Virgin Media and O2 could offer a major broadband speed boost

Using its existing cable network, 2.2Gbps fibre broadband has been tested in Edinburgh and Birmingham by Virgin Media O2.

The transmitted speed is double that of the company’s fastest commercially available speeds, which are 1.13Gbps and 43 times greater than the national average.

Gigabit connectivity will be provided throughout Virgin Media’s 15.5 million household footprint by the end of 2021, exceeding the company’s previous goal of having 10 per cent coverage by 2020.

The fact that the network’s architecture has been laid out to allow for speed upgrades in the future is demonstrated by this proof-of-concept, which also demonstrates how it may do so without requiring significant construction.

“We are on a mission to upgrade the UK and our continued network investment is helping ensure our infrastructure is not only fit for today but fit for the future,” said Jeanie York, Virgin Media O2 CTO.

“As the UK’s largest gigabit broadband provider, we’re always looking to go further and faster. With our latest multi-gigabit trial in Birmingham and Edinburgh, we’re putting this commitment to innovation into action, demonstrating the true power of our network and getting ready for the technology of tomorrow.”

Virgin Media O2 will next upgrade its network, which it plans to complete by 2020. As part of a £10 billion, five-year investment, the company will further improve its service in order to retain customers.

The presence of a fully ducted network makes fibre installation easier and more cost-effective than other rollouts.

Following the acquisition, Virgin Media’s CEO Lutz Schüler has stated his aim to make Virgin Media O2 a credible converged challenger to BT-EE that can provide 5G and fibre for a seamless connection.