50mb Broadband coming to Virgin Media

Richard Branson's media arm, Virgin Media, has confirmed that it will roll out a 50 mbps broadband service in 2008.

The announcement was made at the next-generation broadband summit which was held a few days ago.

A spokesman for Virgin did not mention when and where the service will be launched and whether the superfast broadband will be available for all its cabled customers.

Already some customers based in the south west of England are getting a taster of 50 mbps broadband service for GBP 47 per month.

Virgin a currently selling their 20mb broadband service for GBP 35 which is higher than competing services like Be's but unlike ADSL based offerings, Virgin does not require you to pay for line rental.

It will be interesting to see whether Virgin will upgrade its customers for free as Telewest, Virgin Media former broadband incarnation, did before.

The company has been focusing heavily on broadband services as a way to demark itself from the rest of the competition after suffering from heavy losses on the TV front at the hands of arch-rival Sky.

Neil Berkett, the acting Virgin Media Chief Executive, added that the new network could "revolutionise consumers' experience", adding that 2008 would be the right time to offer the service on a commercial basis.

The move would put Virgin well ahead of BT's current 8mbps limit and more than twice the expected 24 mbps users will experience when moving to BT's brand new 21st century network.