Virgin Media gives broadband a boost

Last week we heard the first rumblings of widespread 100Mbps fibre-optic broadband – fast enough to download one of Apple TV's hi-def movies in

Last week we heard the first rumblings of widespread 100Mbps fibre-optic broadband – fast enough to download one of Apple TV's hi-def movies in five minutes – coming to the UK.

Bournemouth, Northampton and Dundee are vying to be the first towns to go fibre by February 2010, with H2O the company behind it. It uses the sewer system to run its cables along (nice), giving it a head start on other providers who dig up roads.

But if you don't live in one of those environs, despair not. Virgin Media has just announced it's beginning a major upgrade to its cable pipes. Starting in February, mid-range 'L' package customers will soon find their connections bumped from 4Mbps to 10Mbps – not quite the 100Mbps target, but fast enough to download an MP3 in around three seconds.

The upgrade will be complete by the summer, when Virgin will also start extending its even more impressive 50Mbps service, so far only enjoyed by testers in Ashford, Folkestone and Dover. Expect that to be completed by some time next year. Mega-fast downloads, here we come.

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