Virgin Media pilots 200Mbit service
How much smut does one person need?
Virgin Media has begun a pilot of a 200Mbit/s broadband service in Kent to gauge future demand for bandwidth in the home.
The pilot, which began last week in Ashford, will see 100 Virgin Media staff and customers connected at the new speed for at least six months. A spokesman for the firm said the upstream bandwidth for the new service hadn't been decided yet, but that a range would be tried.
Virgin Media talked up the speed potential of its network at the launch of its 50Mbit/s service late last year. Today it claimed the 200Mbit/s pilot area would be the fastest DOCSIS 3.0 network in the world.
Although it doesn't believe there is currently a commercial demand for 200Mbit/s, the firm wants to assess how consumers would use it for services such as HDTV, and home security and surveillance. The triallists have been selected for their high-end PCs and tech savvy.
Virgin Media is working with third party consumer hardware firms on the trial, including Cisco. As well as dominating the market for ISP routing kit, Cisco owns home networking brand Linksys.
"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 200Mb pilot will give us further insight into how true 'wideband' services might be used by consumers," said Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett.
There is no schedule or confirmed plans for a wider rollout of 200Mbit/s broadband. Virgin Media's network-wide upgrade to offer up to 50Mit/s downstream is due to be completed around the middle of this year. The firm is attempting to position itself as the UK's premium internet provider.
Main rival BT is currently trialling faster broadband in London and Wales based on fibre to the cabinet and VDSL, which offers downstream speeds of up to 40Mbit/s. It plans to roll out the upgrade to 40 per cent of UK homes by 2012. ®
what a load of rubbish!
Blueyonder/Telewest used to be the best by far 10mb and no caps, I was happy with 10mb solid all day and night :)
then 20mb came and traffic shaping came in :(
what's the point of 50mb or 200mb and capping it, lets say you legitimately steam a hd film to watch that's 10gb, over 2hrs they would cap you
WHEN will these fools realise that faster is not always better, should have left it at 10mb...
VM's "Fibre Optic Broadband" Advertising Campaign
Oh gawd, does this mean we're likely to get even more of those annoying Virgin Media adverts on TV and every other billboard acrsoo the country? I don't think I can take any more annoying clips of Ruby Wax or Samuel L. Jackson proclaiming how good VM's fibre optic broadband is. Even those adverts for Halifax, Injury Lawyers for Numpties, Jamster, Microsoft (Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates together.... zoiks!), Cillit Bang, etc... etc... etc.... are less annoying than Virgin Media's ones.
Like James Hamilton says above, VM's advertising campaign implies that their broadband service offers fibre optic all the way from the gigantesque pipes of the internet to your home, when in reality the fibre goes as far as that big green box a couple of streets down from your house and the connection from there to your house uses good old copper wire.
Pretty much what ADSL from BT et al offers, really, with the exception being that you need to replace the big green cabinet with the local BT exchange. I believe BT's fibre to the cabinet trials are starting (have already started?) in Muswell Hill and South Glamorgan... at which point VM's "Fibre Optic Broadband" and BT's ADSL will essentially be the same thing.
I see that the ASA have received complaints from the general public about these adverts (and unsurprisingly enough from Sky too!) but have only upheld a complaint about the wording of their adverts saying, "10 out of 10 homes with our fibre optic broadband can get 20Mb". It seems the ASA doesn't really understand the technical details behind fibre optic and coax cables, or they just don't give a shit.
I don't know why it is that I have such a hatred for Virgin Media but, despite generally liking Sir Dickie Branson normally, I can't stand Virgin Media. Maybe it's because of their crappy services and products, their incompetent call centre staff, their fucked-up billing system, their intention to definitely use Phorm, their ridiculously low caps with 5 hour restrictions, their 'off peak only STM' promise that is now enforced more each day than it's disabled, their crappy adverts, their annoying sales people in shopping malls, their patronising spiel on their website about downloading a gazillion MP3s, their clueless CEO, their useless tech support who refuse to help if you're not running Windows, their crappy picture quality, their lack of any HD channels, their sycophantic customers on sites such as Cable Forum, their arrogance in thinking people would prefer watching Virgin One instead of episodes of Lost, 24 and the Simpsons, etc...
<breathe out> ...and relax.
So goodbye contention
Hello packet throttling.
Both result in *actual* routinely usable bandwidth *substantially* below the headline number. Statistical multiplexing was a term that used be used for this.
I believe the Home Highway is still available. Only 128kbs both ways max. but 24/7 operation.
And as others have pointed out the A in ADSL is for Asymmetrical. Which historically has been how UK (and European?) telcos have viewed data rates. Remember Prestel at 1200/75 bps?
Perhaps a letter in to the All Party Group on the Internet from some actual VM users is in order?