Virgin Media has demonstrated hyperfast broadband of over 2 gigabits per second over its existing cable network. A trial at Thatcham near Newbury in Berkshire showed the capability to deliver multi-gigabit rates over 30 times higher than average residential internet access in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, one in ten broadband users in the United Kingdom receive an average of less than 10 megabits per second.
The tests used existing cable network infrastructure, with DOCSIS 3.1 and the latest Hub 4 router from Virgin Media. It delivered 2.2 gigabits per second downstream and average upload speeds of 214 megabits per second, as verified by SamKnows, the independent testing company established by Sam Crawford in 2008.
The downstream rate is 34 times higher than the average residential connection in the United Kingdom, which is 64 megabits per second according to Ofcom research published in May 2020, also based on data from SamKnows. Mean upload speeds nationally were 14 megabits per second.
Some households still dream of such performance. A fifth of rural connections in the United Kingdom have downstream rates less than 10 megabits per second, as do one in ten in urban areas. 4% of rural connections offer less than 2 megabits per second.
“We’re leading the charge to make the UK faster and we’re on track for rolling out gigabit broadband speeds across our network by the end of next year,” said Jeanie York, the chief technology and information officer of Virgin Media. “With this next-generation connectivity, our customers can experience the best from their broadband — whether that’s 8K gaming, instant streaming, high quality video calls or uploading files in a flash — all in the same home at the same time.”
Virgin Media has rolled out services of up to 1.14 gigabits per second across the United Kingdom, reaching a total of 3.7 million homes. It says that by the end of 2021 more than 15 million premises across the Virgin Media network will have access to gigabit rates.
Over 15.5 million homes are passed by Virgin Media in the United Kingdom, although it has just over 5.5 million fixed-line customers, of which 3.59 million take video services.