Virgin Media 200 Meg Broadband

virgin_mediaVirgin Media have started a pilot test on a new 200MB broadband service. A bunch of lucky “early adopters/testers” get to try the service for the next 6 months down in Ashford in Kent. 100 of these lucky lucky users will be providing feedback to Virgin about the service, performance and after the 6 month trial is up Virgin will make a decision based on the feedback given as to whether users want the service or not. We want it, assuming it actually works as good as they say it does.

Virgin Media currently offer a 50Mbps service which suddenly looks puny compared to the ultra-ultra-fast 200MBps speeds just mentioned above.

The new users wont be expected to cram as many films as possible down the wideband pipe, but instead see how it works based on daily usage. New HD and 3D stream services have been prepared and the users will be testing these to see how they perform and if they will actually work as described.

Although broadband in the UK hasn’t been on the top of the list (by far) for the last few years, the 200MBps speeds certainly put it on the roadmap and back at the top for the world considering the next fastest is Japan’s 160MB service.

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  1. Mark Northcott says

    we had BT 8Mbps service and it really only effectively gave us .25Mbps for months on end. I’d gladly pay for a connection that throttles the connection down to a level that you pay for rather than paying for a speed that likely can never be reached. I’d really like to know exactly how realistic the speed is when they say ‘up to 200Mbps.’

  2. Matthew says

    I agree with you. I think they should bill you for what you get too. If they promise 50Mbps for example but on average you experience 20Mbps then you should only pay for 20Mbps.

    Another problem is hardware and if your router is up to the task of a 200Mbps throughput. Over wireless, not really a chance.

    Also if 100 people are testing I wonder if they are working on realistic contention ratios. Are each of the users guaranteed 200 meg throughput or are then on a 8:1 or whatever the norm is for us regular users that potentially slows your connection down.

    It’s good to see them testing though and hopefully some good will come from these tests.

  3. Mark Northcott says

    well that’s also one of my big stopping points, most ethernet connections are 100mbps and nothign more.. it’s an expensive add-on to get anything more than that, and the only other thing they offer is 1gbps network cards which are really designed for server-type desktops.

  4. Mark Northcott says

    the only specification that even matches 200mbps in wireless is the highest.. the n-series.

  5. Matthew says

    I wonder what upstream is on the service. I’d imagine still below 10 meg.

  6. I have used virgin medias 10 meg service and the local exchange was all of 20 miles away, yet i managed to get the full throughput at slightly less busy times.

    You have to remember that your PC and the location you are connecting to (website) might not be as fast as required to get the full speed.

    For example: we cannot connect to america at 200 megs as there are limits in place to prevent this. Some servers in the uk are capable of using the backbone in the uk for this 200 megs but alot of smaller hosts may not be able to cope with the top speed of many multiple users. Unlike DSL (your up to 8 megs or 16 or 24) cable works on the basis of traffic on the network rather than distance from the exchange. I would fully expect virgin to be able to live up to the “Up to 200 megs” service for the current limited user base. I also have found that virgin have some of the best customer service i have ever experienced. Connection speed upgrade within 3 hours of a phone call, uk call centre and no disconnection charge as i was kicked out of my flat.

    I would highly recommend virgin to anyone if you can get it in your area.

  7. I have had the virgin upto 50 meg broadband for 2months now and i have yet to get a speed below around 49.8 so they are pretty good with their estimations… upload speed is more like 1.5 which is fairly sh*t so i can see this 200 meg having like 5 for uploads.

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