Real-world tests of a 200Mbps cable modem service have commenced in Ashford.
Virgin Media has signed up 100 “lead adopters” who will, in a trial process similar to that used to test 50Mbps services in 2007, use the service on a regular basis and provide feedback to the cable operator.
“We’re really excited to be embarking on this journey of discovery,” said Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett. “With the only true next generation network in the UK, we’re at the forefront of innovation and understanding when it comes to ultrafast broadband services and the 200Mb pilot will give us further insight into how true ‘wideband’ services might be used by consumers.”
The pilot will run for 6 months before the results are analysed so that a complete picture of consumer behaviour may be established. Virgin plans to work with a range of partners to ensure the downstream speed is put to use, as there are currently no consumer wireless routers able to deliver the speeds from the modem to computers networked using wi-fi.
The 200Mbps speed will be achieved using the same DOCSIS3 technology as used for the deployment of Virgin’s XXL tier of 50Mbps service. It permits channels to be bonded, effectively increasing the spectrum available for downstream speed to a particular customer’s modem. Virgin’s 200Mbps trial will be the fastest implementation of DOCSIS3 in the world, ahead of 160Mbps services in Japan and 101Mbps services in the US.