ThinkBroadband are reporting that a poster to their forums has leaked some info regarding a 50Mbps product from Virgin Media on their cable broadband network. The rollout is apparently due to start in “two weeks”, and should be completed by April 2009.
Price-wise the service won’t be cheap, with 50Mbps setting you back £52 a month. It’s purported to be a mandatory 12 month contract too, meaning you’ll be dropping £624 over the year on your extra-fast broadband, before any setup or connection fees.
The tipster claims 50MBps downstream, but just 1.5MBit upstream, with that increasing to 2.5Mbit at some point in the future. There’ll be no traffic management until the rollout is complete, but once it is, you’ll be limited to 10GB between 4pm and 9pm. If you hit that limit, your speed will drop dramatically to 7.5GB.
You’ll need a new modem, which Virgin should provide, but many existing network cards (running on the 802.11g protocol) might not be able to cope with 50Mbps speeds. You might therefore want to be thinking about upgrading your network hardware.
Is this a good deal? Not necessarily just yet. Unless you spend a hell of a lot of time downloading, you won’t get much benefit out of a connection this fast, just yet. Sure, it’ll be nice, but it isn’t necessary for the vast majority of home users. In the meantime, 20Mbps, provided by loads of companies, should be ample.