Virgin Media is continuing to push broadband boundaries by releasing a modem and router capable of handling speeds of up to 400Mbps.

Virgin's director of broadband, Jon James, claims the hardware will be available by the end of the year, but hasn't revealed when users can expect to get access to those speeds.

"We want to be ready for the evolution of network speeds in the coming years as we roll out ever-improving services,” James told V3.

Virgin's fastest broadband service to date is a 50Mbps internet package that launched in December 2008. Around 70,000 subscribers are already on the 50Mbps service, Virgin said.

However, the cable telecom firm recently announced plans to launch a 100Mbps service before the end of 2010, and the company has also trialled 200Mbps broadband.

Virgin has previously estimated that 100Mbps broadband would allow web users to download a music album in as little as 5 seconds, an hour-long TV show in 31 seconds and an HD movie in 7 minutes 25 seconds. Doubling or quadrupling that speed would bring an even more seamless experience to the home.

"Ultrafast broadband like our 200Mbps service, will enable a whole household to enjoy cutting-edge entertainment, not just via computers, but through an array of gadgets all over the home," said Ashley Stockwell, executive director, brand and marketing at Virgin Media before a demonstration of the technology at this year’s Ideal Home Show.