Virgin Media O2 UK Lays Groundwork for Faster Upload Speeds

Broadband ISP Virgin Media (VMO2) seems to be within the technique of laying the groundwork for each quicker add speeds and latency instances (ping), which comes after a rising variety of the supplier’s prospects started reporting activation of the primary DOCSIS 3.1 channels for upstream on their HUBs.

At current Virgin Media has already deployed the most recent DOCSIS 3.1 expertise to the downstream facet of their combined Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP through RFoG) community, which has lengthy since made it doable for them to launch gigabit pace packages. But upstream efficiency has but to profit from this enchancment and, till now, has remained caught on the older DOCSIS 3.0 commonplace.

NOTE: D3.1 utilises enhancements like Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which might encode knowledge by utilizing a number of provider frequencies, and boosts the quantity of radio spectrum as much as 200MHz. This additionally helps different enhancements, like Distributed Access Architecture / Remote Phy (R-PHY) – here and here.

However, between 2020 and 2021 the operator did conduct quite a few 2.2Gbps pace trials (here, here and here), but solely a kind of enabled DOCSIS 3.1 on their upstream channels and was thus in a position to produce an add pace of 214Mbps (the present greatest is simply c. 55Mbps). But since then, the path has gone chilly, and we’ve been patiently ready for any signal that VMO2 could also be getting ready so as to add D3.1 to their upstream connections.

The excellent news is that, since late July, a rising variety of our readers – those that are additionally Virgin Media’s broadband prospects – have been reporting (here) the activation of each an extra DOCSIS 3.0 and an extra DOCSIS 3.1 channel on the upstream facet of their connections. The stories have come from throughout the UK and from folks with totally different packages. We’ve since seen related stories on VMO2’s own forum.

The new D3.1 upstream channel is pretty small and seemingly solely seems to be harnessing QAM8 (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), which is a standard methodology of mixing a number of amplitude modulation indicators right into a single channel for a bandwidth increase (used throughout the whole lot from mounted line to wi-fi networks). But we suspect the channel will truly be far more succesful than that, or routers could also be reporting it incorrectly.

One different advantage of deploying D3.1 to the upstream facet is that prospects would profit from quicker latency instances, which might be of specific curiosity to anyone who enjoys a spot of fast-paced on-line multiplayer gaming. Indeed, that is one space the place Virgin Media has tended to be a bit poor, and any enchancment is thus more likely to be given a heat welcome.

A Virgin Media spokesperson mentioned:

“We haven’t any adjustments to announce however we’re consistently upgrading and optimising our community to present all our prospects quicker and extra dependable companies.”

In our view, Virgin Media is clearly laying the groundwork for quicker upstream efficiency, however there’s at the moment no clear indication of how lengthy folks might need to attend earlier than they really launch the increase. It could take a little bit of time to completely deploy the change throughout their community, thus it might probably be someday in late 2022 or, extra seemingly, throughout 2023 earlier than we see any actual product adjustments.

Customers may also solely be capable to make the most of this if they’ve considered one of Virgin Media’s two DOCSIS 3.1 supporting routers, the HUB 4.0 and HUB 5.0. The older HUBs and SuperHubs are solely in a position to help the DOCSIS 3.0 commonplace, though various customers have now upgraded to the most recent package.

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