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Virgin Media will launch a 50Mbps broadband package next year, according to the firm's acting chief executive officer.

Neil Burkett announced the ISP's target date for the launch of its much mooted super-fast service at a next-generation summit of broadband providers and telecommunications companies including BT and Cable & Wireless, which was chaired by competitiveness minister Stephen Timms.

Mr Burkett said: "[Our] network has a unique potential to revolutionise consumers' experience and we're convinced that 2008 is the moment to take the lead with the commercial launch of a 50Mbps product."

He added: "We'll never know exactly what demand there'll be for super-fast broadband until it's in people's homes and workplaces up and down the UK."

The announcement from Mr Burkett follows successful trials of the 50Mbps service in the Kent towns of Ashford, Folkestone and Dover, where customers can now receive the service for a fee of £49 per month.

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