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Virgin Media starts 200Mbit/s broadband trials


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Virgin Media is conducting trials of a 200Mbit/s broadband service that effectively doubles the best currently available fibre connections.

Around 100 residents in Ashford in Kent will be the first to test the service, which is run on Virgin Media's recently established DOCSIS3 network.

The pilot started last week, and will run for six months. User habits and behaviour will be monitored as Virgin Media assesses how best to deploy such a service in the future.

"We are really excited to be embarking on this journey of discovery," said Neil Berkett, chief executive at Virgin Media.

"With the only true next-generation network in the UK, we are at the forefront of innovation and understanding when it comes to ultrafast broadband services. The pilot will give us further insight into how true 'wideband' services might be used by consumers."

Virgin Media will also evaluate the commercial viability of such a service. The trial is limited to consumer connections, but the company will also look at providing services to enterprise and business customers.

However, Virgin Media acknowledged that most consumer hardware is not up to the job of handling such speeds.

"Virgin Media will be working with a range of suppliers to help ensure that advancements in broadband technology are able to be fully maximised," the firm said.

"For example, there are no wireless routers able to deliver throughput of speeds as high as 200Mbit/s, and computers require a very high specification to handle data at such a high rate."

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