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50mb Broadband coming to Virgin Media

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

The announcement (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.