Virgin Media network tech hits speeds of 10Gb

Just how fast can superfast broadband get? Extremely fast according to new lab tests using the tech behind Virgin Media's broadband network, which hit a staggering 10Gb in recent trials.

Virgin Media currently offers a maximum of 152Mb to its cable customers, but the latest tests show that there is a huge potential for multi-gigabit speeds in the near future.

The trials used the latest version of DOCSIS - the technology that powers Virgin Media's cable network. The tests established that this version was capable of producing 10Gb download speeds and 1Gbps upload speeds. That sort of performance would surely end arguments about who's hogging the Wi-Fi in homes across the UK.

CableLabs chief research and development officer, Tom Lookabaugh said: "The success of this first DOCSIS 3.1 interop validates that multi-gigabit services will soon be a reality for cable broadband customers. Operators around the world can now look forward to a new generation of capabilities added to their DOCSIS based networks."

The jargon is rather confusing, but it essentially means that could get faster speeds than were dreamed of just a few years ago. There is a caveat of course; the actual speeds are unlikely to be as high as 10Gbps due to local capacity and available bandwidth.

This news indicates that multi-gigabit speeds could become common in the near future. BT's pure fibre connections already hit 300Mbps, while other private providers already offer 1Gbps broadband services in selected regions.

The real question is will there be huge public demand for these super speeds? The major providers will certainly assess the demand before rushing to boost their networks to provide the service.

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