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Virgin Wants 200Mbit Broadband by 2012

Gordon Kelly


Virgin Wants 200Mbit Broadband by 2012

BT may suddenly wish to play ball over 100Mbit fibre optic broadband but could this have motivated its change of heart…?

Speaking to Reuters, Virgin has expressed a desire no only to hit 100Mbit by 2012 but to hop, skip and jump past it with up to 200Mbit services during the same time frame. By comparison, according to Ofcom, the current average UK broadband speed is just 4Mbit.

“We are setting ourselves a vision of households using 200Mbit by 2012," said Virgin CTO Howard Watson. “The current technology that we're investing in to roll out the 50Mbit over the next 12 months has inherent within it that extra capability… If you take a 20Mbit customer {on to 50Mbit}, on day one or two you might see a relatively small increase in usage but by day 60 or 65 they're using 50Mbit per second quite easily {there is} a lot more video downloading, a lot more online gaming, file sharing and generally a lot more communication with others."

To achieve this speed burst the cable provider is installing DOCSIS 3.0 transmission technology across its network and freeing capacity by switching off its analogue cable television and moving customers to digital by the end of 2009.

"It is capacity that we have in the network that is reasonably easy to get at, and then {we need to} re-purpose that capacity for more broadband," continued Watson. "We are trying to build a market here for high speed broadband; that market doesn't exist yet in the UK, and it's too early to be looking at over-regulation or wholesaling in that context.”

So Virgin customers, it seems you’re set for 200Mbit connections. 200Mbit heavily managed, BPI partnered, non-net neutral connections…


via Reuters


July 26, 2008, 4:24 am

heaven forbid you use that speed to actually DOWNLOAD anything! Nooooo, if you download using that speed then you get throttled...


July 26, 2008, 4:29 am

Well a 200MBit broadband would mean they will have to revise their traffic management...but wow! that will be blazing fast...can you imagine the flock of content that could be passed withing a minute.Heavy consumers will be maxing out a 1TB hard drive within a week or two...lol!


July 26, 2008, 10:36 am

it's not going to happen on a large enough scale. large scale for ISP's seems to be obscure (lucky) little towns or villages.


July 26, 2008, 1:05 pm

Well, as by then all I will be allowed to use that bandwidth for will be e-mail and Web 3.0 (while being under watchful eyes that check my ever move) I think I will probably need about 1 Mbit. Besides, considering that most of the far east already have 100 Mbit (and not the 'British' version where the real world speed would be more along the lines of 25 Mbit) that's some great achievement. Once again a crappy service with lot's of hot air and nothing behind it. Just soooooo UK...

Lee Marshall

July 26, 2008, 1:30 pm

"To achieve this speed burst the cable provider is installing DOCSIS 3.0 transmission technology across its network and freeing capacity by switching off its analogue cable television and moving customers to digital by the end of 2009."

This will not happen. Where I live (Milton Keynes) you can only get analogue cable, not even Telephone or Internet access via cable. Virgin have no plans to update our system, therefore most customers have already moved to Sky. Doesn't stop Virgin sending mailings to us though offering everything.

Juxtah 1

July 26, 2008, 3:40 pm

Not good enough, I don't even pirate games/music/movies and I don't want the BPI monitoring my activities, why? Because it's an insult to my civil rights, and I know enough about technology to know that BPI are going to find it difficult to differentiate between legal and illegal P2P services and I know enough about BPI that they are going to try and slap as many people as possible with bans regardless of whether they've done anything wrong to try and curb pirating, which won't work.

I hate the music industry, they constantly stand in the way of progress because they fear it will impact negatively on their profit margins, you know how to stop piracy? Music download sites, that give you DRM free music at extremely low prices per song...


July 26, 2008, 11:28 pm

'Coming to nowhere near me or you'

Whilst I'm commenting and its related the issue over privacy violations is an absolutely unacceptable and is the sort of thing I would expect to hear in the news being tested in a police/closed state such as China. What more freedoms can they possibly take from us, no seriously I think they've pushed to the point where their (authorities) next move will be crucial or there'll be absolute public uproar and rightly so.

Rich 42c5

July 27, 2008, 1:17 am

what's the point in this? For 90% of users who just check their email and buy things online, is this even necessary?

you could cut me back down to 512k and i'd probably not even notice.


July 27, 2008, 1:31 am

no, lossless music. LOSSLESS MUSIC!

i agree about entertainment industries standing in the way of progress, their draconian way of management is meant to wring customers, and limit the things they can do with their music, as well as providing it at sub-par audio quality...

i really miss analogue


July 27, 2008, 4:17 pm

This would all make sense if they actually let people make use of it.

Like the old Blueyonder days...


July 27, 2008, 10:44 pm

heres an idea,offer a service uncapped,no we dont want a free laptop or 3 months half price nor free weekend calls,keep that,save the money charge us a bt extra so we get a constant line speed,and no we dont p2p but might want to catch up on eastenders from iplayer without haivng to wait till 1 am.

oh and sigreud dont post here again ok ty,this a a gadgety/geek site.i guess you still think more than 30mph is impossible?


July 28, 2008, 11:56 am

It would be good if the 20MB service ran at that speed I have only ever got about 16 out of it as a max, most of the time it does about 10/12. Better than dial up though. Waiting to see what happens when the 50Meg starts working, but not sure if I will have to pay extra. Recently renegotiated my contract with them got &#1638.00 a month off the 20meg price I had been paying so now down to &#16329.00. Then rang them again a couple of weeks later to see if they could do a deal on the TV as well (we didn't take it up till now). Now have full phone, 20meg and full XL High Def TV with a V+ box for the sum of &#16349.00 a month which I consider to be a bargin. Goes up in 6 months by &#1638.00 but I will just give them another ring.


July 28, 2008, 3:26 pm

Do the Japanese know whether to pity us or laugh their head off? By that time, everyone that counts will have lapped us yet again. We should think of the UK as a Moore's Law exclusion zone.


July 29, 2008, 7:06 pm

As a soon to be ex-20mb Virgin customer here's a few things that have annoyed me over the past 12 months...

1. How can they advertise a 20mb service when I only see 18mb speeds tops, and in reality usually around 10mb. I appreciate that for ADSL ISPs the reasons for lower speeds are often out of their control. But with cable surely that argument doesn't hold so they're effectively taking money for a service they just aren't providing due to their over-capacity network.

2. 'Fibre optic broadband' my foot, the stuff running into peoples homes is plain old coax, not exactly the futuristic stuff that snazzy adverts are made of. ADSL is just as fibre optic... Back in the exchange.

3. I'd much rather see companies focusing on better upload speeds, whilst a relatively fast 20mb connection does make downloading anything quite a breeze the <1mb upload just gives you the feeling that you're back in 2001, I find myself saving larger uploads until I'm at work, even for just fairly straight forward tasks like uploading full size photos from a day out to flickr. Apple might have just upgraded my .mac storage to 20gb, but I'd hate to try and fill it using Virgins upload speeds.

Faster uploads are vital for all this 'cloud' stuff to be a success and useful, but I guess upload speeds aren't what sells broadband.

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