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Virgin Media extends aerial broadband trial

Virgin Media has selected a Welsh village in which to trial ultrafast broadband delivery over electricity poles.

The UK cable operator has announced that residents of the Welsh village of Crumlin, Caerphilly, will be the first in the UK to trial ultrafast broadband delivered over existing electricity poles. Following an agreement with Surf Telecoms, homes in Crumlin will be connected directly to Virgin Media’s fibre optic network, increasing local broadband speeds ten-fold, according to the cabler. As well as 50Mbps broadband, villagers will be offered Virgin Media’s TV service, including around 5,000 hours of catch-up TV and on-demand content. The trial will start next month and is scheduled to run into 2011.

The agreement with Surf Telecoms marks the first use of existing commercial infrastructure to aerially deliver ultrafast broadband to a community currently beyond the reach of a fibre optic network, Virgin Media said. The operator began trialling aerial deployment in the Berkshire village of Woolhampton in March this year using purpose-built infrastructure.