Broadband users across the UK, left out in the cold because they are based in the rural countryside, could be about to be thrown a broadband lifeline if trials by Virgin Media are successful.

The company has announced a new trial using telegraph poles to deliver 50Mb broadband to the Berkshire village of Woolhampton.

By connecting homes directly to Virgin Media's fibre optic network, the trial will effectively increase broadband speeds more than ten-fold in a rural community that has previously relied on BT's copper network, says the company.

"This unique trial will allow us to understand the possibilities of aerial deployment and may provide an exciting new way to extend next generation broadband services", says Neil Berkett, chief executive officer of Virgin Media.

Virgin Media hasn't dated a national rollout as yet.