Broadband speeds are ramping up to get faster yet. While Virgin Media goes ahead with its 200Mbps trials, on the other side of the pond, Google is laying down a tough marker to follow.

The company has started trials for a 1Gbps and is working with Stanford University to test the new project. According to a Google blog, the company is set to build an ultra-high speed broadband network to the university's halls of residence. The trial will involve about 850 homes, although the ultimate plan is to scale up to a minimum of 50,000 and possibly as many as 500,000.

According to the Google blog, Stanford's willingness to experiment with new technologies was the key decider in choosing to partner with the university.

The company announced plans earlier this year to experiment with high-speed broadband and the Stanford trial represents the next stage in this process. The trial is expected to start in early 2011 but the company hasn't yet announced a completion date.