Stories have been floating around the various ISP news websites recently, with claims that 200 or 300 Mbps services are being tested by Virgin Media on their cable platform.
Weirdly, I appear to be one of those lucky ‘testers’. VM didn’t tell me that they were going to upgrade my connection, it just sort of happened. I was on the 152Mbps package, but now my modem is synced at around 330Mbps down and 16Mbps up:
So that’s pretty nice, I now have one of the fastest consumer-level connections in the UK (excluding the small 1Gbps fibre providers). BT’s own FTTH service offers up to 330Mbps also, so it seems Virgin are testing their network to try and provide the same service.
What about speed testing? Plugging in over ethernet, I got the following result at around 5:30pm on a Saturday:
Not 330Mbps, but I wouldn’t expect that using a test like this. I should’ve attempted to download multiple large files off different servers and then looked at the total amount of traffic going through the ethernet interface, but I didn’t bother.
One thing to note is the upload speed. It’s still fairly slow when compared to BT’s FTTC offering, and slower than many other FTTH packages. This is seemingly a limitation of the cable infrastructure itself, but it might be rectified when EuroDOCSIS 3.1 is rolled out.
I don’t know if I will remain on this new service indefinitely, or if they will remove it when they have finished trialling it. I also question whether anyone really needs a 300Mbps+ connection for a home. With 8 other people using this connection, and monitoring the bandwidth used, we rarely every break above 100Mbps at any one given moment.