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By: MarkJ - 21 April, 2011 (6:01 AM)
virgin media uk 1Gbps best broadbandCable giant Virgin Media UK has reported its latest Q1-2011 financial results, which saw their total broadband ISP subscriber base grow from 4,287,000 to 4,332,600 (+45,600) over the last quarter (a slight increase in growth over Q4-2010).

However, the big news is that VM has announced a new East London 1.5Gbps download speed trial over its consumer DOCSIS3.0 Cable Modem broadband network, which will also offer upload speeds of up to 150Mbps! The trial will begin this month in partnership with four companies in the vicinity of Old Street.

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, said:

"This has been another solid quarter where we have maintained strong levels of revenue growth and generated substantial free cash flow. As more customers demand better connectivity, we have seen an increase in the take-up of faster broadband speeds and continued to improve the quality of our customer base. Alongside this, there has been strong early interest for our next generation home entertainment service, Virgin Media powered by TiVo, and we anticipate consumer demand for this will grow as we accelerate our roll-out.

The investment we are making in developing our multiscreen capability and our unique fibre optic network, will allow us to transform the connected experience for consumers and businesses and ensure we remain at the forefront of the UK's digital future. Our 1.5Gb broadband trial will achieve the fastest cable speeds in the world and, by pushing the frontiers of technology, it will help us to understand the kinds of services our customers may need in the future and the exciting possibilities of an increasingly converged world."

As promising as this 1Gbps trial is we would still urge caution. Virgin Media might well deliver speeds of 200Mbps, and possibly even up to 400Mbps, in the future to consumers, although going beyond that for ordinary home users would be both technically and economically difficult.

Suffice to say that ordinary (non-burst) consumer speeds of 1.5Gbps won't be common in the UK for many years, although businesses can already get 1Gbps links.
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