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Virgin Showcases 1.5Gbps Cable Broadband

UK ISP Virgin Media has announced that its three month trial of the world's fastest cable broadband at the London-based tech business centre, Techhub, also known as the Silicon Roundabout, has been successful.

Back in April, the company had started trials at four startups using the same cable infrastructure and technology that is behind the broadband service for millions of Virgin Media customers in the UK.

At 1.5Gbps, the broadband service offered is 240 times faster than the UK's average and 15 times faster than Virgin Media's own fastest commercial service (which incidentally is available to around a quarter of UK households. It is also capable of a 150Mbps upload, which is again 15 times faster than Virgin Media's 10Mbps offer.

Our back-of-an-envelope calculation leads us to believe that the service must be using a whopping 32 downstream channels and four modems bonded together to reach that speed.

When this kind of speed will become mainstream in the UK remains to be seen, but we remember fondly when the top of the range speed achieved by Telewest (the precursor of Virgin Media) back in 2004 reached 2Mbps.

UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was impressed by the achievement and said "It is fantastic to see the fastest internet speeds in the world over cable being trialled here in the UK.

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.