Virgin Media customers are outraged that the start of the nationwide broadband speed upgrade has brought an increase in price. However, the firm is claiming that it’s simply part of an annual price review and "independent of this upgrade programme".

Yesterday Virgin Media announced that it had begun work to double its broadband customers’ speeds for free. Many PC Advisor readers have pointed out that prices will increase from the beginning of April.

In a statement Virgin Media said, "As part of our on-going review of services, we’re making some changes to our cable pricing from April and we’re writing to those customers affected now to explain what’s happening. On average, customers will see an increase of around £2.68 per month."

Virgin Media added that as part of the review it has saved customers money by putting a freeze on its line rental. It’s keen to point out that rival companies have been doing similar things over the past few months. O2 customers, for example, have just had an increase in line rental by £3 per month.

Yesterday we reported that subscribers of the 100Mb package would be getting a price decrease which Virgin Media has confirmed is the case. It said the reduction will be up to £7.75. The price changes apply to bundles rather than specifically to broadband alone.

The firm said that the upgrade scheme, which will take place over the next 18 months, is being funded by the sale of its share in UKTV. "Customers will not be paying for their upgrades; this will happen automatically and at no extra cost." said Virgin Media.

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