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Virgin to run fibre broadband over telegraph poles

Virgin Media thinks the system could boost speeds to a million UK homes.

fibre

From the depths of sewers to the heights of telegraph poles, some ISPs in the UK will stop at nearly nothing to roll out fibre optic broadband.

Virgin Media is the latest internet service provider (ISP) to find a clever way to get fibre broadband to customers, trialling the use of telegraph poles to carry 50Mbps connections to a village in Berkshire.

If the six-month trial in Woolhampton is a success, users will get download speeds five times their current connections, which are about 4.1Mbps on a BT copper line, according to stats provided by Virgin.

Virgin thinks there are a million homes in the UK that could use the telegraph pole system.

Neil Berkett, chief executive officer 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 UK Government is currently considering plans to guarantee 2Mbps broadband across the country, funded by a 50 pence phone line tax, as part of the controversial Digital Economy Bill.

Virgin said its methods might be a better way to go. "Initial analysis suggests that 'non-traditional' approaches of the kind being explored by Virgin Media could deliver next generation broadband to over one million homes up and down the UK without the need for government subsidy," the statement added.

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