The first stages of Virgin Media increasing the capabilities of its off-net products is underway with the signing of a four year deal to use C&W wholesale broadband services.
The deal looks set to include C&W handling existing as well as new customers, which may mean changes to how things work for current customers, such as their connections being unbundled. The main aim of this deal is, we believe, to allow Virgin Media to start using ADSL2+ to provide media services over connections not connected directly to their cable network.
Currently it is believed the C&W network covers some four million households out of the 24 million in the UK, but many of these households will be in areas where Virgin Media has its own cable network already. It will be interesting to see if the deal results in C&W unbundling more exchanges in the near future to areas not covered by an existing cable network. Without expansion, Virgin Media will still be heavily reliant on BT Wholesale and its product portfolio.
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