Virgin has dillied and dallied so long over its 50Mbit broadband offering that it has been beaten to the punch...
Student and residential broadband provider ask4 has jumped ahead of Richard Branson's monolithic Virgin Media to announce that this month it will offer the first commercially available 50Mbit broadband service in the UK.
As you might expect for a smaller company the launch area isn't large, in fact it's tiny coming initially only to students living in The Pinnacles in Sheffield (did I just hear a single "Yay!" from one of you out there?). Naturally once the students have been experimented on (isn't that always the way?) it will hit the larger Sheffield and Leeds areas where ask4 already offers a 25Mbit product.
Perhaps as interesting as the raw download speeds however is the nature of Ask4 services in general as they are symmetric in nature meaning upload speeds can be an almost near match. Couple that with a dedicated home Ethernet connection (no phone lines required here) and no download caps or usage charges and we're dealing with a model that will make other areas of the country cry with envy.
Take notes rival ISPs, take notes.