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Virgin Trials 200Mbit Broadband, Reports Strong Q1

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Virgin Media is back in the press again today and this time it wants speeds that go even faster...

Following news that it may unbundle its cable network the contentious ISP is taking real world tests to a new high with the first customer pilots of 200Mbit connections. Virgin claims this to be the fastest implementation of DOCSIS3 technology in the world, ahead of services in both Japan and the US which currently top out at 160Mbit and 101Mbit respectively.

Who are the lucky testers? It's those jammy residents of Ashford, Kent once more who were also the first to trial Virgin's 50Mbit service way back in September 2007. The tests will last for six months to assess performance and commercial viability - something which could be hard to justify given the real world limitations of wireless N technology already make 50Mbit a challenge.

"We're really excited to be embarking on this journey of discovery," said Virgin CEO Neil Berkett. "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 200Mbit pilot will give us further insight into how true ‘wideband' services might be used by consumers."

May this finally be the first test where we can say: Too fast, don't need it? Or have I just broken the primary rule of the savage downloader?

In related news Virgin Media has reported its finances for Q1 2009 with total revenue virtually unchanged at £936m compared to 947m during the same period last year. Earnings were back in the black however jumping from a £2m loss in Q1 2008 to a £13m profit. Customer additions across broadband, television and mobile phone divisions were also up 47,300 to 3.73m, 30,600 to 3.65m and 62,900 to 712,300 respectively.

Given the current economy, they're impressive figures.

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