Virgin Media is currently experimenting with 8Gbps, which is 22 time faster than the top speed of any current broadband provider, and more than 200 times the average speed a UK consumer receives.
If you have ultra high HD TV you could download a movie in 20 seconds instead of the hour it would take at normal download speeds. If you’re only watching in regular HD the film could be yours in five seconds instead of fifteen minutes that the average broadband customer would expect to wait.
While speed doesn’t necessarily equate to bandwidth, the fact that anything you do will be done instantly means that it will be out of the way and immediately, ready for the next task you throw at it. So those speeds will be brilliant for the connected home. As more devices are added to the network currently, if you’re only getting a standard service, things begin to lag. If you’re streaming a movie, the kids are playing an online game, someone is playing music in another room then you’re going to start to notice things take longer to happen, Alexa is slow to respond, movies freeze or start to buffer (and that always ALWAYS happens just when you’re getting to a good bit or pivotal point in the dialogue. I don’t know how it knows, but it definitely does!)
Best For Gamers, Movie Lovers And Producers
And if you want to download games, huge data heavy games which normally take a few hours to download even when you’re not running anything else could be played in a couple of minutes. Just imagine that, if there were an interruption or glitch and you had to start all over again, you’ve only lost a second or two, instead of watching the progress bar for several minutes on end wondering if it’s failed or not when nothing appears to be happening, only to decide after twenty minutes or so that you’re going to have to start again.
Which brings up another point: which is more important to us, faster broadband or greater reliability?
Most people feel that greater reliability is more important than increased speed. As noted above, nobody likes it when service drops out, especially if you’ve been waiting for something but find that things went wrong and you either have to resume from where you left off, or worse yet, start loading all over again, without the guarantee that you’re going to have success this time either.
However, when your broadband is this fast reliability becomes a secondary issue. If your download is interrupted it only takes seconds to completely load whatever it was you wanted to watch or play again.
So who really needs speeds that fast?
If you’re a heavy data user you’ll know the frustration of waiting for things to buffer, systems crashing when you try to do too much at once and the lag when you hit a button and instead of things happening instantly, you have to wait. If that sounds like you then you’re going to want faster broadband.
Cinephiles who want to watch the classics and the latest HD movies on a large format TV right now, and not in an hour or two will love being able to decide on a movie, click on it and ‘boom’ you’re already watching the opening titles. With distributers such as Criterion adding subscription services so you can watch classic Art, European, Independent and World movies which aren’t currently available on the more mainstream movie distribution sites it’s more important than ever that you don’t have to wait to watch your favourite films.
The same works in reverse too. If you’re a filmmaker, artist who uses large high quality images, podcaster, you’ve got hundreds of photos to upload regularly or you’re a music producer who needs to put tracks online instantly, then these speeds are going to free up an unprecedented amount of time.
Gamers will love incredibly fast download times too. Not only will you be able to get games almost instantaneously, playing online will be a cinch. If you’ve ever been playing against others and your broadband has dropped out, leaving you exposed and vulnerable you’ll know the rage and frustration that creates. Broadband this fast means that even if there is a glitch at your end, it will be over so quickly you’ll barely even notice.
Alongside home users, business will benefit from these speeds too. Sharing files, no matter how large, instantly, not waiting for downloads, uploading marketing, advertising materials, contracts and trading data instantly, processing orders, all done instantly makes staff more productive as they won’t be waiting for the Spinning Wheel of Death or twiddling their thumbs as they wait for IT to fix something.
Speeds Mot Achievable Through Metal Wires
Unfortunately, speeds this fast can’t be achieved through your regular coaxial cable or twisted pair Cat5 wiring. Instead it’s necessary to use fibre optic cable as metal is currently only able to deliver up to 20Mbps while fibre optic cabling is able to manage much faster speeds. So if, once these experiments have proved successful, you want to enjoy instant internet it will be necessary to replace your infrastructure. Virgin is trialing “Full Fibre” or “Fibre to the Premises” (FTTP). Currently fibre customers are on the Fibre to the Cabinet, meaning that fibre is laid on only up to an external router cabinet, from there into the subscriber’s property it’s back to metal, which simply can’t handle the greater speeds.
More bad news is that Virgin currently has no expectation or projection to roll this kind of data speed out as standard, they’re just experimenting to see what’s possible. However, as demand only increases year on year, if the tests are successful it’s clear that greater speeds, if they are possible to achieve, must be provided to the paying customer.
Briant Communications are already past masters in the art of fitting, maintaining and repairing fibre optic data communications so if you’re interested in getting better speeds today, or preparing for FTTP tomorrow then click here to arrange an appointment and one of our engineers will be happy to give you a no obligation free quote.