Virgin Media gears up to leave other broadband rivals in the dust


Virgin Media users could benefit from a serious boost. Liberty Global, the parent company of the UK fiber broadband provider as well as numerous other internet providers across Europe, has informed its shareholders that it is about to start working on home internet speeds of 10 Gbit / s. The company confirmed its intention to work on the technology “fairly quickly” using a mix of future upgrades and existing technologies integrated into its all-fiber-to-site system.

Virgin Media has managed to deliver 2 Gbps speeds using their existing infrastructure and home router – without any changes. While the company does not plan to offer this speed as a permanent option for broadband customers at this time, that may change in the future. And if nothing else, it shows how future-proof fiber optic cables and Virgin Media Hub 4 are. really are.For comparison, the average UK household broadband speed was measured at 64 Mbps earlier this year. 1 Gbps is equivalent to 1000 Mbps. 2 Gbps is double and 10 Gbps provides ten times the bandwidth. Or, in other words, currently equates to 155 times the speed of the average UK home internet speed.

As it is, most people probably won’t need speeds close to 10Gbps at home just yet.

For the context, Netflix recommends 5 Mbps to stream in high definition quality. This recommended speed is increased to 25 Mbps when streaming in Ultra HD. So even 1 Gbps at home should be more than enough to handle multiple streams in pixel-filled 4K quality in different rooms, at the same time as smartphones are saving to the cloud, games are being downloaded, la music is streaming and family members make video calls …

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The arrival of 10 Gbps is likely to coincide with a wave of new bandwidth-hungry technologies like virtual reality apps, game streaming services, as well as 8K quality in streaming services.

So it’s clear that Virgin Media has some time to get there before rolling out in the UK and Europe under the Liberty Global brand. Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said: “We know that our networks are valuable today far beyond their value and for all kinds of reasons that make sense. The road to continuous speed improvement in our fixed networks, you have several ways. But today we are making the most of 3.1, which again we have already tested 2.2 gig speeds with 3.1. It’s something we can do if we want to.

“But we’re really focused on 10G and, to be honest with you, when I mentioned 1 gig five or six years ago, everyone was like… what’s the use of it. Believe me when I tell you the 10 gig conversation will start and get started pretty quickly. When we look at our networks, we have two ways to get there with DOCSIS 4.0, where we would align exactly with the US operators, Charter and Comcast, both of which would pursue a strategy like that. And we could also use FTTP, CSPON, where we think we have the economics to support that kind of 10G roadmap.

“So stay tuned, a lot to talk about there and as you show a lot of cool stuff with faster speed and lower latency, we can do a lot of cool stuff with our fixed and mobile networks.

The UK has consistently ranked among the worst performers in the European Union when it comes to broadband speeds. As millions of people work, study and socialize with friends back home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, this is something that has become painfully clear to many over the past nine months. To address the issue, the UK government has pledged £ 5bn to build ‘gigabit-ready’ fiber broadband networks across the UK by the end of 2025.

As it stands, Virgin Media is one of the pioneers. Earlier this month, the full fiber provider added London, Belfast, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Coventry, Southampton, Manchester and Reading postcodes to its Gig1 Gigabit broadband plan, which also includes 52 Mbps download speeds – 3x faster than the UK average and incredibly useful when using video calls or collaborating on large documents with colleagues.


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