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Virgin Opening Up Cable Network to Wholesalers

Gordon Kelly by

Virgin to Open Up Cable Network to Wholesalers

If there's one issue that really hampers the take up of lightening quick cable broadband it's not the additional installation (that's done for you) but the lack service provider choice. In short: if you want cable, you have to sign up to Virgin - or do you...?

According to The Guardian, the love it/hate it service provider is giving serious consideration to opening up its network to rival ISPs. The move isn't seen entirely as entirely charitable, since it would not only better monetise untapped bandwidth but also head off any potential monopoly accusations.

Virgin currently holds 24 per cent of the UK broadband market but with its speeds increasing faster than DSL that is expected to grow - as is the scrutiny from industry watchdog Ofcom. In short it all seems a million miles away from the days when question marks were raised over the viability of the entire Virgin Media business.

Of course should the likes of technophile favourites Be, UK Online or Zen show interest in venturing into the cable broadband arena it could see an upsurge of new customers currently wary of Virgin's strict views on traffic management and piracy.

Seems a fine plan to me...


via The Guardian

Go to comments


May 6, 2009, 9:09 am

Honestly they should do it YESTERDAY haha! I'd still be on their network because i'm 2.5miles from my closest BT exchange, so i have no desire to make ADSL-only providers rich by paying for what i can't get. But e.g. Be coming to Cable could really give me reason to love cable again.. at present virgin won't let me touch the 20Mbit/sec i pay for - dismal..


May 6, 2009, 4:11 pm

Could we have an article on the difference between cable and dsl technologies from the point of view of the providers.

E.g is DSL similar to a 8-24megabit Switch (from the exchange), and Cable like a 200mbit Hub(from the cabinet all the signal goes to all the homes).


May 6, 2009, 4:35 pm

Remember my comments from 25.02.09 ("Virgin Upgrades 2Mbit Cable Customers to 10Mbit Comments":

One way to improve this would be for BT (and other telcos who want access to Virgins fibre optic network) to say to the regulator(s)that why should they be obliged to allow other telcos to use their network while Virgin with even better and more modern network doesn't have to. After all both are private companies and it is decades since BT was privatised. Let the games begin and prices fall!


May 6, 2009, 5:00 pm

I recently recieved an e-mail request for FEEDBACK from V'Media. As it happens I had to refer to the CEO again and so I suggested perhaps V'Media could provide their e-statement Customers with FREE fully itemised telephone calls statements seen as it is an all automated process and costs vitually nothing - a few micro watts!!


May 6, 2009, 5:13 pm

If Virgin Media has spare bandwidth in their cable network, I suggest they use it to remove their download caps so I can download an HD film without hitting a brick wall after an hour.

Andy C

May 6, 2009, 5:49 pm

the problem with virgin is the contention ratio. this is the ratio of bandwidth to the number of customers sharing it. in virgins case its just too high, you only get 20mbps at like 3 in the morning!

can you imagine what it would be like if they added other companies onto their network? not a good idea if you ask me

ok i know thats a bit rough as some areas will be different and wont follow this rule but generally its true.

im with bt and i get 5mbps which i know isnt great (in fact for a heavy downloader its kinda useless) but give it time and BT's fibre network will improve that. they are talking about 40mbps with a lower contention ratio :-)


May 9, 2009, 12:50 am

Well, since I don't live in a major conurbation any sort of fibre optic, or even unbundled copper services are just a (fat) pipe dream for me.

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