The UK's sole cable broadband provider, Virgin Media, announced today the start of pre-registration for its 100Mb service, which is to go on sale in December. Ten years ago, Virgin debuted Britain's first broadband service, with a 0.5Mb offering, bringing 'high-speed' access to businesses and consumers around the country. Now, with the advent of high-definition steaming content, and on-demand video, consumers are becoming more and more hungry for greater bandwidth, at cheaper prices. This latest offering is 200 times faster than the first 'high-speed' connections to become available in the country, and twenty times faster than the average UK speed.
The initial response from customers on twitter has been positive. Although a few users report issues with not being able to achieve the advertised upload speed on their current packages, it is not yet known whether the advertised upload speed of 10Mb with the new service will be achievable. The service will be available from £35 per month, if bought in a package, or £45 otherwise. Virgin is well known for its fair usage policy, and capping of heavy users during peak hours. No details of limits have yet been released for this new package.
The roll out is expected to take a year and a half to complete, with the first areas to see availability to be parts of London, the South East, and Yorkshire.
Britain's government is pushing heavily to improve the speed of internet access in the UK, and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said, "We want to see super-fast broadband brought to people's homes and businesses right across the country and this exciting news takes us a step closer towards reaching that goal."
This launch is a wakeup call to other ISPs in the country to start looking at their networks and making improvements, or start losing customers.