Virgin Media users could see a serious speed boost. Liberty Global, the parent company of the UK fiber optic broadband provider, as well as numerous other Internet service providers across Europe, has informed its shareholders that they are ready to start working on 10 Gbps Internet speeds at home. The company confirmed plans to work on the technology “fairly quickly” using a mix of future upgrades and existing technology embedded in the “full-fiber-to-the-premises” system.
Virgin Media was able to successfully deliver 2 Gbps speeds with its existing infrastructure and home router – without changes. While the company currently has no plans to offer this speed as a permanent option for broadband customers, that may change in the future. And last but not least, it shows how future-proof the full fiber cables and Virgin Media Hub 4 really are.
For comparison: the average broadband speed of private households in Great Britain was measured at 64 Mbit / s at the beginning of this year. 1 Gbit / s corresponds to 1,000 Mbit / s. 2 Gbit / s is twice as high and 10 Gbit / s offers ten times the bandwidth. In other words, this is 155 times the speed of the average home internet in the UK.
Right now, most people probably won’t need speeds close to 10 Gbps at home.
For context, Netflix recommends 5 Mbit / s to stream in high definition quality. This recommended speed increases to 25 Mbit / s when streaming in Ultra HD. Even 1 Gbit / s at home should be more than enough to process multiple streams in pixel-rich 4K quality in different rooms. At the same time, smartphones are backed up in the cloud, games are downloaded, music is streamed and family members make video calls …
MORE LIKE THAT
BT could soon join Virgin Media with a huge upgrade to rival Sky TV
The introduction of 10 Gbps is likely to coincide with a wave of new bandwidth-intensive new technologies such as virtual reality applications, game streaming services, and 8K quality streaming services.
It is clear that Virgin Media has a little time to correct this before launching it across the UK and Europe under the Liberty Global brand. Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said, “We know our networks are valuable today, well beyond value, and for all sorts of reasons that make sense. You have several paths on the way to continuous speed improvement in our landline networks. But today we’re getting the best out of 3.1, which we already tested with 3.1 at 2.2 gig speeds. We can do that if we want.
“But we’re really focused on 10G and to be honest, when I mentioned a gig five or six years ago they were all like … what the hell is that taking for? Trust me when I say the 10 gig conversation is about to start and will start pretty quickly. If we look at our networks, we have some options with DOCSIS 4.0 getting to where we would exactly agree with US operators Charter and Comcast, who would both be pursuing such a strategy. And we could also use FTTP, CSPON, where we think we have the economics to support this type of roadmap for 10G.
“So stay tuned, there’s a lot to talk about, and if you point out a lot of cool things with faster speeds and lower latency, we can do a lot of cool things on both our landline and cellular networks.”
The UK has consistently rated itself as one of the worst performers in the European Union on broadband speeds. As millions of people work, study and socialize from home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, this has become painfully clear to many in the past nine months. To remedy the problem, the UK government has pledged £ 5 billion to deliver “Gigabit-enabled” fiber optic broadband networks across the UK by the end of 2025.
Virgin Media is currently one of the frontrunners. Earlier this month, the full fiber provider added postcodes for London, Belfast, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Coventry, Southampton, Manchester and to its Gig1 Gigabit-enabled broadband plan, which also includes upload speeds of 52Mbps – 3x Reading adds faster than the UK average and is incredibly useful when using video calling or collaborating with colleagues on large documents.