Virgin Media, Surf Telecoms in 'ultrafast' broadband trial

Villagers in Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales will start getting ultrafast 50 Mbps broadband, 5,000 hours of catch-up TV and on-demand content as part of a trial being conducted by Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) and Western Power Distribution that uses existing electricity poles. The trial starts next month and will run into 2011.

According to a Virgin news release, the cable provider will use Western Power company Surf Telecoms' existing infrastructure to connect its fiber links directly to homes in the Welsh village, marking "the first such effort to use existing commercial infrastructure to aerially deliver ultrafast broadband to a community beyond the reach of a fiber optic network."

"Western Power Distribution's electricity infrastructure reaches over 2.5 million homes across South West England and South and West Wales and with this trial we're exploring an innovative new approach that could bring ultrafast broadband to many customers for the first time," said Richard Doble, design and policy manager at Surf Telecoms in the news release.

Village residents previously relied on BT's (NYSE: BT) copper infrastructure for their connectivity.

For more:
- see this news release

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