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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
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Author Topic: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future  (Read 486 times)

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« on: June 26, 2010, 04:32:07 pm »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10392946.stm

Quote
Virgin Media has said it is "crunch time" for broadband as it gears up to offer speeds of up to 400Mbps (megabits per second). Virgin Media's director of broadband Jon James said 100Mbps would be available by the end of the year and the company has 400Mbps-ready modems and routers in the pipeline. Virgin Media hopes to extend its network to reach out to another million customers, using overhead cables.

400Mbps data transfer is fast enough to download an album in around a second, or a high-definition movie in around two minutes.

"We have a big fat dial to give more capacity to customers and there will be a steady series of upgrades," said Mr James. He said that consumers are beginning to want more out of their connections. "The crunch point is coming. There is a step-change in what people are trying to do with their broadband connection."

In terms of the usage that will drive faster speeds, Virgin Media envisaged a future where cloud computing, currently the preserve of businesses, comes to the living room.

"It would take people's IT problems away. Homework, photos, films would all live in the cloud and people wouldn't have to worry about the capabilities of their machine," said Kevin Baughan, director of technical strategy at Virgin Media. Coupled with 3D multi-player gaming and home working, it should create demand for faster services, he said.

And consumer teleconferencing could also feature as a killer app. "It has been oversold for so long but now we are actually doing it," said Mr James.

Telegraph poles

The UK government is keen to see the private sector increase its broadband footprint in rural areas.

As part of its attempt to fulfil that brief, Virgin Media is looking at rolling out broadband via existing overhead cables. It is experimenting in the Berkshire village of Woolhampton, where it has built its own poles to provide residents with speeds of 50Mbps. It estimates it can reach a further one million customers using existing overhead cables.

Laying down the gauntlet to rival BT, Mr James said the telco's technology had hit a "cul-de-sac". "No-one can match us on speed. BT Infinity is a cul-de-sac. Its 25Mbps average is kind of the limit," he said.

Upstream speeds

But BT denied that the need for speed was due to accelerate any time soon. "DSL speeds are increasing all the time so it is silly to suggest that there is a crunch point coming," said a spokesman. "There are no services today which require 50 or 100Mbps but there may be in the future which is why BT is investing £2.5 billion in faster broadband," he added.

Virgin Media has been criticised for offering slow upstream speeds, crucial for those who want to create and upload content on to the web. "Upstream speeds are going to become increasingly important and that's where BT's fibre network has the real advantage over others," said the BT spokesman.

Virgin Media revealed it does plan to notch up its upstream speeds later this year. "Currently upstream speeds are far down the list of priorities when we do customer research. They can't see the applications for it," said Mr James.

"We have a big fat dial to give more capacity to customers and there will be a steady series of upgrades"

Promises. promises. It will be interesting to see how many this will benefit and at what cost.  At the moment there seems to be a public relations war going on between the big ISPs as to who can shovel the biggest amount of bullsh*t out to the public. In the mean time they keep throttling due to lack of capacity. 8)

Offline Will

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Re: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 06:09:37 pm »
I would love to see this in place and the implications it would have on the network as they can barely deal with the amount of traffic already on the network :death:. Until they eradicate peak time limits and offer better upstream this is still rather useless :lol:. But that's my view :-D.

Offline Pri

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Re: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 07:50:29 pm »
I'm on there 50Mb service right now. It's excellent. Uncapped, 50Mb speeds at all times of the day (even peak times). The upload speed could be better (only 1.5Mb) but Virgin are currently trialing 10Mb upload on 50Mb connections in certain areas and they issued a press release ages ago mentioning the 10Mb tests and that it could become the norm for high speed connections on their network or an extra service option.

I'm confident they could deliver 100Mb+ connections based on my experience with 50Mb. I know a bunch of other people on the same service and we all agree that it's stable and fast at all times of the day. One thing to keep in mind is that Virgins 10Mb and 20Mb services use DOCSIS 1.1/2.0 while the 50Mb and above use DOCSIS3.0. And as shown in the article their DOCSIS3.0 infrastructure is way under-subscribed at just 70,000 customers. They have millions on the DOCSIS1.1/2.0 infrastructure.

Offline DaBees-Knees

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Re: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 07:09:13 am »
Pri,
      My point being, why supply a very fast service to a select few. It would surely be better to give the majority what they pay for. Which isn't a heavily throttled service.

Offline Pri

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Re: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 08:33:11 am »
Well that is how Business works Knees. You pay more money you get better service. 50Mb is £28 a month and it's fully uncapped. The 10Mb and 20Mb services are considerably cheaper so you can't expect much. 10Mb is £12.50 a month and 20Mb is £20 a month.

And again the DOCSIS versions have allowed them to make this ultra-fast 50Mb service (at a premium price) for those that are willing to pay for it. Most of VM's customers are on 10Mb. But I will say this, when I was on 10Mb / 20Mb I still always received the speed advertised (as does everyone I know who is on it) the only exception to that is when your connection is throttled due to Virgins daily caps. But that is a necessity due to how many customers are on these tiers.

The issue is not that VM doesn't have the back-haul capacity (they do) it is that the last-mile technology is the bottleneck. The cable infrastructure and design itself is what is holding them back from offering uncapped service to all tiers. It's the same issue that BT is having with their ADSL technology which is why they are going with Coaxial and Fiber like Virgin have to take speeds higher and to try and do away with capping and throttling.

Offline Bieb

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Re: Virgin Media looks to 400Mbps fast future
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 09:16:08 am »
It's only a matter of time before everyone will have the same opportunity for getting broadband via wireless. The landline and all forms of hardwire connectivity will come to an end sooner rather than later.

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