Virgin to Test DOCSIS at 1.5 Gig -- 240 Times U.K.'s Average Broadband Speed

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Never say never, but it sure doesn’t seem like cable will need to adopt fiber-to-the-premises on a broad scale anytime soon.

Last week Virgin Media announced plans for a field trial of download speeds up to 1.5 Gigabit per second via DOCSIS 3.0 — a connection that’s 240 times faster than the U.K.’s average broadband speed of 6.2 Mbps, the MSO noted. Upload speeds will be 150 Mbps.

The test, to kick off this month, will connect BespokeBanter.com and three other companies located near London’s Silicon Roundabout, each of which is involved in live Internet broadcasting, online and mobile video, or interactive Web applications.

Currently Virgin’s fastest residential broadband offering, which it’s in the process of rolling out across its footprint, is 100 Mbps downstream (10 Mbps upstream). Virgin tested 200 Mbps down using Cisco equipment two years ago (see Virgin Launches 200-Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 Pilot).

Note that Cisco recently showed off its CMTS delivering a 48-channel bonding group to hit nearly 1.6 Gbps at CableLabs’ Winter Conference in Atlanta (see Cisco Pushes DOCSIS 3.0 Past 1.5 Gig). I’m checking with Virgin to see if Cisco is the partner in its 1.5 Gbps test as well.

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