Feeds

Virgin Media to trial IPTV off-cable network

Fibre optic Cornwall trial

High performance access to file storage

Virgin Media will trial delivering its TV and broadband services via copper phone lines as part of plans to expand its footprint beyond the cable network laid in the 1990s.

The firm will run a small trial in Cornwall in partnership with fibre optics firm Vtesse Networks this winter.

Residents of Higher Pill, in Saltash, and nearby Hatt will be offered free broadband at up to 50Mbit/s downstream via a VDSL2+ line to a roadside cabinet. The cabinets will be linked to Virgin Media backhaul via new fibre laid by Vtesse Networks.

Cornwall's role as the main landing point for transatlantic communications means there is no shortage of trunk cables nearby to hook into, although for this the trial BT's local exchange - 5km away -will be used.

As well as broadband, Virgin Media plans to offer its full range of TV services, including high definition and on demand, over the new infrastructure.

The trial is part funded by NGN Kernow, a consortium of large firms led by Babcock International who have invested in Cornwall.

Vtesse Networks CEO Aidan Paul said: "Subject to the satisfactory completion of these trials and to a supportive regulatory policy, our analysis indicates that it could be feasible to roll-out similar capability to as many as two million homes and small businesses in current ultra-fast 'not-spots' across the country.

"Instead of speculating on the economics we thought we'd go ahead and do it for real."

BT's currently plans to upgrade 40 per cent of its national network to a similar fibre-to-the-cabinet, VDSL2+ service by 2012. But the investment is targeted at densely populated areas where the return will be highest.

Published in June, the government's Digital Britain report announced a 50 pence per month tax on every land line, a way of subsidising other firms to roll out faster broadband infrastructure to areas BT isn't interested in. Vtesse and Virgin Media's Cornwall trial is an early example of the type of regional project that the subsidies are expected to go to.

It also indicates Virgin Media's desire to expand beyond its cable network, which covers about half of premises nationally, mostly in cities. It was laid at a cost of billions, which has yet to be recouped, and digging new trenches isn't on the agenda. The firm is however on the lookout for opportunities to increase its footprint at low cost.

Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media said: "This demonstrates our ambition to extend our next generation services to areas outside our traditional cable TV footprint."

Theoretically, Virgin Media could in future expand outside the cable network by buying wholesale access to BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet network, but this is likely to be a comparatively expensive option. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.