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Virgin Media looks set to concentrate on its cable network
Thursday 07 February 2008 17:36:47 by Andrew Ferguson

It was only in November 2007 just nine months after the big sexy launch of Virgin Media that it announced a downsizing of its ambitions. If the quote over at FT.com is accurate it seems that the Virgin Media ADSL product ranges are set to be downsized even further.

"Our strategy, offnet, is actually not that important."

Neil Berkett, acting chief executive

It looks as if any new investment is going to be in the cable broadband arena, where the Virgin Media board has agreed the investment needed to carry out the work to allow the 50Mbps broadband products to be launched. The new 50Mbps product will require new cable modems, as well as upgrades to the network the modems connect to. No launch pricing has been announced, but it seems Virgin Media are confident of getting hundreds of thousands to sign up within a few years.

The scale of investment needed is not known but when the fourth quarter results are announced on February 28th it may become clearer. The complaints about congestion on the existing Virgin Media cable services in parts of the country suggest a fair bit of new capacity needs to be created.

For Virgin Media ADSL customers to be told they are not that important is a blow. Generally, their ADSL service has failed to impress, suffering from congestion and slow speeds at peak times, always being the second fiddle to the headline grabbing cable broadband speeds. With the amount of acquisitions in the UK broadband market at present we would not be surprised to hear that another provider has purchased the ADSL side of the business. However, it could be Virgin are counting on the deal to use Cable & Wireless as a wholesale provider to allow them to improve the off-net side of the business, and get TV services to more users with minimal investment.

The pricing of the 50Mbps product and the level of demand for it will be interesting to watch. In some ways it will provide an indicator as to whether UK consumers really want to pay more for faster speeds or are concentrating on getting a connection for as cheap as possible.

Comments

Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
..Or are interested in a slower, but working connection even for a mild premium. Oh wait, NO ISP is bothering to do that.

*sigh*
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote "No launch pricing has been announced, but it seems Virgin Media are confident of getting hundreds of thousands to sign up within a few years."

and about the same amount leaving shortly after when their promised 50Mb is nothing of the sort.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
I do beleive you get 28 days to try the service ..with a money back if your not happy
Posted by AdamGz0r over 9 years ago
The same childish comments which are to be expected again.

2doorsbob is correct. Try before you buy and judge Virgin for yourself.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"I do beleive you get 28 days to try the service ..with a money back if your not happy"
Really! And any installation charges which start at £30, refund them as well do they?
Oh and BTW the 28 days thing as stated in the small print here http://allyours.virginmedia.com/money_back_guarantee.html is on bundles only not just broadband orders, which means you have to take their phone or TV services or mobile phone services, for that 28 days thing to apply. Childish comments dont make me laugh.. Honest comments more like from someone bothered to read the spill others type that have no clue.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
Finally some sense from VM, they working on improving their core infrastructure in preference to stretching out further to adsl which is what I think they should be doing.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
They shouldnt of bothered with ADSL over phone lines in the first place, but only stuck to cable. Who knows the money they may have saved may have meant the cable service wouldnt be falling to pieces for SOME people.
Posted by drteeth over 9 years ago
I'd hold a gun to somebody's head to get my street cabled.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
Answer to carpets question my uncle canx'd virgin as he wasnt happy with hd content the only thing that was on his final bill was his call charges and his ondemand films he'd ordered ..the total cost of all 3 service charges was credited back because he did this within 28 days
Posted by davidjohn over 9 years ago
Maybe Burk-it is admitting defeat on ADSL as a face saver. My guess is he does not have the dosh to stick in some centrals and a few servers for we ADSL suckers.

Best bang for the last Burk-it buck has to be cable broadband. Murdoch in nicking the TV customers, so the troubled chief needs some play to keep his stock price off the floor. Of course re-arranging the deckchairs on the Virgin Media Titanic is his forte. He just has to watch that big debt iceberg. Meantime, I am settling down with Burk-it's latest sci-fi novel and chapter 11 is next. Can hardly wait.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"...he wasnt happy with hd content the only thing that was on his final bill was his call charges and his ondemand films he'd ordered"

As i said 28 days refund thing only applies to BUNDLE packages if you just take broadband it does not apply.
Posted by AdamGz0r over 9 years ago
It is only £2 more to get it in a package, and thats still cheaper than bt+adsl, and then if its so crap you just use the 28 day moneyback guarantee.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
^^^ In the mean time as you took their phone service you lose your BT line as you would have cancelled that and when you find out the virgin bundle is crap sure you might get the virgin cost refunded but then you have the hassle of getting the phone reconnected with BT (more cost, more headaches)

Thanks but no matter how good of a sales man they think you are in the office ill pass.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Ive also just spotted if you dont pay by direct debit, there is an additional £5 per month extra charge which also does not get refunded under that 28 day thing.
Posted by ChrisRedpath over 9 years ago
I'll never use NTL again. I had dialup and when I cancelled it, they kept charging and denying it right until my card expired. They owe me well over £250. Not even an error - there was no service all this time either!
Posted by ChrisRedpath over 9 years ago
Good luck with any cancellations. My experience tells me you'll never see the money. At least you've got direct debit now, which they didn't offer when I used them.
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
who says you *have* to cancel BT?? this is one situation where you *can* try two at once! :)
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
- the catch with BT is, it is *very* cheap to get 'reconnected' but expensive to 'get out' of the new, 12 month contract that will create... If you want a 'line takeover' service that needs an active BT line..
Posted by Guzzo over 9 years ago
100,000 new customers?
Dream on Virgin. You cant supply a speed of 20mb without cutting the speed for people when they dare to use it.
Perhaps Virgin will be able to supply a full unlimited usage allowence of 20mb speed, but only when the 100mb speed is here and you pay for that LOL. LOL
Posted by AdamGz0r over 9 years ago
Guzzo: they can just not to all areas, doubtfull theyre will ever be a truely unlimited service on any ISP, if you know the cost of transit and compare it with broadband you will see why.

comnut: with you on that one, no need to cancel your bt line if cable is to expected to be as bad as it is.

ChrisRedpath: Your card company could have issued a chargeback and blocked them taking any more money, you could probably still dispute it if you contacted them.
Posted by partymarty over 9 years ago
Quote "As i said 28 days refund thing only applies to BUNDLE packages if you just take broadband it does not apply."

I'm afraid that carpetburn is wrong here. I signed up only for 20Mb Cable broadband (no bundle) and I cancelled within 28 days, received setup charge and monthly fee back. So it did not cost me a penny.

Obviously I left because you can't get 20Mb, only 0.5Mb. Switched to BeBroadband and I get 10Mb constantly. Top Stuff.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Quote"I'm afraid that carpetburn is wrong here. I signed up only for 20Mb Cable broadband (no bundle) and I cancelled within 28 days, received setup charge and monthly fee back. So it did not cost me a penny."

Well if thats true they are liars when it comes to their terms as this http://allyours.virginmedia.com/money_back_guarantee.html clearly states in small print at the bottom its for bundles only. I wonder how many other terms they break either for positive or negative affects to the customer????
Posted by sayhey over 9 years ago
Carpetburn, I think you are misreading it. There is a 30 day moneyback guarentee with all of their services, even those without a bundle. The exception to this is if you take a bundle that includes mobile services, then you only get a 28 moneyback guarentee.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Carpetburn, I think you are misreading it"
NO i dont think so, http://allyours.virginmedia.com/money_back_guarantee.html clearly states at the bottom... The money back guarantee is for bundles only... Above it mentions 30 days with a 1 symbol next to it and then the details bit says 28 days, that is obviously an error (Its either 30 or 28 days... Or i hope it is otherwise people that purchase more have less time to claim their money back which makes no sense) CONT...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
If you also look through the various packages on their site the money back guarantee is only mentioned in bundle deals, NOT in single services... If the money back thing applied to everything i would think in every service they offered on the details pages they would make that clear... But it is only mentioned on bundle page details.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I will admit sayhey your explanation is indeed possible but looking at things as a whole and not just the page i mention it doesnt seem so... Of course you may well be correct, i would phone them to find out if the broadband help/services line wasnt premium rate :( I doubt the other departments would have any clue. Seems strange though if you take every service they sell including mobile that would mean you get 2 days less to claim your money back, doesnt make sense from what i can see.
Posted by sayhey over 9 years ago
"Seems strange though if you take every service they sell including mobile that would mean you get 2 days less to claim your money back, doesnt make sense from what i can see."


Its because the mobile services are provided by Virgin Mobile Telecoms Ltd, which is a seperate company from VirginMedia, even though it owns it.
Posted by foxycat over 9 years ago
It would be nice if they would fill in the "holes" in the network. When NTL cabled my area some years ago they missed an entire estate while cabling all around it. To me, a middle-class estate a long way from the telephone exchange (= slow ADSL) would seem a good market, but obviously not to them.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Its because the mobile services are provided by Virgin Mobile Telecoms Ltd, which is a seperate company from VirginMedia, even though it owns it."
Well yes that i agree is a possibility, still doesnt explain why they dont quote the money back guarantee on SINGLE services though, its only mentioned on pages that include 2 or more services. Im actually curious now... think i will fire off an email and ask exactly what services the money back guarantee applys to.... not that im likely to get any type of real response.
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