×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Virgin Media UK Pilots 200Mbps Broadband Speeds

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the quickly-now-quickly dept.

Networking 179

MJackson writes "UK cable operator Virgin Media has announced the first real-world customer pilots of up to 200Mbps broadband services using DOCSIS3 technology from Cisco, which could make it one of the fastest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the world. Following successful lab trials, the 6 month long pilot started last week in Ashford, Kent (England), and will ultimately employ 100 customers in the testing process. The pilot will, among other things, test future online consumer applications, including High Definition Internet TV (HD IPTV) and the ability to deliver applications and support for home IT needs through its network. By comparison J:Com in Japan supplies broadband at up to 160Mbps and Cablevision in the US supplies broadband at up to 101Mbps. Like Virgin Media, both companies use DOCSIS3 technology for broadband over cable networks."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

179 comments

Stop it! (5, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848743)

Just shut up, ok? Last month, my provider finally converted me from 1.5 mbps to 7 mbps. (Fairpoint, just bought Northeastern USA from Verizon) Do you understand that only now can we start using things like Netflix Watchnow and the like? Oh, but Youtube, for whatever reason, still buffers for 5 minutes.

Anyway, my point is this. Stop bragging, you're seriously making me want to stab my eyes with grapefruit spoons.

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848825)

So that's why when my fiancee's mother called Verizon the lady was surprised she still had 1.5mbps service as opposed to the 7mbps service (for less than the 1.5 service!) and promptly sent out a new DSL model. This is in central PA too...

Re:Stop it! (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848831)

Don't worry, if it's anything like any other Virgin product then the throttle to 1Mb/s will kick in after 5 minutes. And as for BitTorrent, yeah right...

Re:Stop it! (2, Funny)

nih (411096) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848903)

you're seriously making me want to stab my eyes with grapefruit spoons

link plz?

Re:Stop it! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848941)

It's okay, it's Virgin Media. For those of you outside the UK, this means:
  • Upstream just about fast enough for the TCP ACKs generated by saturating the downstream, but only just.
  • Soft caps, so if you download more than a GB or so, or upload a few hundred MBs, you get throttled back to ISDN speeds for a few hours.
  • Painful technical support that's been outsourced, off-shored, and dramatically reduced in size in spite of being understaffed to start with.
  • Subscription to the same government-approved (but not government-controlled or publicly-accountable) censor as the other major UK ISPs (the IWF).
  • Phorm.

Virgin Media are so bad they almost make BT look good. Almost.

Stop bragging, you're seriously making me want to stab my eyes with grapefruit spoons.

At least you still have grapefruit spoons. They are no longer sold in the UK, due to health and safety concerns over people cutting their mouths (I honestly wish I was making this one up - you can still find them in second-hand shops, but good luck finding new ones).

Re:Stop it! (3, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849023)

So, wait.. how do you eat grapefruits?

Re:Stop it! (4, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849183)

So, wait.. how do you eat grapefruits?

You out-source the cutting to a country which doesn't treat you as a 2 year old kid and then simply import the remaining juice ;)

Re:Stop it! (4, Funny)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849239)

So, wait.. how do you eat grapefruits?

You don't. Sale of those potent carriers of citric acid was restricted due to too many emergency room cases caused by people who shot themselves in the eye with the juice when trying to eat grapefruits without grapefruit spoons.

Re:Stop it! (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849347)

I'm pretty sure you're being funny, but the way the U.K. is in the 21st century this just seems all too plausible.

Re:Stop it! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849397)

At least you still have grapefruit spoons. They are no longer sold in the UK, due to health and safety concerns over people cutting their mouths (I honestly wish I was making this one up - you can still find them in second-hand shops, but good luck finding new ones).

You are. [johnlewis.com]

Re:Stop it! (1)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849457)

But, the spoons aren't that sharp?! I mean, I think I'm be just as likely to cut myself with a fork if I was careless.

Re:Stop it! (1)

Devalia (581422) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849517)

I happened to notice Virgin Medias Twitter page, I'm not entirely sure how they consider it good PR when its largely full of complaints! http://twitter.com/virginmedia [twitter.com]

Re:Stop it! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849751)

I've never looked at Twitter before but, my goodness, it's awful. Page after page of top-posted imbecelia[sic].

It'll suit Apple down to the ground.

Re:Stop it! (2, Informative)

telchine (719345) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849689)

At least you still have grapefruit spoons. They are no longer sold in the UK

http://www.johnlewis.com/230483123/Product.aspx?source=14798 [johnlewis.com]

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850369)

Nice one :)

Yet another reason why believing everything you read in the Daily Mail is bad for your health.

Well of course THEY have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850379)

The MP's are allowed grapefruit spoons.

And if it's not in John Lewis, they may have to pay for it themselves...

Re:Stop it! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850037)

Painful technical support that's been outsourced, off-shored, and dramatically reduced in size in spite of being understaffed to start with.

Always found tech support to be fine for the basic stuff that I expect to need them for.

Phorm

I don't quite see how you can mention this and then say "Virgin Media are so bad they almost make BT look good. Almost.". BT use Phorm. Virgin don't!

At least you still have grapefruit spoons. They are no longer sold in the UK, due to health and safety concerns over people cutting their mouths (I honestly wish I was making this one up - you can still find them in second-hand shops, but good luck finding new ones).

You can get them from Lakeland. Sounds like something made up by the Daily Mail.

Re:Stop it! (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850489)

you get throttled back to ISDN speeds for a few hours

I wish I could be throttled to ISDN speeds, that's faster than my existing connection. Thank you AT&T.

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850741)

I don't know, Virgin (Nee. Blueyonder, nee. Telewest) have always been fine for me. Stable connection, decent speed and who calls technical support anyway? The soft caps even make sense and seem fair enough to me: they apply at peak hours only, so just schedule your torrents to run overnight. This is coming from someone who tends to have at least one Torrent in the queue at any given moment...

Re:Stop it! (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850785)

Virgin's lies [virginmedia.com] about throttling are ridiculous, the thing is whoever is doing it is lying both ways, the higher ups (branson et al) have been told, and many customers also fall for it.

Yeah right, if i don't encrypt them im instantly throttled. Fortunatly the threat of several hours also isn't followed through and as soon as i drop my upload rate below whatever is setting off thier sensors today, im fine.

Re:Stop it! (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849019)

Oh, but Youtube, for whatever reason, still buffers for 5 minutes

This is often caused by a badly-configured proxy. We had this problem on campus. In spite of GigE inside and a 34GB/s connection outside, YouTube still took a long time to start playing. It turned out that the proxy was configured to download the file and then pass it on to the client when it had it all. A lot of the time, the connection to the proxy would time out while the proxy was waiting for YouTube to send the whole file, but when you hit refresh it would load almost instantly.

Re:Stop it! (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849077)

So, on my home connection, connected directly to my ISP, what can I do? Call support and hope they know half as much as I already do about what they're supposed to know more than me? Honest question, tips would be appreciated...

Re:Stop it! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849291)

Do they have a transparent proxy? Virgin Media, the helpful people in TFA, run one but it used to frequently get overloaded. If you manually configure a proxy then you bypass the transparent one. If your ISP advertises proxy settings, try using them. If this doesn't speed things up, call them and complain.

Re:Stop it! (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849605)

I beleive they stopped doing this several years ago (a shame really, you could hop between proxies by specifying them manually to get around download limits on rapishare)

Re:Stop it! (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850207)

If they have a true transparent proxy then putting in another proxy will cause your traffic to hit the transparent proxy then the other proxy.

The point of a transparent proxy is to force all HTTP traffic through it without giving the end user a choice.

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850253)

They pulled they out the transparent proxies couple of years ago.

Re:Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849271)

I only have a 2mbps connection and I can view two different Netflix Watchnow's at the same time (I was watching one and my fiancee and her sister wanted to watch a different video so they used her sisters account on her computer). Now they offer up to 15 mbps I'm just too cheap to pay more so maybe I'm getting more bandwidth then one would expect.

3. 2. 1. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848799)

here comes the excuses why we are lagging in the US. Come on Verizon, TW, Concast, takes the breaks off and let us get some real speed at sane prices.

Re:3. 2. 1. (3, Informative)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848999)

The USA is a vast land with lots of empty space where as England has around 80 million people shoved into a tiny space, lots of cramped little towns and therefore its easier and cheaper to install a high-speed network. Korea is similar - 80% mountain and then lots of very densely populated towns filled with apartment blocks that are worth bringing FTTH services to.

Its all a trade off really, you can live in a densely populated region with no space and have fast internet or live in the country side where there is plenty of space, cheap land and unpolluted air and put up with slow DSL or wireless unless you have the money to lease 200Mbits of capacity from a satellite.

The good news for all you yanks stuck with 'slow' connections is that most Brits won't be able to get it either. Cable isn't available in any of the slightly rural places (Even inside the M25!) and all their traffic is analysed by MI5, MI6, The cops, the local council or any other government agency who wants to dig up dirt on them.

Re:3. 2. 1. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849169)

Right, I live in central New York. Mind telling me who I should call to get 100 Mbit like other similar cities in the world? Or is New York not crowded enough for you?

Re:3. 2. 1. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849325)

Right, I live in central New York. Mind telling me who I should call to get 100 Mbit like other similar cities in the world? Or is New York not crowded enough for you?

-1 moderation of the above, please: Unwarranted Use of Logic and Common Sense.

Besides, we (NewYewkews) can still cruise speedily on FIOS.

Right?

Right? ...

Re:3. 2. 1. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849377)

Cablevision is in the tristate area, they offer 101Mbps for around $100/mo.

Re:3. 2. 1. (2, Informative)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849473)

People only Say "Central New York" when they mean "Upstate" Basically Middle of no where or small cities. Cablevision has parts of the NY Metropolitan area but Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island are Cablevision free.

Re:3. 2. 1. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849215)

Interesting observation. But my anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that broadband came to rural, low density areas before the telcos/cable operators brought it to the higher density neighborhoods. I've had broadband at my cabin for almost 10 years, thanks to the local public power company. Meanwhile, living within spitting distance of the Microsoft campus (one of the more densly populated ane wealthy areas), Verizon stopped offering DSL and blocked CLECs from leasing lines for years. Until thei finally got around to installing a FiOS system last year.

The big network operators appear to be spending most of their time keeping competition out. Where they deem the market too small to bother with, the competition steps in.

Re:3. 2. 1. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849237)

Eh, not so much. You hear this a lot, usually as a reason that public transport is "impossible".

80% of the US population live in urban and suburban settings.

Re:3. 2. 1. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849255)

The USA is a vast land with lots of empty space where as England has around 80 million people shoved into a tiny space

The UK as a whole has around 60 million people. England has less than that. Britain has a similar population density to most of the costal states in the USA - lower than some - and has some of the worst broadband in Europe. The UK has the 48th highest population density in the world, with 246/km^2. New Jersey has 438/km^2, so presumably it has much better Internet access?

It's also worth noting that the population density numbers for the UK are massively skewed by London, which has an insane population density of 4,761km^2. The London metropolitan area contains around 14m people; around 25% of the UK population. Outside this area, the population density is well in line with the most densely populated 10-15 states, which accounts for a significant proportion of the total US population.

Even in the less-populated US states, the density isn't as bad as it would at first appear. Take Utah, for example, the 40th most populous state with only 10 people per square km. Of these, 2.7m people, almost half live in Salt Lake City, with a population density up at 643.3/km^2. I suspect you will find that more than half of the people in the USA live in regions with a greater population density than the UK average so, by your argument, I'd expect all of these urban and suburbanites to have 100+Mb/s connections.

Re:3. 2. 1. (1)

Insipid Trunculance (526362) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849591)

Cable isn't available in any of the slightly rural places (Even inside the M25!)

Very True,i live in harrow and cant get virgin cable even though its available just 2 streets away.Virgin's customer services never replies to any communication about extending services

Re:3. 2. 1. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850091)

I live in Fairfield, Iowa, a town of ten thousand people in the middle of nowhere, and we have 100 mbit (full duplex) fiber to the home for $65/mo.

Granted, it's capped at 20 gigs/mo, though I have no idea to what extent this is enforced. But when I put that speed and that price in my Slashdot sig, it seemed like every third post, someone would reply to me asking where I live.

Seems most places are stuck with Comcast and friends...

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850119)

England != Britain. Don't confuse the two, it makes you look stupid.

Re:3. 2. 1. (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850751)

The USA is a vast land with lots of empty space where as England has around 80 million people shoved into a tiny space,

England does not have 80 million people, the UK (this involves more than England) has around 60 million people, and they don't all live in dark satanic mills anymore. Really it's not so much more populated than some US states, particularly if you're looking at the cities - these are roughly comparable between countries for population density.

Knowing VM (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848865)

200Mbps down with traffic shaping that'll cut you'r speed to 2Mbps after the first 5GB of transfer. Consumers don't need this kind of download speed, what we do need is more upload speed say a 5Mbps symmetric service.

Re:Knowing VM (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849931)

They'll never get any meaningful data out of these ~100 test users. Sure, I could use 200Mbps, but I wouldn't want to if I knew my ISP were watching me like a hawk.

Try pretending you're only downloading linux distros at 200Mbps! You'd have them all in fifteen minutes, and the rest is warez and tentacle porn - almost by a process of elimination.

In other news.... (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848895)

....the US overall reaches new broadband speeds of nearly 20mbps for half its citizens in the year 2025!!!

Re:In other news.... (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849213)

Uhh you must live in the desert.

Most everybody has the 20/5 package from most cable providers and FIOS.

Re:In other news.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850401)

San Antonio. Second largest city in Texas, seventh largest in the US. Internet options for me include:

Time Warner... 7Mb max. Woot! (They have some speed boost thingy that claims give you 15Mb. But it is a painful amount of money.)

AT&T. 6Mb DSL! If you hook up to U-Verse you can get 18Mb, but the only package I see with that starts at $200. But that isn't even available in my area, so that's moot.

Although I agree, San Antonio is pretty much a desert but neither of them go up to 20Mb down regardless of the up.

Re:In other news.... (0, Troll)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849269)

....the US overall reaches new broadband speeds of nearly 20mbps for half its citizens in the year 2025!!!

Wow, I thought it was bad in Canada, but reducing your bandwidth to 20 millibits per seconds is really harsh. Is that just overzealous capping?

Shenanagins (4, Insightful)

IP_Troll (1097511) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848917)

Cablevision in the US supplies broadband at up to 101Mbps

Cablevision has announced that they are going to offer 101 Mbps service. Hold off on giving them credit until they actually do it.

Re:Shenanagins (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848965)

This announcement is the same thing. 100 people in Kent are getting 200Mb/s, for a time-limited trial. The fastest Virgin Media offer is 50Mb/s, and they haven't finished upgrading their network so you can only get this in some areas, with 20Mb/s being the maximum everywhere else.

Re:Shenanagins (2, Informative)

Algan (20532) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849557)

The Virgin announcement referred to an initial trial limited to 100 customers. From what I've read on Optimum Online forums, the number of trial customers currently having the Cablevision's Ultra package is probably an order of magnitude higher. Also, they claim the new package will be available throughout their entire footprint on May 11, unlike the staggered rollout that Virgin appears to be planning. Anyway, come next week, I plan on taking them up to the task ... we'll see

Take a look Timewarner! (2, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848925)

Rather then trying furiously to single out their biggest users and punish, we have a company thats actually focusing on improving their infrastructure to provide a better experience. I'm not sure which will help their image more...

Re:Take a look Timewarner! (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850127)

If the recent stories about caps are all true, Time Warner wants to punish all its customers equally. Hopefully they're learning from that backlash, but it's more likely they're just going to come up with a quieter way to cut costs.

Now, I'm not saying TWC is the devil, but I have seen their service visibly decline as people transitioned from dialup. Years ago, I was very happy with my Time Warner service. I thought it was overpriced, but the service itself was good. That was back when they were still only offering 2 Mbps. The service stayed good through their 'free' upgrade to 5 Mbps, right up until 10 Mbps (their current standard offering). It's not terrible now, but pings have suffered a good bit and it's inconsistent. I don't live in a heavily populated area. It shouldn't be so oversold that the service degrades as much as it does.

Monopoly is a disincentive to investment (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848931)

If my Cable company had any competition, any competition at all - perhaps someday I might get a chance to switch to a service like this. Oh well - I guess I will just have to make due with 6Mbps for the next decade or so.

Re:Monopoly is a disincentive to investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850181)

I second that emotion. Comcast is the cable monopoly in my area. I have to move to a different county to be able to get cable from a different provider.

This is something that slowly happened over 10 years. We used to have two cable TV providers for Minneapolis/St. Paul area: Paragon Cable, and King Video Cable. Paragon was purchased by Time Warner and when cable modems were introduced, provided Road Runner as an ISP. King Video was purchased by USWest (now Qwest) and similarly was renamed MediaOne, then created a cable ISP through the same MediaOne.

Fast forward a few years, and Comcast owns each. Leaving our area with a Comcast monopoly. Their excuse for not being a real monopoly is that I could move 100mi in any direction to get service with another cable provider. Fuck that.

I believe the C*Os at Comcast have their pockets wide open to certain Federal and/or State officials (that have a say in breaking up such monopolies). That's the only logical way I can see Comcast being allowed to be monopoly when ~80M out of 250M+ are pissed off/unsatisfied customers.

101 Mbps from cable vision?? (4, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848937)

Yeah, maybe in house, when no one else is connected.. and the sun is at the perfect angle and theres a fish hopping through the air in the middle of the atlantic. But not just any fish, you see this is a special fish, the fish of broadband. And he only shows up but once every fortnight and if you look carefully, you will hear him laughing at us all in the distance

Re:101 Mbps from cable vision?? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848951)

I see you too played Zelda on the N64.

Re:101 Mbps from cable vision?? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849573)

funny thing, That was not even originally going to be a funny post I was just gonna rant on CV but than I didnt want to troll and I was not even thinking zelda it just kinda came out... guess I got zelda on the subconscious mind!

what good is a phone call... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27848949)

...if you are unable to speak?

call me unimpressed if most of the bandwidth is so the cable company can sell me TV over IP for no good reason. otherwise, you will reach your DL cap rather quickly.

DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (3, Informative)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#27848993)

Lest anyone think DOCSIS 3 is just new hardware at both ends, let me assure you - it isn't.

From: http://www.cable360.net/ct/strategy/emergingtech/34304.html [cable360.net]

The DTI specification has a distance limitation of 200 meters between the CMTS and edge QAM modulator. There are ideas of utilizing global positioning system (GPS) to sync multiple time servers to allow the edge QAM modulator to be in a hub site and the CMTS in the headend.

The US of A is a big place. Much bigger than say - the UK. Or Japan. Each of which are about the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined. The US of A is MUCH MUCH larger. You start running into economies of scale, since your HFC needs to run to individual neighborhood drops.

It's a much bigger problem, and not quite the answer to FiOS dropping MMF right into your home.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849187)

True. The answer is for municipalities to run fiber to the home and then lease access to providers who want to sell to those customers.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849243)

That only explains why broadband penetration is so low. That does not explain why the quality of service is universally poor. There are plenty of regions in the US that are as dense and populous as these countries with 3.14159 petabit/sec connections, yet in the US we get crap no matter where you live.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850079)

I get 20/20 from FIOS and it's damn good. No caps, no overages (15TB in 6 months), and I could get 50/20 but I'd rather save the $$$.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850305)

You are lucky, the fastest FiOS can go in my neighborhood is 10/2. On the contrary, I get Cox Cable at verified 18/5, even during peek hours. 'course telling the FiOS guy this when he came door to door trying to sell his service sorta annoyed him a bit, but he's got a lot of nerve going door to door trying to sell me stuff.

Besides the fact that FiOS is all contract based around here and I've got enough contract crap without that on top of it. Luckily cable hasn't yet jumped on that bandwagon.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (1)

curtix7 (1429475) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849763)

... and the fact that they are already making money by selling you 10 mbps or whatever connection they are offering to you atm.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849775)

As big as Texas and Oklahoma combined? Please.

Texas alone is nearly three times larger than the UK (and nearly twice as large as Japan).

And 80% live in Dallas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850433)

Sheesh. You'd think you'd never SEEN Texas.

Miles and miles of bugger all.

It's pretty easy to wire up everyone when you have a 1.5 million urban group all in one place.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850235)

I've heard places like California and Texas compete for "Biggest economies" of the world. Why don't individual states support internet broadband development? Is this a restriction at the Federal level?

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850321)

Ugh this same old bullshit excuse again? Please explain why Canada has a much lower population density but faster broadband speeds.

Re:DOCSIS 3 is a bitch for the US of A. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850405)

Each of which are about the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined. The US of A is MUCH MUCH larger. You start running into economies of scale, since your HFC needs to run to individual neighborhood drops.

Just so you know, "economies of scale" are something completely different. They refer to the cost savings of doing a larger number of the same transaction. Mostly this relates to being able to spread fixed costs over more units made/sold. However, there are also economies of scale in variable costs like shipping & delivery, having more people with the necessary skill sets for critical path items, etc.

What you're actually talking about is very nearly the opposite of economies of scale. In the US, due to relative geographical isolation of a lot of people, there is *increased* fixed cost to serve certain sectors of the population. If you want to serve the market of 1500 people in Bumbleshit Arkansas or Fuckwit Pennsyltucky, you might need to spend as much on relay infrastructure as serving 30,000 people in Suburbastard New Jersey.

Compound this with the notion that "everyone should have access" in the US, and costs begin to get dizzyingly high to serve a lot of the market.

Bizarro world (2, Insightful)

get quad (917331) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849025)

Something about "Give me Virgin speed" sounds a bit off-putting. Strange days.

Re:Bizarro world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849165)

2 minutes and you'll be done!

Re:Bizarro world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849505)

Something about "Give me Virgin speed" sounds a bit off-putting. Strange days.

I rode a Virgin at the weekend. I lasted over an hour, and went at over 140mph (but only averaged 80mph). A friend managed 8 hours, and went four times as fast, and came a lot further. He was really tired at the end though.

I'm sure there's more puns available when you consider Virgin Trains and Virgin Atlantic (planes).

"Real" Broadband (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849081)

The U.S. will not catch up with other countries on the race to national broadband until:

1. The definitions of what a "broadband" connection actually is are cleared up
2. REAL competition is introduced to drive down competitors costs (the cost for cable internet access is still outrageous!)
3. The content of the internet mandates broadband connection speeds to experience.

We're probably closest to #3... but we are bogged down in legalese for #1 and #2 is frighteningly far away. Until the government forces competition for the cable companies into existence... prices will remain through the roof. Money mongers are everywhere...

Re:"Real" Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849223)

Sorry, but you do realise that Virgin Media are own the monopoly on Fibre Optic in the UK?

Having said that, Virgin Media will lie, cheat, manipulate and distort the truth, I imagine the highest possible speed will be 100Mbps, if you haven't connected to the internet in the past 24 hours, as soon as you do that, you'll be throttled down to 5Mbps.

Re:"Real" Broadband (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849853)

What about the Fibrecity fibre to the home scheme in Bournemouth? H2O Networks are offering free installation, but are Virgin going to be the only ISPs permitted to offer services over it?

Yes, but is it capped? (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849109)

I just got Comcast's 'Ultra' package that gives me 50Mbps. But since it's capped at 250GB monthly, I can't exactly use it as much as I want. What good is crazy fat bandwidth if one gets shut off after three days?

Re:Yes, but is it capped? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849509)

Virgin? 250GB? With their current package, more than 5gb a day will cap you at ISDN speeds for a few hours. Blanket caps are generally listed at 30GB a month, if listed at all.

Re:Yes, but is it capped? (1)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849947)

if you completely maxed your connection, you would hit your cap in about 1hr 20min.



Lame.

Re:Yes, but is it capped? (1)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849969)

You know, for $140/month you could probably get a 40Gbps point to point wifi connection, with no bandwidth cap and a static IP.

at least that is what I found when I was looking around here.

1 Gbps (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849499)

My cable company has had a pilot customer running at 1Gbps since late last year.

I suspect the real news here is the technology Virgin Media are using, not the speed, but it's a bit hard to tell from the summary and I'm too lazy to do the editors' job for them.

Hey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27849599)

I'm still running off of dial-up. No ISPs run any cable to our house on the eastern side of Michigan, even though we're only two miles from a fiber line. Yes, if you want to pay an arm and leg, you can get satellite (unreliable) or wireless (just ridiculously expensive), but it's just not the same.

Call me when you get around to fixing that problem, and then we'll talk about how much I'd love 200Mbps.

New super-fast Internet at least 2 days out of 7! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849759)

Virgin ("We've Never Done It Before, And We Don't Really Know How To" [today.com] Media), operators of Britain's only cable television network, has launched a new 200-megabit Internet service.

"That's 200 megabits total over the day, usually," said Virgin Media phone menu robot Mark Schweitzer, "but it's very fast when it's going. Plain old ADSL can't hold a candle to it. You can hit your download limit in minutes!"

Customers will be able to add the boost free for three months, after which they will need to pay an additional GBP5 per month. The three months will start when Virgin ascertain the customer might possibly have thought about it in passing, probably last June. Should you be in any way less than satisfied, Virgin will be happy to leave you in a phone queue for three days, then disconnect your service entirely and charge you to switch it on again rather than just go back to the old plan like you asked them. And cut the cable outside your house and claim you did it. And pass your address to the record companies so they can send you threatening letters.

Virgin Media will be releasing the new broadband service before Christmas. "We've heard that you can use things called 'computers' to send messages and even pictures. That'd be a good service to offer! We have this bloke in facilities who knows a bit about computers, we could get him to run it between refilling the coffee machines. If we tried, we could probably make it as reliable as our telly. Nobody really minds when the football drops out ten minutes before the end, do they."

Virgin Media was founded as an experiment by ethically challenged psychologists to ascertain just how abusively awful customer service could get and still have anyone giving them money. The company is sponsored by British Telecom to make them look good by comparison.

one of the fastest in the world? really? (3, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849789)

Why is 200mb/s the one of the fastest in the world when they're doing 1gb/s up and down in Japan? You call 1/5 of that comparable to 1gb/s?????

Except for Comcast or Time Warner (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#27849817)

Today Comcast and Time Warner announced 200mbps service. Now you can exceed your monthly bandwith cap in an hour.

What's the point? (2, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 4 years ago | (#27850097)

What's the point of all these increased downstream speeds if the upload speeds for your favorite sites, etc are still the same? Let's make the other end faster!

200Mbps? My arse, 2Mbps more like! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27850773)

I'm still waiting for this pack of frauds do provide me one tenth of the bandwidth I've been paying for! On average, no matter what time of day or night gives me around 200kbps on a "2Mbps" link. My PC could be off for a week if I've been out of the country, I'll come back and just check my email and get 200k. I can't be arsed with downloading things like Linux iso's at home (or torrents for that matter) so it ain't capping.

Virgin are frauds who've way oversold their capacity. They aren't spending anything on network expansion - I've seen three new housing developments near a high-density tech area (lots of potential geek customers) in the last two years and Virgin hasn't bothered to run cable to any of them - perfect green-field opportunities - wasted! I reckon this is a company in serious trouble that's relying on advertising and press-releases to stay afloat.

Oh to work with a friend in Tokyo - she has symmetric gigabit fibre at her apartment (part of a research network routed over the network that other consumers get up to 100Mbps from).
I realise that places like Tokyo have a lot of high-rise dense buildings but then a British street is basically a high-rise laid on it's side, what with all the densely-packed terraced housing in 'em.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...