Virgin Media claims to be delivering the world's fastest cable broadband service, clocked at a whopping 1.5Gbit/s, as part of a trial with businesses in the Silicon Roundabout region of London.
The download speeds are some 240 times faster than the UK average, while upload speeds are a huge 150Mbit/s. This offers businesses in the area, including the TechHub centre for entrepreneurs, the chance to innovate and create new business models, according to Virgin.
Internet minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the ambitious trial, claiming that it represents the UK's continuing progress in the technology sector and will have huge economic benefits.
"This exciting development will help attract new companies and entrepreneurs to the area, bringing new jobs and growth to this part of the capital," he said.
However, Fernando Elizalde, an analyst at Gartner, said that, while the trial is a good chance for Virgin Media to show off its technology, the speeds are unlikely to be available to the majority of its customers for some time.
"The backhaul network wouldn't be able to support many consumers on that bandwidth, and the Wi-Fi hardware for home networks is not likely to support that internal speed level for a while," he told V3.
"It's nice for Virgin to be in the limelight showing that its DOCSIS [Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specifications] network is theoretically more apt than telecom operators' networks to deliver high-speed broadband."
Virgin confirmed to V3 that in principle it will be able to roll out the service across its network over time, but that the main goal for the present is to keep pushing the availability of its 100Mbit/s service.
Elizabeth Varley, the chief executive of TechHub, told V3 that start-ups using the connection were already benefiting from the huge speeds on offer by enabling them to test out future products.
"For the firms working with video or large open data sets the connection is ideal for helping develop products and share information and host high-quality conference calls over services like Skype," she said.
"The number of start-up firms in the Old Street area meant Virgin Media was keen to get involved and roll the fibre out here to see what sort of innovations it could help to create."
As well as offering speeds of 100Mbit/s across the UK, Virgin Media is providing customers with routers capable of up to 400Mbit/s in order to future-proof its network and end user components.
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