10.50 Europe/London, July 22, 2011 By Julian Clover

Virgin Media is celebrating after the cablenet successfully delivered internet speeds of up to 240 times faster than the national average.

1.5 Gbps broadband was delivered over Virgin’s cable network in the area around Old Street, East London, known as Silicon Roundabout. The trialists included TechHub, a community and workspace for technology entrepreneurs.

The trial, which also offered upload speeds of 150 Mbps, used the same DOCSIS infrastructure used by Virgin for its residential customers.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said it was fantastic that such internet speeds were being trialled in the UK. “This exciting development will help attract new companies and entrepreneurs to the area, bringing new jobs and growth to this part of the capital. Last year the Prime Minister set out our ambition for London’s East End to become a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley. Developments like Virgin Media’s will help make this ambition a reality.”

The DOCSIS2 technology used throughout the Virgin network provides a future-proofed platform with theoretically near infinite capacity. The cablenet is able to bond multiple downstream and upstream channels together to be used at the same time by a single subscriber to deliver faster speeds. DOCSIS 3.0, also used throughout the Virgin network, also incorporates support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Jon James, executive director of broadband, Virgin Media, said: “As people are simultaneously connecting more gadgets to the internet and doing more online than ever before, we wanted to explore what our unique fibre optic network is capable of. At speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps, Virgin Media is delivering some of the fastest broadband in the world and, thanks to our ongoing investment, we’re able to anticipate and lead the way in meeting growing demand for bandwidth as future services and applications come online.”

To date Virgin has invested £13 billion into its broadband infrastructure that covers around half of the UK.