Virgin Trials Super-Fast Broadband Via Electric Pylons

Virgin Media is testing out a super-fast fibre optic 50Mbps broadband connection in the Welsh village of Crumlin that's being installed on existing electricity pylons.

Partnering with utility services provider Surf Telecoms, Virgin Media has installed the fibre optic broadband cables alongside the utility firm's power lines to provide super-fast broadband connection to the village.

Virgin Media says that using the pylons to install of fibre optic cables is easier and cheaper than deploying the cables through BT's underground cable network.

Tech blog Pocket-Lint reports Richard Doble, the policy manager of Surf Telecom, a part of the Western Power Distribution organisation, as saying: “Western Power Distribution’s electricity infrastructure reaches over 2.5 million homes across South West England and South and West Wales and, with this trial, we’re exploring an innovative new approach that could bring ultrafast broadband to many customers for the first time.”

The trial is set to begin next month and will run until 2011. Virgin has said that it expects locals trialling the service to receive download speeds of up to 50 Mbps.