Virgin Media is testing in Cambridgeshire, UK, an 8Gb/s cable service to a small subset of subscribers. (Currently, the trial supports eight households, but can extend to 50 over time). Virgin Media uses the village of Papworth to support trails of new delivery methods. In 2014, Papworth hosted the 1Gb/s Virgin Media trial (Superfast broadband comes to Cambridgeshire village). This network uses an EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) from their equipment partner Arris.
The challenge, however, in the UK access networks remains the upload speeds available in asymmetric systems. This trial looks like it uses symmetric speeds, with a theoretical upload of 300 photos (3GB of data) in 3 seconds. (This likely achieved only in a test environment. Your Google Photos upload is unlikely to be as fast as 8Gb/s.)
“As the UK’s fastest widely available broadband provider, we’re committed to making Britain faster and this trial pushes the boundaries of what’s possible.” – Richard Sinclair, Executive Director of Connectivity, Virgin Media.
This trial helps bring the UK towards the speeds achieved in other countries, such as South Korea. Roll on a successful test, and rapid deployment into other Virgin Media cabled areas.