UK members may be getting a speed bump when accessing USENET Newsgroups. Virgin Media, the UK’s leading cable, phone and internet service provider, has announced it will begin the roll-out of a 100Mb broadband service, the fastest available commercial product in the UK, by the end of 2010.
Various ISP and UK related newsgroups have posted that Virgin Media has added 34,200 new cable TV subscribers during the last quarter, taking the provider’s total market share to over 3.7 million. The television and broadband provider has indicated that it will introduce the high-speed internet offering to households across the country by the end of 2010. Its flagship service will also be around 24 times faster than the average speed offered by other internet service providers.
According to Virgin’s website, that would suggest no limits on downloads at all. On the face of it, the policy avoids various peak time traffic management tactics that reduce line bandwidth once a certain transfer threshold has been breached. No word on how USENET related traffic would be handled with this upgrade. The group claimed the service would allow web surfers to download a music album in as little as five seconds, an hour-long TV show in 31 seconds and an high-definition movie in less than eight minutes.
CEO Neil Berkett said: “There is nothing we can’t do with our fiber optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100 megabits service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience.”
In late 2008, Virgin made its real move to compete with DSL and emerging fiber-based broadband services with its 50 Mbps downstream service, which was more than twice the speed of its 20 Mbps tier.
The new 100Mb service will help the UK catch up with other markets that are pushing ahead with broadband, such as Japan and Korea, which are rolling out 1 GB broadband. Virgin added a total of 28,600 new subscribers in the last three months of last year, the biggest increase since the company’s creation through the merger of NTL and Telewest in 2006. With this new rollout, expect USENET access and activity in the UK to increase significantly.