Virgin Media Gig2 fibre broadband package

Dan Howdle | April 18th, 2024

Virgin Media M125

Our package overviews are typically able to look into the finer details, contracts, terms and performance of the package in question and extrude all that into an easily digestible, bite-sized sausage. We can't do that with Virgin Media Gig2 on account of the fact that although Virgin Media says it's available, that's only the case for a narrow sliver of its customers and potential customers, and that doesn't look set to change anytime soon. You can't even find it on Virgin Media's own website. It's a ghost package. So let's look at what we do know.

Key features

Here’s the key information that you need to know about Virgin Media Gig2:

Price from £84 per month
Download speed 2Gbps
Upload speed 200Mbps
Broadband Bespoke cable network
Home phone None, Evening & Weekends, Anytime
Parental controls Yes: WebSafe
Router Virgin Media Hub 5x
Packages available Broadband only, Broadband & phone, Broadband, TV & phone
Contract length 18 months

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Who is Virgin Media Gig2 for?

This is a very interesting question. First and foremost, it's those who can get it. Because at the time of writing, here in mid-April 2024, it's only available to a very small number of potential customers in certain parts of large cities such as London, Glasgow and Manchester. This is because Gig2 does not use the same cable network the rest of Virgin Media's broadband line-up. That technology cannot go this fast, so the entire network will have to be substantially upgraded so that every one can get it. It's going to take years.

We'll cover the technology itself a bit further down. Virgin Media will probably have already informed you it's available to you. If it hasn't, chances are it's not available where you live. That's why you won't even find it advertised on Virgin Media's own website. But let's say you can get it. If you can, this is who the package is for:

  • Houses with 20+ occupants – 2Gbps is bonkers. We need to say that. No households needs that sort of speed, which is why we're being a bit cheeky here and suggesting 20+-person households. To give you an idea of what 2Gbps could deliver, take streaming 4K TV. That typically uses around 20Mbps. With Gig2 you could have 100 TVs, all streaming a different 4K TV show, all at the same time. That's how made this package is
  • People with high-end home networks – The problems of being able to use all that speed don't end with needing an enormous number of people. If you want to use all that bandwidth on one or two applications, you're going to need a LAN network in your home that's up to the task. We won't go into enormous detail here, but most devices and LAN switches (routing boxes) max out at about 950Mbps. After that, the price of everything goes up dramatically. Homes are not ready for 2Gbps, and you'll only be able to use a fraction of that per device over wifi
  • People hosting gaming and business servers – Again, a narrow sliver or a sliver of the population may host a game server or a server for their business at home. The symmetrical option (where the upload and download speed are the same) would suit here, but we cannot stress enough just how rare it is for anyone to host a data server at home
  • The must-have-the-bests – Some people (and we're holding our hands up here) simple must have the fastest speed and the latest technology whether they really need it or not. There's no rhyme or reason to it beyond bragging rights, but if you can afford it, if you can get it, and if you want it, then why not?
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How does Gig2 compare?

Broadband Package Download Speed Upload Speed Monthly Cost
M50 Fibre Broadband + Calls 54Mbps 5Mbps £28 per month
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mbps 20Mbps £26.50 per month
M250 Fibre Broadband 264Mbps 25Mbps £30.50 per month
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mbps 36Mbps £34.50 per month
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mbps 52Mbps £38.50 per month
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.1Gbps 104Mbps £41 per month
Gig2 Fibre Broadband 2Gbps 200Mbps £84 per month
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Is Gig2 a good package for gamers?

Virgin Media uses a unique cable technology to deliver its broadband and TV service. It's 'DOCSIS' cables are an amalgam of fibre optic, and various copper cores that do numerous jobs. The upside is that with these hybrid copper/fibre cables, Virgin Media has been able to offer the fastest speeds in the country for years. Not so anymore. Full Fibre is now faster, with EE Broadband now offering speeds of up to 1.6Gbps. Virgin Media cannot compete with that on its existing cabling.


And so XGS-PON enters the room. Unlike the existing DOCSIS cables, XGS-PON is pure fibre. So, like Full Fibre from Openreach providers like EE, BT, Sky and all the rest, it has a theoretical speed limit of more than 10Gbps. It's future-proof, basically. Now, here's the thing when it comes to gaming. The single-most important factor when it comes to playing competitively online in games that require fast reaction times, is latency. Virgin Media's existing network offers latency of around 25-30ms. Like Full Fibre, XGS-PON is likely to offer comparable latency thus making it an exceptional choice for gamers.

Download speed

And that's before we even talk about download speeds, which are important if you plan to download your games. Game sizes are getting bigger and bigger these days, with the latest Call Of Duty, for example, breaking records with it's bonkers 230GB download size. But, before you get too excited it's worth remembering that getting 2Gbps into a single device like a console or a PC ranges from difficult to impossible. Xbox and PlayStation consoles have 'Gigabit' ethernet ports that max out at 950Mbps, while only the very latest PC motherboards come equipped with a 2.5Gbps or faster LAN port. Added to that, there are bottlenecks at the other end of the download link too, with PlayStation Store for example allowing only around 500Mbps maximum.

This is something you need to look out for when Virgin Media (or anyone else offering these sorts of speeds) quotes low download times in their marketing. It's really, really hard to actually funnel all that speed into a single devices and in most cases it's impossible. That said, if you have a high-spec PC and you're prepared to get a LAN cable between it and your Virgin Hub 5x router, these are the sorts of download times you can expect:

Game Title File Size (GB) Download Time on 2Gbps
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 30 GB 2 mins, 0 seconds
Red Dead Redemption 2 110 GB 7 minutes, 20 seconds
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 230 GB 15 minutes, 20 seconds
Cyberpunk 2077 70 GB 4 minutes, 40 seconds
Assassin's Creed Valhalla 60 GB 4 minutes, 0 seconds

The most important factor when gaming online is actually broadband quality, not speed. Jitter, latency and packet loss are the primary things broadband providers will want to minimise to provide a smooth gaming experience. Virgin Media Gig2 is likely to be market-leading in this respect.

What's included with Gig2?

As standard, Virgin Media’s broadband contracts have unlimited downloads and uploads, and there’s no quotas or data restrictions either. So no worrying about coming up short after a weekend-long Netflix binge or after downloading a large update to your favourite game.

Symmetrical downloads/uploads optional

As standard, we expect Gig2 to offer the same upload speeds as Gig1 (104Mbps) although Virgin Media is yet to state exactly what this speed will be. What we do know is that Virgin Media is set to offer a 'symmetrical' option for an additional £6 per month – where you'll get 2Gbps down, and 2Gbps up. This is good, since it's an acknowledgement that the only really good use for Gig2 is commercial, or rather for properties that host a data server.

Unique router – the Virgin Hub 5x

None of Virgin Media's existing routers can cope with 2Gbps – even the very powerful Hub 5 that Virgin Media supplies with Gig1. But more than that, none of Virgin Media's existing router line-up are compatible with the new XGS-PON network and its connections. They're all designed specifically to dock with Virgin Media's existing DOCSIS network. So a new router is required, and that's the Hub 5x. Here's how the 5x compares with the existing line-up.

Virgin Media routers comparison

Feature Hub 3 Hub 4 Hub 5 Hub 5x
Number of antennae 5 7 7 7
2.4GHz WiFi band 2x2 11/b/g/n 3x3 11b/g/n 3x3 11b/g/n/ax 3x3 11b/g/n/ax
5GHz WiFi band 3x3 11ac 4x4 11ac 4x4 11ax 4x4 11ax
WiFi spec 5 5 6 6
Dual band Concurrent Concurrent Concurrent Concurrent
Network connection DOCSIS 3.0 DOCSIS 3.1 DOCSIS 3.1 XGS-PON
Ethernet 4x 1Gbps 4x 1Gbps 1x 2.5Gbps, 3x 1Gbps 1x 10 Gbps, 3x 1Gbps
WPS push button Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable password/QR card Yes Yes Yes Yes
Default SSID Single Single Single Single
Guest network Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intelligent WiFi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Phone line Yes Yes Yes Yes
WiFi Pod compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes


We anticipate a similar line-up of extras as you'd find with existing Virgin Media packages. Virgin Media’s Web Safe service is made up of two distinct features, Virus Safe & Child Safe. Virus Safe is your first level of protection against viruses, malware & websites known for phishing or hacking risks. Child Safe is Virgin’s customisable parental control feature, which can be used to block your kids from accessing unfriendly sites, or social media platforms. You can time-control when Child Safe is in effect, lifting restrictions after bedtime to allow you full access to all websites and services. Web Safe is a router feature, meaning its safety measures will apply to all connected devices at home. Likewise, this means it will not offer any protection outside the home, or when using Virgin Media WiFi hotspots in public.

For additional security on-the-go, broadband customers can benefit from Virgin Media Internet Security, powered by F-Secure. The award-winning protection can be installed on unlimited devices – provided they run iOS, Android, Windows or MacOS – and offers similar protection to Web Safe. The key difference is the service runs at device level, meaning virus scanning and parental controls can be configured and customised to suit each family member. Broadband customers can receive a free three-month trial of Virgin Media Internet Security, and the service costs only £30 per year after that, or £3 per month on a rolling basis.

Customers gain access to Virgin Media WiFi, Virgin’s public wifi service, which currently boasts over 3.5 million hotspots around the UK, plus over 20 million more worldwide, in all the places you might expect: airports, restaurants and bars, and even throughout the London Underground and Overground network. Use the Connect app to locate your nearest hotspot and take your work on-the-go.

What we think

Virgin Media's ambition is clear. It's pushed its existing network near as fast as it will comfortably go. And because Full Fibre on Openreach (BT, EE, Sky etc.) is already going faster because that technology allows it (EE Broadband is now offered up to 1.6Gbps), Virgin Media is no longer the fastest widely available broadband provider in the UK. And that's not going to change anytime soon. Virgin Media needs to substantially upgrade its network to add XGS-PON infrastructure to cope with Gig2.

But Gig 2 is not the endgame here, it's making its network future-proof and staying competitive in this regard. Virgin Media wants its 'fastest provider' crown back, and Gig2 is the first set to regaining it. If you as us who it's for, it's not really for anybody. It's simply too fast to be practical, and at £84 (or £90 symmetrical) per month, you do need a good reason to get it. There's probably one in 10,000 households that has such a reason.

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