From Colin Mann in London
Quad-play service provider Virgin Media has launched the UK's first 50Mb broadband service, which it proposes to roll out to all 12.6 million homes covered by its fibre optic network during the Summer of 2009. By the end of 2008, Virgin Media aims to have completed deployment to 40 per cent of the network.
Neil Berkett, Virgin Media's CEO, said the roll out represented the dawning of a new era of high-speed services in the UK and was just the beginning of what the broadband provider would offer its customers in the years to come." We are seeing the next class change in the way digital services are brought to the home." He described the launch as "not evolution; it's a revolution."
He denied that Virgin Media was lagging behind European broadband counterparts, some of which had recently announced 100Mb deployments, and that it was going no further than it needed to stay ahead of main market competitor BT. "We're trialing 100 megs and above in the labs already. We're happy that 50 is the right step change," he said. Berkett expected four million customers to be using services at 10Mb or above by 2011/12.