Commerce holding back 100Mb broadband in UK

Virgin Media's tech guru explains limitations

Virgin Media s 50Mb modem but could it have done more

Virgin Media's Director of Technical Strategy, Kevin Baughan, has told TechRadar that it is financial rather than technical limitations that are keeping the UK from getting even faster broadband speeds than the 50Mb service that the company has just launched.

Baughan, talking at the launch of Virgin's 50Mb service, insisted that 100Mb was entirely possible right away – but that until the desire for the service was in place and economies of scale had brought down prices it would not be arriving.

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"Several factors come together," Baughan told TechRadar. "One of them is scale because we need to get the price points down to something that the consumer is going to enjoy… we could take a modem out there today but it would be far too expensive.


"The second is the applications; there is a little bit of a chicken and egg there, so obviously pushing the speed both worldwide and with us here will stimulate applications and make them arrive.

"It's both of those factors and then putting them together in a commercial sense. [The commercial side] has to be happy that there is a proposition they can go out and sell.

"Technology usually isn't the gating factor these days, is it? It's when do I get scale, who's got scale and can I get it out there at a price point that people will like?"