Posted by Richard Sinclair
Making Britain Faster
06 February 2019
As the UK’s fastest widely-available home broadband provider, Virgin Media has a long history of speed leadership.
Looking back over the past few decades, our home broadband connections have changed beyond all recognition. As they’ve done so, new capabilities such as video calling, music streaming and the ability to watch the latest films in ultra-high definition online whenever and wherever you want have all flourished. This has changed our lives enormously, and now we’re smashing through yet another game-changing speed milestone.
We’re currently trialing a residential broadband connection to a number of customers in Papworth, Cambridgeshire, which is capable of providing speeds of more than 8Gbps. The connection is symmetrical, so it’s providing those speeds up and down.
To put this in context, that’s a download speed more than 215x faster than the UK average, and an upload speed more than 1,600x faster than the current UK average.
The connection is delivered using our existing fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network and the EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Networks) standard. EPON is typically used to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds to UK homes, but we’ve been experimenting with some of the equipment and software in our network and in customers’ homes which has allowed us to push this close to 10Gbps.
Importantly, we’re doing this alongside our existing services. The fibres carrying this traffic are not dedicated lines – they’re also carrying the traffic of our other customers in the area. And we’ve been able to do this without changing our existing network infrastructure – only small changes to equipment were required.
Whilst we’re not about to launch a 10Gbps connection, trials like this allow us to gaze into a hyperfast future. Whether its fibre all the way to premises, or our fibre-rich cable network, the technology doesn’t matter to those using it. The entirety of our existing network is gigabit capable.
There’s no doubt Virgin Media will be the fastest way for gigabit speeds to reach scale in the UK, so keep your eyes peeled for more speedy announcements this year.
Our constant history of speed leadership, along with this pioneering trial in Cambridgeshire, clearly demonstrates how Virgin Media stands ready to deliver the broadband speeds of the future.