News: guitars will fly with 200mb broadband from virgin media

Imagine the possibilities when you get bandwidth of this speed... real time guitar lessons here we come...

Virgin Media casually mentioned its ability to hit 200Mb with its current infrastructure, but expressed reservations about the viability of such a service right now. Today, Virgin Media officially announced that it is piloting a 200Mb service.

So is this a PR stunt or is Virgin Media really going to offer this service in 2009? Speaking to the BBC in March, Virgin Media's chief executive Neil Berkett inferred that a commercial launch of 200Mb broadband was unlikely in the near future: 'When we look at the market I don't see us getting the returns right now for 100 or 150Mbps. As we work with application providers, and content providers... there will be a natural point where we upgrade from 10, 20 and 50Mbps to something more.'

But the service is being used right now by a select few. Following successful lab trials, a pilot scheme started last week in Ashford, Kent for 100 'lead adopters' who will have the chance to work with Virgin Media to shape the service for the UK. Interestingly, Virgin isn't just using the test the web basics, it is testing 'state-of-the-art entertainment services using TV and broadband content in full High Definition and 3D', along with 'applications and support for home IT needs', not to mention 'video conferencing and home surveillance'. In essence, Virgin Media wants to take over your home through superfast broadband. In that case, let's hope reliability is at the top of its checklist.

The pilot will be running for at least six months before results are analysed and viability assessed. That sounds like corporate speak for 'not this year' to us, but it does offer an exciting glimpse into the future of the online home.