British broadband provider Virgin Media claims to have demonstrated ‘the power and capability of its fibre-rich network’ by successfully delivering downlink speeds of 2.2Gbps to premises in Southampton and Manchester in real-world trials.
Outlining the development, the operator said that the multi-gigabit speeds had been delivered via DOCSIS 3.1 technology, adding it had carried out the proof-of-concept trial to showcase the future speeds which could be delivered via its existing network, without the need for additional infrastructure or civil engineering works. Virgin Media’s engineers were reportedly able to deliver the multi-gigabit speeds to homes in Southampton and Manchester using the operator’s latest router, the Hub 4, and it noted that the speeds had been verified using tools from SamKnows – local telecoms regulator Ofcom’s technical partner – which measure broadband performance.
Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said of the matter: ‘We invest more than GBP1 billion [USD1.4 billion] into our network every year to deliver leading connectivity today, but our talented teams never stop pushing forward to ensure we’re ready to power our customers’ connectivity needs for whatever comes next … Our services are being relied on and used more than ever before, and these innovative trials in Manchester and Southampton demonstrate how Virgin Media’s existing network is fit for the future with hyperfast, multi-gigabit broadband speeds delivered straight to customer homes.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Virgin Media announced the launch of its gigabit-capable ‘Gig1’ service, which utilises DOCSIS3.1 technology, in October 2019. Today the service offers average download speeds of 1.13Gbps, and the operator claims that more than seven million premises across its network have access to such speeds. Looking ahead, Virgin Media has said it expects its entire network (currently available to more than 15 million premises) will be DOCSIS3.1-enabled by the end of 2021.