Virgin tests viability of aerial-based FTTH connections

Virgin Media is increasing its push to challenge BT in the broadband race by testing the effectiveness of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) by running fiber cable in aerial telephone pole deployments.

The trial, which will bring 50 Mbps service speeds to the Berkshire village of Woolhampton, is part of the service provider's broader plan to bring FTTH to 500,000 homes. Although Virgin Media currently serves 12.6 million homes with an underground fiber network, Virgin said that an aerial deployment could enable it to target more than 1 million new homes.

"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," said Virgin Media's CEO Neil Berkett in a release.

Virgin believes that deploying fiber in both aerial and underground configurations would allow it to more effectively extend broadband services to more rural areas, a concept that the UK government is keen on driving forward. The new trial will build on the experience it gained through a Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) trial it began last fall in Cornwall.

For more:
- see the release here
- Reuters also has this article

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