Home workers received a welcome boost today after Virgin Media showed off its new 200Mbit/s broadband service at the Ideal Home Show in London.
Virgin Media brand manager Verity Henderson explained that this was the first public demonstration of the new service after trials in Ashford and Coventry, two of the firm's busiest areas.
"We have already got 50Mbit/s services and recently announced a 100Mbit/s service. The home of the future will need ever faster broadband speeds as more gadgets come online and increasing numbers of people work from home," she said.
No pricing plans or scheduled launch dates for the service have been decided yet, but Henderson said that, as the 50Mbit/s and 100Mbit/s services had been made available on the entire Virgin network, it is likely that the 200Mbit/s would be too.
Dale Barnes, head of advanced technology trials at Virgin Media, explained that the unit on display at the show was based on the same network set-up as in the trial areas to provide a realistic example of the new speeds.
"Currently, there aren't many applications that need these sorts of speeds. However, as we bring our 100Mbit/s and then 200Mbit/s speeds to the wider public, we expect a raft of new and innovative services to be developed," he said.
Henderson added that it is important for Britain to try and keep pace with broadband innovation.
"In Japan and Korea there are 1Gbit/s services in operation, and we need to try and replicate this. Speeds like the one we are demonstrating today open up a whole new range of possibilities for the internet," she said.
Virgin Media also demonstrated a 3D TV service in conjunction with Sony. The firm has no plans to launch a 3D service at this time, but Henderson expects the technology to become hugely popular.
The broadband demonstration follows prime minister Gordon Brown's promise of superfast broadband for all in the UK, and the creation of a new Institute of Web Science backed with £30m of funding.
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