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Virgin Media Showcases 1.5Gbps Broadband

David Gilbert


Virgin Media Showcases 1.5Gbps Broadband

While we understand companies wanting to push the speed boundaries in terms of broadband, we have to wonder if making decent speeds available to everyone wouldn’t be a better use of their time.

In April this year, Virgin Media announced it was going to begin trialling 1.5Gbps broadband and by way of launching the trial, it used TechHub in London to successfully showcase the service.

The service works by bonding together 32 channels on the DOCSIS 3 network Virgin Media rolled out a couple of years ago for its 50Mbps service. Of course we won’t be seeing 1.5Gbps download and 150Mbps upload speeds in our homes any day soon. The service will be initially rolled out in a consumer trial in east London to see how consumers will use the service.

"As people are simultaneously connecting more gadgets to the internet and doing more online than ever before, we wanted to explore what our unique fibre optic network is capable of. At speeds of up to 1.5Gb, Virgin Media is delivering some of the fastest broadband in the world and, thanks to our ongoing investment, we're able to anticipate and lead the way in meeting growing demand for bandwidth as future services and applications come online," Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband, Virgin Media said.

However if we are to be brutally honest, we can’t see much point in rolling out a service of this speed at the moment. Most computers only support up to 1Gbps Ethernet connections and wireless networks are even further behind in terms of capacities of this magnitude. However multiple-user networks could benefit from the increased speeds and Virgin Media demonstrated several computers downloading and uploading simultaneously while still supporting 3D and HDTV streams.

With more and more devices in the home becoming connected, the need for broadband speeds of this magnitude will certainly become necessary in the future, we just don’t think we’re there yet - more investment in improving current networks may be of more advantage to more people.


July 25, 2011, 6:04 pm

I changed from Virgin/NTHell a year ago due to their bandwidth throttling at peak times. Was a trialist for broadband years ago too. I even rolled out their PCs in both Wythenshawe, Manchester and Newport, South Wales.

No point in speed if you throttle & bandwidth shape


July 26, 2011, 12:47 am

Actually that's the reason I stay with Virgin Media.

I hate them, and if you knew how they'd messed me about in the past you'd understand why. However their throttling is at least transparent and predictable.

I'm on the 20Mbps service and I know not to download more than 3.5GB before 9pm. After that I can download as much as I like until the morning. I believe the 50Mbps service is significantly less restricted.

They do traffic-shaping on usenet, which would be a deal-breaker for me. However using non-standard ports does avoid this, at least for now.

I was planning to switch to BT Infinity, which is also cable. However if you look at their fair-use policy if you download too much (no definition of 'too much') then they can reduce you to a crawl for months. That's completely unworkable for me.


July 26, 2011, 12:50 am

Yes we do need 1.5Gbps.

It means that the limiting factor will no longer be bandwidth. That's huge!

Finally the cloud would make sense; use the internet like a harddrive! Local storage becomes almost irrelevant.

Of course even if/when we get to use it we'll never get the full 1.5Gbps, but I'd settle for two-thirds if I had to ;o)


July 26, 2011, 3:13 am

Virgin Media lost their virginity a long time ago and are now simply........ well I'll let you work it out.

However, this is just headline grabbing PR crap.

They can't get my BB right.

I've figured out why now. They want me to change to a different package! And of course a tie in new contract!!!

I suppose what you expect from people who don't know their father is!!! So much for being Virgin Media.


July 26, 2011, 3:17 am

Almost forgot to THANK YOU for saying this at the top of the article:

"...we have to wonder if making decent speeds available to everyone wouldn't be a better use of their time."


July 27, 2011, 4:44 am

In my experiene of VM you're ok as long as nothing goes wrong. As soon as there's a technical problem, even if it's their fault, they'd rather you just took your business elsewhere because it's going to cost them money to fix it. This is the only way I can explain the way they treat people.

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