Virgin Media has promised users that it will offer download speeds of at least 1 GBPS to 15 million subscribers towards end of 2021. This could be revolutionary as it represents half of UK’s households and is double the current speed of Virgin Media. After making this ambitious commitment it declared that new prime minister Johnson’s ambition to have full fiber optic broadband across every home in UK by 2025 is a little too ambitious. Virgin’s current broadband network still uses copper cables specifically in making last mile connections between street junction boxes and individual homes.
The internet speed boost is therefore delivered by upgrade to DOCSIS standard and the latest 3.1 specification allows downloads of around 10 GPBS over coaxial cables. But full fiber network will allow fast terabit speed in near future and new PM Boris Johnson has challenged the telecom industry to deliver this facility to UK citizens. UK’s British Telecom and other small firms like Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and Cityfiber are utilizing FTTP networks. Virgin Media too is making trials of the technology at Cambridge where it is providing speeds of 8 GBPS that is being used in the university’s residential network.
But in UK the availability of FTTP is low when compared to Europe and a few of the corporates that do have this facility are unable to attain promised gigabit speeds. Virgin Media suggested that its coaxial based connections can achieve the target of Mr. Boris but work needs to be done to meet garget of 2025. Last week financial Times reported that Liberty Global the owner of Virgin Media is making a plan to form a new firm for building full-fiber networks outside the urban regions it is serving now. The firm stated that 1 GBPS download would 20 times faster than current levels so it would take less than 3 minutes to download a 20 GM movie.