22 September 2020
Virgin Media has demonstrated the power and capability of its fibre-rich network by successfully delivering next-generation 2.2Gbps broadband speeds to homes in Thatcham, Berkshire through a real-world trial.
The multi-gigabit speeds – 34 times faster than the UK’s average broadband speeds – have been delivered via Virgin Media’s existing, future-proof cable network using broadband technology known as a DOCSIS 3.1 which brings faster, more reliable broadband speeds to customers’ homes.
Virgin Media has carried out a proof-of-concept trial to showcase the blisteringly fast broadband speeds which can be delivered via its existing network, without the need for additional infrastructure or civil engineering works, such as laying new fibre cables.
It comes as Virgin Media has already rolled-out its Gig1 broadband speeds (1,140Mbps) to seven areas across the UK – a total of 3.7 million homes - making it the UK’s largest gigabit broadband provider. By the end of 2021, more than 15 million premises across Virgin Media’s network will have access to gigabit speeds.
Virgin Media’s team of engineers were able to deliver the multi-gigabit speeds to homes in Thatcham using the operator’s latest router, the Hub 4. The router is Virgin Media’s fastest to date and comes as standard with its gigabit broadband service, Gig1. The trial also provided average upload speeds of 214Mbps.
The hyperfast speeds have been independently verified by SamKnows – Ofcom’s technical partner – which measures broadband performance.
In the future, multi-gigabit speeds will allow households to instantly and simultaneously stream boxsets and video games with 8K and upwards capabilities, as well as use AR and VR technology in real-time and take part in video calling – all without any delay.
Thatcham resident, David Bassom, said:
“On my previous connection with another provider it would take longer to download software than it would to install it. With Virgin Media’s multi-gigabit trial, it took seconds.
“In my job I work on peer-to-peer networks and have to remotely connect to other people’s computers. With these broadband speeds it was seamless - it was as if their PC was in front of me.”
Phil Thompson, another trialist from Thatcham, added:
“The multi-gigabit speeds were a step forward and it was a big help in bringing the office into the home space.
“I have to do a lot of work video calls and with the 2.2Gbps speeds they were in near real-time, whereas my colleagues were lagging behind on their connection.
“When my son – who is a big gamer - came to visit, he said that the speeds were ‘ridiculous’ as there was low ping and jitter – which meant he had a great gaming experience.”
Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said:
“We invest more than £1 billion into our network every year and this innovative trial demonstrates how Virgin Media’s existing future-proof cable network can deliver lightning-fast, multi-gigabit broadband speeds. We stand ready to power our customers’ connectivity needs for whatever comes next.
“We’re leading the charge to make the UK faster and we’re on track for rolling out gigabit broadband speeds across our network by the end of next year. With this next-generation connectivity, our customers can experience the best from their broadband – whether that’s 8K gaming, instant streaming, high quality video calls or uploading files in a flash – all in the same home at the same time.”
Notes to Editor:
Virgin Media has delivered 2.2Gbps broadband speeds which are 34 times faster than the UK’s average connection. The UK’s average speed is 64Mbps in 2019 according to Ofcom’s UK Home Broadband Performance published in May 2020.