Virgin Media announced a trial for a 1.5Gbps cable broadband service back in April this year. Last week saw the firm demonstrating the successful delivery of the service and showcasing some of the services created by technology entrepreneurs at Tech Hub.
The service works by bonding together 32 channels on the DOCSIS 3 network that Virgin Media rolled out when it introduced its 50Mbps service a couple of years ago. The 1.5Gbps download with 150Mbps upload is a long way off from being a consumer product, but Virgin Media are planning a consumer trial (likely to be in the East London area) to see how people utilise the service.
"As people are simultaneously connecting more gadgets to the internet and doing more online than ever before, we wanted to explore what our unique fibre optic network is capable of. At speeds of up to 1.5Gb, Virgin Media is delivering some of the fastest broadband in the world and, thanks to our ongoing investment, we're able to anticipate and lead the way in meeting growing demand for bandwidth as future services and applications come online."Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband, Virgin Media
A natural limitation of any service delivering over 1Gbps, is that most computers still only support 1Gbps Ethernet connections, and wireless networks are a lot further behind in being able to service this sort of capacity, however connections of this speed are generally best suited for multiple-user networks and the demonstrations focused on showing how several computers could be downloading and uploading lots of data, while still supporting 3D and HD TV IPTV streams. In theory while many computers should cope with 1Gbps data feeds, video cards may not cope with rendering that much data, or writing this to disk may prove to be the bottleneck rather than getting the data from a remote server into the computer.