Virgin Media is trialling a new system to deliver 1.5Gbit/sec broadband over cable connections, which it says would be the fastest in the world.
The cable connection is set to be trialled this month by four firms in Old Street - London's so-called Silicon Roundabout. The trial follows a successful test by Cisco in the US of the same technology offering 1Gbit/sec.
Virgin's fibre-to-the-cabinet system uses high-grade coaxial cables between the fibre cabinet and homes. Those coaxial cables follow the data-over-cable service interface specifications (DOCSIS), allowing multiple channels to be bonded together to boost speeds.
Virgin says this means its network is a "future-proofed platform with theoretically near-infinite capacity" - in theory, if you need more capacity, you just bond more channels. A spokesman said the test looks to show FTTC speeds can be "at least on par" with fibre connections run directly to homes.
Rival BT, on the other hand, doesn't use coaxial cables for its FTTC system, but "remains reliant on copper telephone wiring, or in some cases even more inferior aluminium, which was never intended to supply broadband," Virgin said, claiming this would limit speeds of fibre-to-the-cabinet services.
While the trial is focusing on businesses, consumers should also be able to reach such speeds. "Although this trial is with businesses, it's the same infrastructure as our customers get," said a Virgin spokesman.
Work on the 1.5Gbit/sec download and 150Mbit/sec upload connections has already started, and results are expected before the end of the year.
Virgin Media also reported its first quarter financial results, with revenue up 5.7% to £932 million.
The ISP said it had added 50,100 more cable broadband customers in the quarter, with 39% of new subscribers signing contracts for speeds of 20Mbits/sec or more - more than double the 15% that opted for such connections last year.
Virgin added a third more customers to its 50Mbits/sec connections, which now has 150,000 users.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk