and because Virgin Media want to keep bandwidth availability as equally distributed as possible, heavy users may find their connection speed artificially reduced (or "throttled") if they use it for full speed downloading during peak periods.
There is always the restriction of a fair use policy with any broadband service, whether it's cable or ADSL, so if you're willing to stick to what is usually a reasonable request then you won't have a problem. Virgin Media also offer an ADSL service for those of you who are not currently living in one of their cabled areas, and this service is usually equivalent in value to those offered by other large ADSL ISPs, but it may not sell itself as well as their cable broadband services.