A year with superfast broadband

Is Virgin Media's speedy service the future?

Fibre optice the future of the internet

With the announcement that Virgin Media is bringing a 100Mbps service to the UK

A few months after Virgin Media had installed a 50Mbps connection in my house a partner in Deloitte told the Intellect conference that superfast broadband was a waste of time. "Why bother with tens of megabits per second," he asked, "when you can watch the iPlayer with just 2Mbps?"

But even after just a few short months with a fast connection I felt compelled to disagree. It may be an expensive option at the moment, but it doesn't take a genius to come to the conclusion that superfast broadband is very much the future.

I had been less convinced when I had signed up for the service; I wasn't sure if I even needed a 50 meg line, but was finally convinced to give it a go and see if it made any difference to my life.

Of course, like everyone with a fast internet connection, my first check on being handed the keys to my superfast new kingdom was a speedchecker. And the next use my connection got was to Google the question 'why am I not getting 50Mb connection?'.

I was well aware that, not only are online speedcheckers patchy on superfast packages, but that a myriad of other factors could influence my connection, so got on with what I would consider the best possible test of the 50Mb connection.

Virgin media's 50mb router

Rather than spend every day checking the speed, something that has precious little real-world value beyond numbers, I simply lived with it.

Gaming, surfing, multiple computers, big downloads, small downloads, phone updates, a move to Windows 7, outages, phone connection issues, I put my connection through a reality test. Could it deal with my connected household?

And the answer was indisputably yes.