Virgin Media already offers some impressive broadband speeds, with some regions of the UK already able to access downloads at speeds in excess of 1 Gbps. At this fast pace, which is around 16 times faster than the average broadband connection at home in the UK, customers can stream a full-length HD 1080p blockbuster to their TVs in less than 40 seconds.
You may be wondering if you really need expensive 1 Gbps broadband beamed into your home. In short – no. As it stands, most homes will get by at much slower speeds. After all, Netflix recommends speeds as low as 25 Mbps to access its popular 4K streaming service.
However, as our homes become more connected and full of gadgets, faster downloads can become a necessity.
The introduction of next-gen consoles and 8K TVs will also add an extra burden to networks as downloads of games are expected to be far larger in the future and razor-sharp 8K devices will require a lot more bandwidth to ensure the picture stays stuttering.
Virgin clearly understands that the demands on its services will only increase if the company tests multi-gigabit speeds now. In the study conducted on the operator’s network in Reading, Virgin Media installed the prototype of Infinera XR Optics technology on its network.
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Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said of the update, “Our next generation network already offers gigabit connectivity to more than 7 million households. We are continuously investing in our network to prepare for the future.
“Innovations like this ensure our customers continue to enjoy the fastest speeds available in the UK, pave the way for future network upgrades and support the adoption of multi-gigabit broadband and cellular services.”
Virgin Media isn’t the only company testing much faster speeds with Nokia and Vodafone, which recently unveiled their latest broadband technology. The two companies, which have been working together for a long time, have managed to transfer files over a network at speeds of 100 Gbps.
The speeds were made possible thanks to the so-called PON technology (Passive Optical Network), which makes data transmission more efficient. The trial last month at Vodafone’s Eschborn laboratory in Germany could pave the way for households to significantly improve speed in the years to come.