Virgin Media has not yet said where it will first offer the 100Mbps service, which is expected to be deployed across Virgin's entire cable network by the end of 2011.

Virgin said it will roll out 100 megabit-per-second broadband connections to homes in the UK.

The company said users will experience speeds very close to what's advertised as it plans to deploy cable instead of ADSL used by competitors.

There is nothing we can't do with our fibre optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100mbps service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience, Virgin Media's chief executive officer, Neil Berkett, said.

Virgin will have increased its top broadband tier from 20mbps to 100mbps in less than two years. While currently the company offers a 50mbps connection, Virgin announced plans to extend a 200mbps pilot to Coventry.

Users can download a music album in as little as five seconds, as opposed to the 75 seconds the same download would take on a 24Mbps ADSL connection, it said.

Virgin Media has has 4.1 million broadband customers and added 46,000 over the last quarter.

Competitor BT has just over five million subscribers - some 25% more - and is currently growing at around twice the rate of Virgin Media, adding 102,000 customers in the last quarter.

Virgin Media's announcement today of 100Mb broadband comes hot on the heels of BT's recent 'Infinity' launch, noted Michael Phillips of broadband comparison site

It's encouraging to see Virgin Media and BT - the two largest broadband providers in the UK - both pushing forwards with the rollout of ever faster services.

The company declined to say when it would be available to customers, though it is expected to be deployed across Virgin's entire cable network by the end of 2011.