Virgin Media sets the pace

I’ve learned lots of fascinating things from doing business for nearly 50 years, but none more interesting – or surprising and dramatic – than the changes we’ve seen in technology.

It’s incredible to think that by the end of 2021 nearly 15 million homes in the UK will have Virgin Media gigabit broadband speeds.

When we started Virgin, life was all about hand-written letters, calling advertisers from phone booths, and running across town to speak with bands and banks. Don’t get me wrong, innovation was happening – flying was becoming commonplace, most households had a colour TV, and clocks were ticking over into digital. But in the 1980s something magical happened: the internet was invented – changing life as we know it forever.

In the space of two decades, we’ve gone from listening to the dial-up tone and getting frustrated that you can’t use the phone and the internet at the same time, to Virgin Media switching on gigabit speeds and expanding its hyperfast network to millions more people. 

The pace of progress is speedier than ever and it’s great to see Virgin Media setting the pace for the industry as they roll out the Gig1 service across the network. It’s a staggering 20 times faster than the UK average, meaning things like ultra-high definition 4K films and very large files can be downloaded almost instantaneously. Because Virgin Media already has a national network covering more than 15 million homes right across the UK, these hyperfast broadband speeds can be delivered through the existing network meaning there’s less need to dig up roads and pavements. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Richard Branson laptop

It was great to catch up with Virgin Media’s new CEO, Lutz Schüler, earlier this year and hear about some of the other wonderful things they are doing. This includes their role in being an environmentally responsible business. I was pleased to hear that in 2018 that 100 per cent of their contracted electricity usage across UK and Ireland operations was sourced from renewable sources. 

Virgin Media has also signed up to The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative – joining a group of leading businesses committed to increasing the generation and consumption of renewable electricity across the UK and around theworld. 


It’s good to see Virgin Media making a long term commitment to supporting the UK’s drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Find out more about Virgin Media’s Gig1 rollout here.


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