Virgin launches 200 Mbps pilot

By Julian Clover

Virgin's 50 Mbps modem (VisMedia)

Virgin Media has launched what it believes to be the first real-world deployment of a 200 Mbps broadband service.

The cablenet says the 100 home trial in Ashford, Kent is the fastest implementation of DOCSIS 3 technology running anywhere in the world, eclipsing services offered in Japan and the US, which currently reach 160Mb and 101Mb respectively.

It is planned that the pilot, launched last week and scheduled to run for the next six months, will help shape what services customers will look for with the availability of higher broadband speeds. High definition and 3D television will be tested as well as the in-home support required for the service to fully function. One significant issue is that there are currently no wireless routers capable of delivering 200 Mbps.

Although Virgin’s commercially available top speeds of 50Mbps are dwarfed by the 100Mbps available from cablenets in continental Europe, the company has made clear that this is a commercial decision.