Virgin to test video over copper

Virgin Media has found a new medium to carry its broadband and video services, and its name is copper. You heard it right, the U.K.-based cable MSO is looking to expand its footprint beyond the boundaries of the cable network it built out during the 1990s. To make good on this promise, Virgin is partnering with local fiber services company Vtesse to build a Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) network. The cable MSO will offer 50 Mbps downstream speeds in a trial this upcoming winter in Cornwall, a major landing point for transatlantic communications.

Over the FTTC network, Virgin will deliver services via a VDSL2+ connection to residential customers in Higher Pill, Saltash and Hatt from a remote terminal (RT) cabinet. These circuits will then be connected to Virgin media through fiber installed by Vtesse Networks. In addition to delivering broadband services, Virgin will of course deliver a full suite of video services, including HDTV and on demand services.

Aidan Paul, CEO of Vtesse Networks, professed a bullish deployment plan. "Subject to the satisfactory completion of these trials and to a supportive regulatory policy, our analysis indicates that it could be feasible to roll-out similar capability to as many as two million homes and small businesses in current ultra-fast 'not-spots' across the country," he said.

Of course, Virgin will have company. BT, one of Virgin's fiercest rivals, is in the process of upgrading 40 percent of its own local network with FTTC VDSL2-based service capabilities by 2012. However, BT is primarily going after densely populated areas that can give it the biggest return on its investment.

For more:
- The Register has this article

Related articles
Virgin Media puts finishing touch on DOCSIS 3.0 network
BT unveils aggressive Fiber-to-the-X timeline
Virgin Media taps Cisco for digital TV upgrade
BT testing the water with FTTC, VDSL
BT plans $3 billion fiber network