fanciful cable modem that Virgin Media unveiled last month? Now it's clear as day what it will be used for. This week, the operator has announced the launch of its lightning fast 50Mbps high-speed internet service in the UK. The service has instantly placed VM at the top of the class in terms of speed, though it certainly won't come cheap. Reportedly, it'll run locals some £51 ($77) per month, though the monthly fee is lowered to £35 ($53) if users also take a Virgin phone line for £11 ($17) / month. There's no mention of what regions will have access right away, though it should be rolled out "country-wide" over the next six months. Not to be completely outdone, rival BT has also come forward with plans to trial a 40Mbps service during the summer of 2009. Who knows -- maybe our "status quo" 2Mbps connections will eventually be akin to 56k modems of yesteryear.