Virgin Media's plans to spend £110m on boosting broadband speeds for its 4.1 million UK customers have been welcomed by industry commentators.

The ISP plans to double the speeds that many of its broadband customers can get. Nearly three-quarters of its customers are on the 10Mbps package and will see speeds increase to 20Mbps when the 18-month project is increased. The company will not increase its prices, it said.

However, the 12 percent that take the 20Mbps package will see speeds triple to 60Mbps, the company said, while the nine percent on the 30Mbps will get a boost to 60Mbps. If you are one of the five percent of Virgin's broadband customers that gets speeds of between 50Mbps and 100Mbps, you should see your connection jump to 100Mbps - 120Mbps.

Andrew Ferguson of Thinkbroadband.com said Virgin's move proved that the UK was "not the internet backwater sometimes it is portrayed as".

 

"Once the 18 month programme is complete, it means that around a quarter of Virgin Media customers will be meeting the basic speed requirement of 30Mbps which is an EU target for 2020, many years ahead of time," Ferguson said.

Michael Phillips, product director at BroadbandChoices.co.uk also praised the plans. "Recent Ofcom stats revealed that the average broadband home consumes a whopping 17 GB of data every month, watching online TV, gaming and streaming music - all bandwidth hungry activities demanding the faster speeds that Virgin Media is promising to deliver."

Last November, BT announced that it planned to boost speeds on its fibre-based network to 100Mbps for some customers, as well as increasing its upload speeds to 15Mbps, compared to Virgin's 10Mbps upload speed.

BT is committed to investing £2.5bn in creating a fibre-optic broadband network that can reach two-thirds of UK premesis (around 16 million homes) by the end of 2015.