Virgin Media has announced a new trial using telegraph poles to deliver 50 Mbps broadband to the Berkshire village of Woolhampton.

By connecting homes directly to Virgin Media’s fiber optic network, the trial will effectively increase broadband speeds more than ten-fold in a rural community that has previously relied on BT’s copper network.

In addition to data service, villagers will be offered Virgin Media’s TV service.

The trial will start this month and is scheduled to run for approximately six months.

The trial is part of Virgin Media’s plans to bring next generation digital services to people who currently live beyond the reach of fiber optic networks.

Virgin Media has plans to extend its fiber optic network, which today passes 12.6 million homes, to 500,000 new homes and has identified more than one million homes in parts of the U.K. that stand to benefit from deployment over telegraph poles.

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, said in a statement: “This unique trial will allow us to understand the possibilities of aerial deployment and may provide an exciting new way to extend next generation broadband services.”

The British Government is currently considering a change to planning guidelines, which is needed to enable large scale overhead deployment. In the meantime, the Woolhampton trial will provide valuable insight into the technical, operational and commercial viability of this type of solution.

The Daily


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