UK's Virgin Media to offer 100Mbps broadband this year

Virgin Media says it's planning on rolling out 100Mbps broadband service to its customers across the United Kingdom this year, giving it the fastest service available in the U.K. and opening up options for companies looking to take online video to the next level.

The company joins Cisco and Google in the U.S. in pushing for ultra-high speed broadband. In recent days, there  has been a torent of announcements related to 100Mbps nertworks being testsd, planned or rolled out in Korea, Canada, the Netherlands and more.

VM said it plans to have 3.8 million of its cable broadband customers hooked up to the ultra-high sped network by the end of 2010 and is looking to have its entire customer base connected to the1Gbps fiber optic service by the end of 2011. Currently, the average connection speed for the 18.3 million households in the U.K. with Internet access is about 4.1Mbps.

"There is nothing we can't do with our fibre optic cable network, and the forthcoming launch of our flagship 100Mb service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience," said Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media.

"We want to keep giving our customers the very best broadband available, by investing in technological innovation and transforming the experience they have when they are online. The launch of this service will be a historic moment and will mean the UK will be comparable to other leading broadband nations."

Virgin Media also is trialing a 200Mbps service to several hundred households in Coventry since May. That service could be rolled out to customers by 2012, the company said.

Virgin Media today also announced it was standardizing its video offerings on Brightcove's online video platform.

Virgin Media-which offers online news, sports, music and entertainment content-will use Brightcove to support short-form video content across Virginmedia.com. Virginmedia.com gets around 11 million visitors a month.

"Brightcove will help us deliver a fantastic video experience for all of our visitors as we bring more and more content online," said Alex Green, executive director of TV and Online at Virgin Media.

For more:
- see this Telegraph article

Related articles:
Cisco in push with Google for 1Gbps broadband 
FCC sets high broadband speed bar 
Google plans 1GBps broadband service test network

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