The Inquirer-Home

Virgin doubles cable bandwidth to 20Mbit

Plans to upgrade to 50Mbit
Thu Mar 01 2007, 12:16
THE NEWLY RE-BRANDED cable operator Virgin, previously known as NTL:Telewest, has officially announced plans to double the maximum speed of UK cable-based internet services.

Virgin will introduce a new 20Mbit cable internet offering, up from the previous 10Mbit product, in June. The company has already undertaken successful user beta trials of the 20Mbit service.

The company has also announced plans to increase the product range to include a incredibly fast 50Mbit service.

'As an end-to-end network owner, cable has inbuilt advantages in the quality of broadband service that we offer,' the company said in a financial results statement this week.

The statement continued, 'Customers can receive consistent speeds and a top speed of 10Mbit is available throughout our broadband addressable areas. We will be increasing this to 20Mbit in June and we are also currently conducting a residential trial of a 50Mbit broadband service.'

It's widely perceived that the 20Mbit product is in response to the increased take-up of ADSL2+ services, provided by the likes of Be who offer a 24Mbit line, and arch competitor Sky who serve customers with a 16Mbit ADSL2+ product for only £10 a month.

Last night Virgin screens tuned to Sky channels went blank after the pair failed to resolve their differences.

Although ADSL2+ offerings can compete with the new cable service, when customers are near their exchange, it's unlikely any 50Mbit service over standard telephone copper lines will appear anytime soon, giving Virgin a serious competitive advantage. µ

See also
Sky set to launch terrestrial TV service
Sky broadband update
Sky broadband brings ADSL2+ to the masses
Sky will be a broadband heavyweight


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