100Mbps broadband a reality by 2007

100Mbps broadband a reality by 2007

Summary: Telewest is starting its upgrade with a 10Mbps rollout in Scotland, with up to 100Mbps promised for London by the end of next year

TOPICS: Networking

Telewest is looking at technology which could eventually boost broadband speeds up to 100Mbps, the company announced today.

The cable company claims it will achieve this hundred-fold increase in broadband speeds, compared with the average connection today, thanks to its investment in Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) standards.

Telewest is hoping to launch a service based on DOCSIS 3 middleware — which will allow download speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2006.

In the meantime, the telco also announced that it has begun rolling out a 10Mbps broadband service in the UK. Initially only available in Scotland, the 10Mbps service should reach London at the beginning of next year with the rest of the country following over the next 12 months.

Telewest is upgrading all of its blueyonder broadband packages, with the 'elite' service being boosted from 4Mbps to 10Mbps. The company also announced the price of this service has dropped from £50 per month to £35 per month.

DOCSIS3 works over hybrid fibre co-axial cable, but Telewest is also planning to upgrade its Ethernet service to allow users to plug Ethernet cable straight into the back of a computer without the need of a modem.

UK Online and Be are planning to roll out 24Mbps ADSL2+ services later this autumn in London, potentially stealing a march on BT's planned 8Mbps offering. Telewest plans to be competitive by offering 10Mbps purely for Internet access, and running digital TV and video-on-demand services over a different part of their cable network.

"ADSL2+ is really being hyped at the moment, but a lot of the bandwidth on their cables will be taken up by IPTV. We offer true digital TV over our cable network already, which means we can offer 10Mbps of pure Internet surfing." a spokesman for Telewest said.

Britain is rapidly catching up on Europe and America in terms of broadband technology, according to Telewest. "Britain was the last country to launch broadband, but our take-up rate is faster than both the US and France. We're playing catch up, but we're catching up fast," the spokesman said.

Topic: Networking

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • Hey I'm with Blueyonder, I'm apprently on a 1mbit service but its sometimes doesn't feel like it. However a few days ago I got a gig of porn in about half a day so I guess its not too bad.

    One thing I don't understand is if these speeds can be achieved with the current network what exactly is the big deal about BT's 21CN? I'm sure all that IP stuff is great but I preffer speed, plus I think if BT have this IP thing then they can charge for Skype, somehow.

    Anyway weather I get 100mb in my area will remain to be seen, even bumped up to 10.
  • Telewest have done it again! Just as soon as I think of changing my comms providers (including TV and telephone), they go and upgrade the internet connection for nothing!

    Excellent customer service, and the network is extremely reliable. I'm at less than one outage per year.
  • Nice article. However, there are some innaccuracies regarding the current upgrading of BY users accounts. "Initially only available in Scotland, the 10Mbps service should reach London at the beginning of next year with the rest of the country following over the next 12 months." is incorrect. BY upgraded *parts* of Scotland a couple of weeks ago, with London following *this week*. They are (according to their own website) aiming to complete the entire country early next year. Full details are at http://www.blueyonder.co.uk/blueyonder/getContent.jspx?page=bbs_evenfaster
  • 100Mbps? You must be joking - it will only apply to cable (available in 79% of UK). Down here in the South West there is little or no cable.

    It has taken me 18 months since BT made Bude exchange capable of ADSL to get broadband. Apparently I lived too far away from the exchange when their 6k rule applied (if I had a long arm I could throw a stone to it) but now they have extended their "throw" I have been able to get it.

    I get a nominal 512 kbps (rather than the 1 or 2 Mbps I applied for) which seems to operate at 576 but like all it only uploads at 288. Still all this is better than dial up which never operated at better than 28 kbps!

    For the type of servces that need these colossal speeds to work, availability outside the main metrolpoli is de rigeur. Ironically it is the more isolated that really need the ability to use these services. What are the cable boys and other broadband suppliers going to do about that dichotomy?
  • C'mon on baby, light my fibre. All these guys should stop pratting around and get the fibre lit and give us unlimited bandwidth and stop pretending it's some sort of scarce commodity. Globally, we aren't apparently using even 1% of the fibre bandwidth available.

    According to Peter Cochrane fibre is within a mile of 80+% of the homes in this country today. (I'm 1km from fibre which runs A1 to M6 but can I get on it? Hmph. Lend me a JCB.....)

    Instead, we have BT doing copper overlay on TPON because they can't run legacy broadband over it (ADSL), and the UK falls further and further behind as none of these services are symmetrical or ubiquitous, like they have in Korea, Japan, Sweden, etc etc etc. Where is our Gigabit or Bust project? Our Utopia?

    BT will play with its subloop trials, presumably putting non-SDSL DSLAMs into the green cabinets, as they have been doing with the exchanges (lack of demand for SDSL - yes, guys that'll be your pricing and the fact most of us can't get it) and somewhere around 2007 some of the notspots might get connected to a type of broadband which many people around the world think is laughable.

    Just because I choose to live in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean I should be stuck on 512kbps down and 1/2 that up on a good day when the copper works. I want as much bandwidth both ways as you can throw at me please, like yesterday.

    Give us and the UK a break. Sub-loop unbundling, Fi-Wi (fibre middle mile and wireless first mile), lit fibre - that's the http://www.BroadbandEndGame.com
  • Well, I live in the London area (Surbiton), and Telewest advised me last week that I've already been uppgraded to 10 Mbs from the previous 4Mbs. Can't say I've seen 10Mbs speeds yet but I've seen some evidence of a speed increase.
  • I recently Moved house and was looking around for a different broadband provider, in my old place i used BT, They are good but abit expensive at
  • i just upgraded to 10mbps on blueyonder
    ive been on 4mbps and the speeds have been great about 90% of the advertised speed but since they upgraded me to 10mbps i am only getting about 50% of the advertised speed about 500kB/sec never saw more then that probbably thier network is not capable of anythign more then that
    repeated calls to customer service result in them asking me to plug out the modem and plug in after 5 mins wtf? i am a webmaster and ive got 6 websites with a considerable amount of traffic and ive been managing my dedicated server for the last 3 years and blueyonder tells me to switch off the modem and turn it on again in 5 mins ? and after all the talks i managed to convince one of the guys that i know what i am doing and then he comes up with a different idea this time he goes i am using a usb cable try ethernet i did in about 30 seconds with no difference in speed after this the gentleman says you have some spyware on your computer (i had done a factory restore just to make sure its nothing wrong on my end ) and i told him thats not the case as i tried two desktop pc's one laptop for speed test and also tried a new cable to be sure now he comes up with an argumen that my speed tests are not accurate and askd me to take screen shots of tests and download speeds and send an e-mail
    will keep you all posted abou what happens next
  • Well, I've been waiting for my upgrade for months now. My Uncle who lives just 5 miles away in Bristol has alreayd been upgraded, yet 2 months after he was, I'm still waiting.

    100mb. It's possible. Might be a bit slow to roll out and there will almost certinaly be problems, but once they get the technology out and everyone becomes familiar with it (like we have with Broadband) I think it's going to be fine.

    In responce to the person who can't get more than 500kb/s, it's not always possible to get more than that. Some web servers restrict the amount they send to one person at any one time, but that is easily overcome by using a download accelerator which connects several times to the same web server when downloading a file. I'd reccommend Xi Net Transport. Using that, I'd say you'd easily get 1MB/s. If not, then there's something wrong.

    Blueyonder's upload speed sadly isn't great. You do need a certain amount of up speed in order to get the down speed. When opening a web page it's not just all downloading, your computer has to comunicate with the server, and this is where the upload speed comes into play. Blueyonder's is barely enough to support 10MB, and I'd say this is where things are going wrong.