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Virgin Media Trialling 50mbps Broadband Via Copper Lines

Quad Play provider Virgin Media has revealed that it is testing the viability of delivering services to customers via copper lines rather than fiber optic ones in partnership with Vtesse Networks at speeds of up to 50mbps.

The trial is taking place in Cornwall and will involve broadband and television services as well delivered using VDSL2+. More than 400 buildings will be connected to the network for free providing access to around 1000 people.

Virgin Media says that for optimal delivery, the customers will need to be within 3.5km from the nearest street cabinet as the structure will rely on Fiber to the cabinet technology.

Should the test scheme prove to be successful, Virgin Media could be looking to expand the services - which will include HDTV and video on demand - across UK.

Incidentally, according to FierceTelecom, Cornwall is a major hub for transatlantic cables that come to the UK, carrying a big chunk of the traffic between the two countries.

Jon James, Virgin Media executive director for broadband, declared that "This is an important project for Virgin Media and demonstrates our ambition to extend our next generation services to areas outside our traditional cable TV footprint."

Our Comments

Intriguing that Virgin Media chooses to adopt copper rather than fiber optic to deliver content. But then, it is not "normal" copper cables since the network would be an extension of the FTTC technology deployed. Virgin Media might actually be trying to catch up with BT after the latter said tht it would be upgrading nearly half of its network to FTTC by 2012.

Related Links

Virgin to test video over copper

(AHN)

Virgin Media to trial IPTV off-cable network

(CRN)

Cornwall villages trial 50Mbps broadband

(T3)

Virgin Media UK Trials Internet TV on National DSL Broadband ISP Platform

(Telegraph)

Virgin Media embracing VDSL2 for digital TV services =

(The Sun)

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.