Virgin Media 150Mb Broadband
It looks like BT are going to be somewhat behind with the times if Virgin deliver on their promise and Neil Berkett, Virgin Media's Chief Executive has been pretty happy to share information about the plans with major news portals.
In fact, he told the BBC: "We have an opportunity with our network to provide significantly higher speeds," he added: "As we work with application providers and content providers... there will be a natural point where we upgrade from 10, 20 and 50Mbps to something more."
He also stuck his tongue out at BT by saying: "If BT were to meet the time frame they have suggested - of finishing by 2012 - I would see us as having much, much faster upstream speed, running at a minimum of 100Mbps downstream and possibly more. You can see a real opportunity there."
New Speeds Next YearEven better, Berkett reported to the media that he expected we'd be seeing some faster broadband speeds from Virgin Media by as early as next year. Currently, Virgin Media claims to supply network services to half of the homes in the UK and it posted a "theoretical limit of 200Mbps downsteam speeds." So that's pretty awesome!
Potentially in response; BT has also announced that it will position FTTC technology at 29 of their telephone exchanges over the coming year. This should allow them to offer broadband speeds up to 40mbps sooner than was initially planned. They intend for this new speed of broadband to be used by 500,000 homes, schools and businesses.
With the new plans BT are targeting major cities, including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, along with Cardiff and Greater Manchester. They won't be supplying the broadband themselves, however; instead they'll be opening it up for sale to other internet service providers who can then integrate it in to packages and sell it on to customers.
Wholesale PossibilitiesNeil Berkett said that Virgin were also considering offering the Virgin high-speed broadband to other service providers on a business-to business basis so that it could be sold on to new customers. He recently told the BBC that: "[They] had this conversation with a bunch of investors recently. Our position is 'Let's prove the market'. Wholesaling is not off our agenda but right now it is not a priority for us."
So what we wondered was with all this fuss in mind will most people's computers care about this high-speed extravagance? After all the average laptop or desktop computer can only process data so fast.
Could this extra speed be a bit wasted on our less than snappy computers and would this make computer manufacturers push faster processors and more RAM on their production lines, to help us to keep up with faster broadband?
Time will tell, maybe we could end up not only getting faster broadband but also being offered faster hardware to boot!
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