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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".

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 ITProPortal.com 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.