Broadband News

Mine is bigger than yours - the battle commences

Virgin Media is racking up the PR battle in response to the FTTC/FTTH news from the BT Group. The Chief Technology Office Howard Watson has been talking to Reuters and revealed plans to be offering 200Mbps connections by 2012.

200Mbps cable broadband is possible since the DOCSIS 3.0 specification, which is behind the forthcoming 50Mbps roll-out, is capable of speeds of 200Mbps when using 4 channels and up to 400Mbps if 8 channels are used.

If Virgin Media can produce an affordable 200Mbps product in under four years, that would ensure the UK does not fall further behind in the global broadband race. A concern of this announcement and other faster headline speed products is whether the back haul networks will be grown in size too. Without massive investment in the back haul networks, situations where the actual usage experience is not much better than now may prevail. Certainly the consumer experience in some countries with 100Mbps and 1Gbps products available now, is such that people do not see the maximum speed that often.

The interview trots out the usual reasons for consumers wanting high speed broadband which are high definition video, interactive gaming and teleconferencing in multiple rooms. Whether the public really wants these things is another matter, and even if we all do, what price are we willing to pay? To benefit from broadband even at speeds in excess of 20Mbps a great many people will need to upgrade their wireless networks, as 802.11g runs out of steam in the real world at around 15 to 20Mbps. For broadband connections running at 100Mbps and faster even the average Ethernet network will need new wiring and hardware, and lets not forget that for a computer to render a good quality HD video it needs to be pretty fast.


VM should only be consided one of the big 6 ISP etc when they can offer their cable product to 90% of the population.

I am waiting for them to do it but I will still be waiting in 2060 for cable to hit Worcester

  • Pigmaster
  • over 12 years ago

quote"200Mbps cable broadband is possible since the DOCSIS 3.0 specification"

LOL not in my life time will i see Virgin Media consistantly give people that speed, all very well having the tech but if you run the business as a shambles it stays a shambles

  • over 12 years ago

Virgin Media? So it'll be a 200Mbps connection until you've downloaded 20MB, and thereafter will be throttled to 2Mbps.

It's about time people stopped looking at the headline speeds, and considered the consistency, usage policy and customer service provided - none of which makes Virgin an attractive option.

  • jrawle
  • over 12 years ago

so VM will have 200mbit with contention ratio of maybe 1000:1 ? means nothing if the backhaul isnt there.

  • chrysalis
  • over 12 years ago

"Virgin Media....revealed plans to be offering 200Mbps connections by 2012."

I'd rather keep my 5 Mbps with be* thanks.

It might not be as fast but I can rely on getting 5 Mb speeds 24/7 365 days a year no matter what I use it for.

Something VM will never offer.

  • keith_thfc
  • over 12 years ago

Thought I could resist making my usual comment about upstream speed.. but I can't. I didn't think it could get any worse than BT's 2 megabits over fibre at Ebbsfleet, but I'm sure VM will come up with a way to make it even worse.. 2 megabits up on 200 down maybe?

  • bezuk
  • over 12 years ago

<yawn> more fluff about large speeds... A bit like making a car that can go at 200MPH!!! WHERE can you do this speed legally, except a race track???

Just like BB - so you got 200M - I think you will find that 90% of webservices will not run that fast, so your web pages will NOT load faster, your downloads will NOT load faster....
Cast your memory back to when 512M was the fastest speed, and you get the new 8meg service - a bit more speed, but most companies could not supply at that speed! - it has taken years of upgrades to enable this...

  • comnut
  • over 12 years ago

As my mum used to say 'yer eyes are getting bigger than your stomach!' - you may LOVE choc cake, and want to eat the whole 12 in dish of it, but you may only manage half, get the 'totally stuffed' feeling, feel very sick, have a bad stomach etc for days, and be put off choc fer life....

just like everyone looking at the lovely BIG numbers, and forgetting about reality....

  • comnut
  • over 12 years ago

comnut - anyone whose servers weren't capable of providing fast enough downloads to go with ADSL Max was obviously hosting of their own ADSL line or ISDN etc. It certainly didn't take years of upgrades for content providers to match the speeds. We didn't perform a single upgrade because of ADSL Max (or even because ADSL was introduced years ago).

  • KarlAustin
  • over 12 years ago

KarlAustin: No sign of servers or content providers in my post!
only 10 years ago, companies like BE did not exist, and ADSL had only been launched 2 or 3 years before that!! it was not until then it was cheap enough for private people..
And ADSL Max was only launched in 2006..
back in 98, websites and downloads were SLOW until they caught up with the speed...
NOTE lots of 'best broadband' awards in 2002/3...

look at the forum from that date... no-one believes those speeds possible - and many here STILL dont think so!!

  • comnut
  • over 12 years ago

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