Virgin Media is secretly testing broadband connections of up to 200Mbps and could be preparing to rollout new, faster packages to customers.
In one example, a speed test conducted on Saturday 11 April in Didcot, Oxfordshire showed an average download speed of 198.53Mbps on a Virgin Media connection. Didcot is one of several areas conducting user trials according to recent speed test data. At present, the network’s fastest advertised speed is 152Mbps.
Andrew Ferguson, editor of broadband advice site thinkbroadband.com said the site’s speed test tool had seen a number of results that matched the profile of a 200Mbps Virgin Media connection. Ferguson believes the results are significant enough to suggest Virgin Media is carrying out trials of faster speeds.
A spokesperson for the company said it did test new speeds “from time to time” but refused to be drawn on when faster connections would be introduced. Virgin Media did confirm that any customers experiencing faster connections would be returned to normal speeds after test periods.
Ferguson explained the tests were likely being carried out by Virgin Media staff who use connections at home and by customers bound by non-disclosure agreements.
“What no one will know until the official Virgin Media announcement is how fast [it] plans to rollout the upgrades across its network,” he said. Virgin Media last upped its broadband speeds in early 2014, when it introduced its current speeds of up to 50Mbps, 100Mbps and 152Mbps, but the jump to 200Mbps and potentially 300Mbps may take longer.
“These new speed tiers at 100Mbps, 200Mbps and 300Mbps are a bigger leap, so the pace of rollout may be slower to avoid congestion issues,” Ferguson said.