VIRGIN MEDIA has announced plans for a 350Mbps broadband service for residential customers, starting this spring.
The news came on an earnings call in which the company also pledged it would reach an additional four million premises by 2020 as part of its ongoing Project Lightning expansion, for which it has pledged £3bn.
Business customers have been able to take advantage of the ‘VOOM’ tariff (give us strength) since last year, and a soft launch has seen Virgin already quietly rolling out 350Mbps as an off-menu option to homes too.
The main purpose of the offer is mildly symbolic, as it pushes the cable operator over the 330Mbps offered by BT.
It is, however, still some way behind the mega-pipe offerings from some challenger broadband companies, offering 1Gbps or more in new builds where they are not reliant on ageing technology.
In theory, Virgin could offer this too at some stage but are unlikely to advertise it until the vast majority of their customers can opt for it.
Virgin Media currently offers the Super Hub 3.0 as a means to get their Fibre-to-the-Premises offer, however, it has been criticised by some users for the long latency it creates. This appears to be down to a but in the Intel Puma chipset, meaning it may not be as easy to fix as an over the air update.
Last summer the original Superhub was found to have an identical encryption key in every single unit, meaning if you pwn one, you pwn them all. Fortunately, this was soon fixed.
The company has also been looking into creating a public hotspot network using spare router capacity, but there’s been no confirmation of this so far.
Meanwhile, back in the land of speed, Virgin currently offers 100Mbps as the standard offering to residential customers, a far cry from the 2Mbps of a decade ago and a lot faster than most people will ever truly need. µ
Source : Inquirer