Virgin Media has begun offering a commercial up-to-100Mbps broadband service.
On Tuesday, the ISP said the service had gone live in four locations around the UK: Heckmondwike, Farnborough, Colchester and Barry in South Wales. More will be added "throughout 2011 and up to mid-2012 when [the] rollout will be complete", Virgin Media said in a statement.
The service, which costs £35 a month for those who also pay for a Virgin phone line and £45 a month for those who do not, offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps. According to the statement, the technology involved should be able to deliver up to 400Mbps in the future.
The cable-based deployment will, in terms of speed, put Virgin Media on at least an even footing with BT, which is busy rolling out fibre-based broadband to two thirds of the UK. Three-quarters of BT's deployment is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) with maximum speeds of 40Mbps, and only a quarter is fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), which offers up to 100Mbps.