By: MarkJ - 6 May, 2009 (8:52 AM)
UK ISP Virgin Media , which can already call itself a provider of the country's fastest nationwide broadband service thanks to its 50Mbps package , has stunned industry observers by starting a customer pilot to test real-world deployments of up to 200Mbps speeds via its latest DOCSIS3 technology!

Following successful lab trials, the pilot started last week in Ashford, Kent, and will build to 100 "lead adopters" who will have the unique chance to help test "the most advanced broadband service in the UK". Cisco will be providing the technology and support to help deploy the service.

Virgin Media will also use the pilot to test future online consumer applications, which includes High Definition Internet TV (HD IPTV), video conferencing, home surveillance and the ability to deliver applications and support for home IT needs through its network.

Neil Berkett, chief executive officer at Virgin Media said, "We’re really excited to be embarking on this journey of discovery. With the only true next generation network in the UK, we’re at the forefront of innovation and understanding when it comes to ultrafast broadband services and the 200Mbps pilot will give us further insight into how true ‘wideband’ services might be used by consumers."

The pilot will be running for at least six months before results are analysed to understand potential consumer usage and to assess the commercial viability of such ultrafast services. A significant part of the pilot will also involve assessing related in-home technologies.

Virgin Media will be working with a range of suppliers to help ensure advancements in broadband technology can keep pace. For example, to date, there are presently no wireless (Wi-Fi) routers able to deliver throughput of speeds at 200Mbps, and computers require very high specification in order to be able handle rates like that.

Typically Virgin Media has previously spoken about the lack of mainstream consumer demand for such services and thus isn't expected to launch a nationwide 200Mbps product just yet. Indeed if it did then the cost would be very high and could push the service into business-only territory.

Instead what today's announcement allows Virgin Media to do is claim yet another victory over its arch rival, BT, which has yet to even finish deploying up to 24Mbps ADSL2+ services let alone their plans for future 40 to 100Mbps fibre optic based products over the coming few years.

Presently J:Com in Japan supplies broadband at up to 160Mbps and Cablevision in the US supplies broadband at up to 101Mbps. Like Virgin Media, both companies use DOCSIS3 technology for broadband over cable networks.

UPDATE - 11:07am:

We've managed to gain some more little details from Virgin Media about its 200Mbps pilot. The testing will take place in Ashford because it was also the test-bed for 50Mbps, so the trials team are familiar with the test environment. Likewise pilot customers will not have to pay for the service (200Mbps for free, yes please!).

Testers will be chosen based on previous experience (working on 50Mbps trials) and some staff. There'll be lots of hardware on test with the pilot, from gigabit routers, to multi-channel wireless, and of course Macs/PCs. The pilot itself will be more about technology and thus it is too early to know whether a new traffic management policy will be tested.

Virgin Media informs us that they reached the full 200Mbps utilising 4 bonded channels during initial lab trials. We also asked them whether this move signified that Virgin Media were actively developing a roadmap for the introduction of a 200Mbps product:

Virgin Media told us: "Too early to say - key out-take is that with our new next-generation network, we are now in a position to drive forward UK broadband market, but also lead be right up there on a global scale to explore how such wideband services might be used in the future."

Share: Slash., Stumble, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, Delicious
Option: Link | Search

Comments: 24

asa logoDevon Boy
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 9:24 AM
Link to comment

Its great but I wish Virgin would spend money expanding their reach rather than speeding up what they have. I'd love 50Mb broadband but while half my town is cabled the other half isn't.. guess which half I'm in!
asa logobaz
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 9:32 AM
Link to comment

i am supose to be getting up to 10.mbps,but i am disapointed.the speed of pages loading are so so slow.
asa logoTyn
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 9:47 AM
Link to comment

Whatever speed virgin say, of course they can easily get, 'cause they're optical cables. The main problem is they don't have enough bandwidth. They seems to be offering speed with the hope that users will never use much bandwidth. Since bbc iplayer out, they halved my speed and put download limit during day time. Who know what new speed limit they will set, now that iplayer has HD contents... grr
asa logoMatt from Ashford
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 10:41 AM
Link to comment

I live in Ashford and I only get 1.5Mb... How bad is that? And that's with VIRGIN!!! OK, I'm running over a BT piece of copper but still..... Alas the "200 MB" offering only applies to those who live in a 'cabled' area and Virgin has no plans to extend it's fibre network to non-cabled areas. Why not invest in cabling areas before going 'bleeding edge' andoffering new technologies when half of the town (and county of Kent) is unable to receive these services? Thanks Virgin... "We give with the left and take away with the right"
asa logoJason
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 10:53 AM
Link to comment

I agree unlimited broadband with virgin is far from unlimited.

On my 10mb they put a 2.4gb limit a day in peak times between 10am - midnight It won't take long to use that up that streaming HD content.
asa logoJohn
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 10:54 AM
Link to comment

The cable ducting was installed in our street over 10 years ago and there is still NO cable actually down either side of our street sad
asa logokev_plymouth
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 11:06 AM
Link to comment

4 channels with EuroDOCSIS have a maximum throughput of about 200Mbit… These 4 channels will be shared with hundreds of other people. That means you would only ever achieve 200Mbit if no one else is downloading, what are the chances of that happening?

Virgin Media would definitely need Quality Of Service, otherwise a couple of users could increase latency and speeds to unbearable levels for everyone else.

All that said, it could still be a very good service, but let’s be realistic about Virgin Media’s network.
asa logokds
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 12:14 PM
Link to comment

I dont want their limited broadband they will give you 200mbits/sec but they only allow you to download 1gig which defect the purpose
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 12:34 PM
Link to comment

I doubt you'd see such a big restriction on their 200Mbps service since their faster products have always tended to be more flexible, albeit often still restricted. It's a fair point though, there would be little reason in launching a 200Mbps service if the restrictions meant the service itself was of little productive use. I think they'll avoid that but it's too early to tell.
asa logosavaged
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 3:59 PM
Link to comment

Virgin Media - moving ahead but not finishing the job first. I don't think I'm alone in having problems getting the bandwidth promised. How about they get what they sell now working before doing the next thing. I've had an average less than 2Mbps since starting to pay for 10Mbps three months ago! Infrastructural issues are the cause according to their technical support team. With no fixed dates promised for correction.
BT sent me a cocky letter when I switch from them to virgin media, saying I'd regret it. Guess what, they were right.
asa logoNot Neil Berkett
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 6:19 PM
Link to comment

Wasn't Neil Berkett the pillock that said net neutrality is bollocks? Now they are talking about IPTV services you can see why he has that attitude towards being simply a network provider.

Along with their throttling, download limits, phorm and the other crap Virgin get up to, there is no way I would ever be their customer again. Even if they offered 200Mbps. It'd probably work at that speed for 5 or so minutes before tripping their piracy alarms.
asa logoGraham
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 6:26 PM
Link to comment

Whats the point if cable is in less than 2% of UK streets!!!
asa logoPete
Posted: 6 May, 2009 - 7:07 PM
Link to comment

Please expand to the United States.
asa logoMartin in North Shields
Posted: 7 May, 2009 - 12:06 PM
Link to comment

I would love to have Virgin Media Broadband but I am quite literally on the wrong side of the street. My neighbours across the street are on 10 - 50 Mbps Bb while I struggle on 4Meg Bb from bloody Tiscali.

Sort it out Mr Branson, give this marvel of modern technology to the rest of us.
asa logoJames Tait
Posted: 7 May, 2009 - 12:44 PM
Link to comment

I bet they still don't do anything with native IPv6.
asa logootester
Posted: 7 May, 2009 - 1:30 PM
Link to comment

Soon they'll have 1Gbps connections with 10GB FUP lol.

This is ridiculous, another reason along side teaming up with the record companies and totally awful service.
asa logoleo
Posted: 24 May, 2009 - 10:31 PM
Link to comment

guys your slow down speeds are more then likely due to your computers being hammered or having virus`s in the
asa logoleo
Posted: 24 May, 2009 - 10:33 PM
Link to comment

all so i vm ok im a it teck but i get 40mbps down some day just gos to show you need a good system now a days
Posted: 12 June, 2009 - 10:54 AM
Link to comment


I am in LE3 in leicester which is an analogue cable area. Also ADSL is v slow in my arma 1 mb. I would love to get vigins fibre optic services. Have they any plans to upgrade old cable(analogue) areas to digital
asa logoVM Hell
Posted: 18 June, 2009 - 9:24 PM
Link to comment

Don't bother with 200 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 20 Mbps and 10 Mbps cos it throttling down to 2.4 Mbps from 9am until 2am.

Go for 2 Mbps instead and save your money !

VM can go to hell.
asa logoAlan
Posted: 20 June, 2009 - 11:05 PM
Link to comment

Been on cable for 20 years in slough, and im still on an anologue service, so i have to use BTs phone line to get any broadband.
When are virgin going to start updating our service, i would be happy with 10 meg let alone 50+
asa logoMichael
Posted: 23 October, 2009 - 4:12 PM
Link to comment

Im on the 50mb package and there is no limits on down or up i get full download speed which is good and i also upload at the full speed too so no complaints from belfast bring on the 200mb package as the future is 1080p HD and for downloading or uploading in the format would take ages on a standad line we need 200mb up and down :P lol too much to ask for in this god forsaken country
asa logoMbps or MBps
Posted: 27 February, 2010 - 2:04 PM
Link to comment

Guys, if you know the difference, I'll believe your comments... But if you don't know the difference between Mbps and MBps, go and look it up!

1 MBps (MB/s) = 8 Mbps (Mb/s), since:
1 Byte (B) = 8 bits (b).

I'm presently downloading a 700MB Office 2010 Beta from Microsoft at 1.1MB/s (10 Mbps) - the full advertised speed of my connection - via Virgin Media in West Yorkshire. Fantastic. Minutes for a 700MB file.
asa logoGreen
Posted: 27 November, 2010 - 3:07 AM
Link to comment

still, the max speed offered by Virgin in the UK for today (27-nov-2010) is 50 mb/s one and that is pretty sad for home users… and remember that real upload speed is only (aprox) 1.5 mb/s.

Even some eastern-European countries (for example, Latvia) are having a 200mb/s internet for a standart for home users AND they are introducing 500mb/s internet right now!

something is wrong with UK.. is infrastructure really that bad over here?


Generated in 0.15513 seconds.
DB queries: 8

Copyright © 1999 to Present - - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules