100Mbps broadband coming by 2007

Telewest is starting its upgrade with a 10Mbps rollout in Scotland, with up to 100Mbps promised for London by the end of next year

Telewest is looking at technology which could eventually boost broadband speeds up to 100Mbps, the company announced today. The cable company claims it will achieve this hundred-fold increase in broadband speeds, compared with the average connection today, thanks to its investment in Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) standards.

Telewest is hoping to launch a service based on DOCSIS 3 middleware — which will allow download speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps by the end of 2006. In the meantime, the telco also announced that it has begun rolling out a 10Mbps broadband service in the UK. Initially only available in Scotland, the 10Mbps service should reach London at the beginning of next year with the rest of the country following over the next 12 months. Telewest is upgrading all of its blueyonder broadband packages, with the ‘elite’ service being boosted from 4Mbps to 10Mbps. The company also announced the price of this service has dropped from £50 per month to £35 per month.

DOCSIS3 works over hybrid fibre co-axial cable, but Telewest is also planning to upgrade its Ethernet service to allow users to plug Ethernet cable straight into the back of a computer without the need of a modem.

UK Online and Be are planning to roll out 24Mbps ADSL2+ services later this autumn in London, potentially stealing a march on BT’s planned 8Mbps offering. Telewest plans to be competitive by offering 10Mbps purely for Internet access, and running digital TV and video-on-demand services over a different part of their cable network.

“ADSL2+ is really being hyped at the moment, but a lot of the bandwidth on their cables will be taken up by IPTV. We offer true digital TV over our cable network already, which means we can offer 10Mbps of pure Internet surfing.” a spokesman for Telewest said.

Britain is rapidly catching up on Europe and America in terms of broadband technology, according to Telewest. “Britain was the last country to launch broadband, but our take-up rate is faster than both the US and France. We’re playing catch up, but we’re catching up fast,” the spokesman said.


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