Far from the uncertainties surrounding Bulldog is the quantum leap being trialled by NTL. 100Mbps broadband is the name of the game (”obeseband” would be a better name) and, as you would expect, at this stage the company is keeping cards close to its chest.
“Fibre can carry up to one gigabit,” said NTL bigwig Keith Monserrat. “It will be relatively straightforward for NTL to provide speeds of at least 100 megabytes per second across its entire network. By contrast, BT’s planned 21st Century network will not be able to deliver speeds above 10 megabytes.”
Thanks Keith but, bragging rights aside, how in holy hell will this be ‘relatively straightforward’? Certainly cable, using fibre, has the potential to accommodate speeds of 100Mbps and beyond but the price to do this skyrockets which may reduce commercial viability and performing a radical move such as switching technologies to a copper based (ADSL2+ style) solution would not solve the problems either.
For a start, 100Mbps is well beyond ADSL2+ and while VDSL2 can hit 100Mbps it can only be done at distances of up to half a mile from the exchange. Meanwhile, the DOCSIS 3.0 standard (said to be capable of 200Mbps downstream and 100Mbps upstream) is still pie in the sky.
Either way all this standards talk is pure speculation until NTL decides to drip feed us a little more information – though the fact it is even talking about such speeds is surely a cause for some celebration. In addition, given the rapid acceleration of the broadband market in the UK (after a mind numbingly slow beginning, it must be said) just how soon could NTL bring something like this to market?
Answers on a virtual postcard…
We’ve had some heat on this from you guys in the the forums, so we think it is only fair you know the latest state of play