Virgin Media is readying its network for broadband speeds in excess of 400 Mbps. Already the cableco is preparing to run speeds of 100 Mbps, scheduled before the end of the year, and has stepped up trials of a 200 Mbps service.
A spokesman for Virgin Media told Broadband TV News that although it has no immediate plans to run at 400 Mbps, it is preparing Consumer Premises Equipment (CPE) to handle the increased speeds. Typically customers on its 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps speeds are offered DOCSIS 2 modems. Customers on the current top speed of 50 Mbps are provided with a custom-built Ambit DOCSIS 3 modem and it is new subscribers to this tier that are likely to receive 400 Mbps-capable modems before the end of the year. “From a live service point of view it won’t matter which modem the customer has as we provision them to whatever service the customer requires,” said Virgin’s spokesman.
The 50 Mbps service has in the region of 70,000 subscribers.
Last week, Manuel Kohnstamm, MD public policy and communications, Liberty Global told the Digital TV in Central and Eastern Europe conference in Bucharest that UPC would eventually offer internet access speeds of up to 400 Mbps.
DOCSIS 3 is currently capable of running speeds of 390 Mbps, by running 8 bonded channels in parallel, but the availability of new silicon is expected to take this up to 800 Mbps at the turn of the year.
A new trial will shortly go live in Coventry, previous trials in Ashford, Kent have involved in the region of 100 participants.