Virgin Media has today announced superfast broadband trials on its cable network in London.
The network operator is promising 1.5Gbit/s download and 150Mbit/s per second upload speeds to four companies in the vicinity of Old Street in East London, dubbed the ‘Silicon Roundabout' earlier this month.
Using the same infrastructure that serves Virgin’s residential broadband customers, the company said that the trial aims to deliver connection speeds that are more than 240 times faster than the national average of 6.2Mbit/s as of November/December 2010, according to Ofcom’s UK Fixed Broadband Speeds report.
Virgin added that similar technology tests had already proved that cable could deliver download speeds of 1Gbit/s.
The superfast cable broadband trials will connect the four companies, each operating in the creative industries with heavy multimedia network streaming demands, to Virgin’s fibre optic network by a high-grade coaxial line.
The operator said that the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) technology used throughout its network could provide near infinite capacity, enabling it to bond multiple downstream and upstream channels to be used at the same time by a single subscriber to deliver faster speeds.
DOCSIS 3.0, the current standard used throughout Virgin Media’s network, also incorporates support for IPv6, the firm added.
Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media, claimed that its network provides a competitive alternative to the fastest fibre networks of the future.
By contrast to Virgin’s cable infrastructure, the operator said that providers using BT’s copper-based infrastructure were unlikely to ever achieve similar speeds, even once its fibre-to-the-cabinet services are eventually rolled out.
Sam Orams, co-founder of BespokeBanter.com, one of the companies testing Virgin Media’s 1.5Gbit/s broadband, said: “While the average home might not need these speeds quite yet, we certainly will.
"The internet is critical to what we do and intrinsically linked to our future growth, so it’s exciting to be working with Virgin Media at the forefront of broadband innovation in the UK.”
Virgin has previously trialled 200Mbit/s services with residents in Ashford, Kent. The firm has even looked to deliver broadband via telegraph poles in Wales to reach remote areas where its own infrastructure does not reach.
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