Rumour Mill : 200mbps Internet Now Available From Virgin?

Virgin's 50mbps modem supports four-channel bonding. This should - in theory - allow two or more lines to be combine for more redundancy or increased throughput. Filthy rich Geeks could therefore, potentially have 200mbps connection for under £200. That's in theory.

We have received confirmation from Virgin HQ, courtesy of Marketing Head Honcho Asam Ahmad, that the modem should indeed support four 50mbps line, giving you a whopping 200mbps connection.

Channel-binding is part of the DOCSIS 3.0 standard which "defines the communications and operation support interface requirements for a data over cable system" and which Virgin Media is rolling out.

According to Wikipedia, DOCSIS 3.0 allows for multiple downstream and upstream channels to be combined simultaneously by a single subscriber, in a way analogous to the method used by 802.11n technology.

EuroDOCSIS 3.0 allows for speeds of up 444.96mbps downstream or 122.88mbps upstream when combining up to 8 channels; obviously those speeds are theoretical.

And the future seems promising as a proposal for DOCSIS 4.0 have already been put forward by representatives of CISCO and PMC-Sierra to push the standard even further.

UK however is lagging well behind continental Europe; France's Numericable for example is selling a 100mbps line with unlimited landline phone calls for only 19.90 Euros. In comparison, Virgin Media offers a 2mbps cable line with no-limit weekend UK landline calls for £15 (roughly 17 Euros).