Virgin Media has unveiled a new trial using telegraph poles to deliver ultrafast 50Mb broadband to the Berkshire village of Woolhampton. By connecting homes directly to Virgin Media’s fibre optic network, the trial will effectively increase broadband speeds more than ten-fold. As well as ultrafast broadband, villagers will be offered Virgin Media’s TV service. The trial will start this month and is scheduled to run for approximately six months.
The trial is part of plans to bring next generation digital services to people who currently live beyond the reach of fibre optic networks. Virgin Media has already announced plans to extend its fibre optic network, which today passes 12.6 million homes, to 500,000 new homes and has identified more than one million homes in parts of the UK that stand to benefit from deployment over telegraph poles.
Neil Berkett, chief executive officer of Virgin Media, said: “This unique trial will allow us to understand the possibilities of aerial deployment and may provide an exciting new way to extend next generation broadband services. With everything from BBC iPlayer to YouTube increasingly demanding reliable ultrafast broadband speeds, we’re keen to ensure that all communities, in towns, cities and villages right across the UK, stand to benefit.”
The Government is currently considering a change to planning guidelines which is needed to enable large scale overhead deployment.