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Broadband provider Virgin Media is claiming a new world record – the fastest download speeds ever delivered via cable technology.

According to the firm, speeds of 1.5Gb – around 240 times faster than the UK average – have been achieved during a pilot project currently taking place in London.

Trial participants in the Old Street area of the capital, also known as 'Silicon Roundabout', have been able to sample the ultra-fast broadband speeds for themselves.

Upload speeds of 150Mb have also been achieved during the trial, which is using the same infrastructure and technology as Virgin Media utilises to deliver 100Mb residential broadband services.

Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband at Virgin Media, said: "As people are simultaneously connecting more gadgets to the internet and doing more online than ever before, we wanted to explore what our unique fibre optic network is capable of.

"At speeds of up to 1.5Gb, Virgin Media is delivering some of the fastest broadband in the world."

Mr James said Virgin Media is seeking to anticipate and lead the way in meeting growing demand for bandwidth as future services and applications come online.

Ed Vaizey, the Communications Minister, praised Virgin Media's latest achievement in the broadband sector.

"It is fantastic to see the fastest internet speeds in the world over cable being trialled here in the UK," he stated.

Mr Vaizey said the development should help attract new companies and entrepreneurs to the capital, bringing jobs and further economic growth.

"Last year the Prime Minister set out our ambition for London's East End to become a world-leading technology city to rival Silicon Valley. Developments like Virgin Media's will help make this ambition a reality," he added.

Earlier this week, Virgin Media revealed that 6.5 million UK homes are now able to sign up for its flagship 100Mb home broadband services.

The firm said that a quarter of UK homes can now register for an ultra-fast broadband deal with the firm, which began rolling out the technology as recently as December 2010.

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