Virgin Media completes its ultrafast network

Virgin Media is celebrating, having completed its 18-month campaign to upgrade its broadband network to offer 50Mbps speeds to 12 million homes across the UK.

In an attempt to convince some of those 12 million homes to actually sign up to the service, the company has cut its prices. From 1 September, the 50Mbps service will cost £38 per month, or £28 per month if you sign up to a landline as well. "The 50Mb service continues to be free of traffic management", promises the company.

It also says that it's piloting increased upload speeds - up to 10Mb, considerably faster than most broadband connections today. That'll benefit gaming and video conferencing in particular. A typical broadband connection has less than a tenth of that figure.

Lastly, the company is launching a "Freedom" netbook. It packs a 10.2-inch screen, Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 120GB HDD and 0.3-megapixel webcam. It's also got an SD/MMC card reader and b/g/n Wi-Fi.

The netbook comes in black or red, has been "optimised for 50Mb speeds", and comes with Windows XP, MS Works, and antivirus software pre-installed. It'll be bundled with certain 24-month broadband packages.