Virgin Media plans 40Gbps backbone connectivity

Cable company Virgin Media has teamed up with Network companies Nortel and Juniper in a trial that saw data shuttled at speeds of 40Gbps over the 350km that separates London and Manchester.

The trial, which took place a couple of weeks ago, proved that, just like ordinary copper cables, existing optical networks could be made to perform at much higher transmission rates using the appropriate equipments; in this particular case, a fourfold increase over the existing 10Gbps speeds.

Virgin is currently trialling 50mbps speeds in Kent and has already started deploying 20mbps across England; later this year, the cable company will upgrade all its 4mbps users to 10mbps for free although its entry level broadband speed will still remain at 2mbps.

During the trial, Nortel 40G Adaptive Optical Engine DWDM transponder cards were used with Juniper Networks T-series 40G interface routers.

Commenting on the release, Daniel Hennessy, director of Technical Architecture at Virgin Media, said "Our aim for this trial was to ensure we continue to meet the growing capacity needs of the high-speed services we deliver and provide a quality experience for Virgin Media customers".