The second quarter results from Virgin Media show a growing interest in its premier 20Mbps cable broadband service, with an 82% increase in the number of subscribers to their fastest broadband product.
Cable broadband (termed On-net by Virgin Media) saw net additions of 54,600 in the quarter, which is an increase on the previous quarter which saw 45,800 additions. The rise in subscriptions for its 20Mbps offering, means that 9.3% of cable broadband customers take the fastest option. Additionally, the upgrade of the 4Mbps service to 10Mbps which is 70% complete has also resulted in more people opting for that price point. The total number of cable broadband customers stands at 3,563,400 up from 3,191,900 a year ago.
Virgin Media provides ADSL services to the parts of the UK its cable service does not reach, and the story is somewhat different, with Q2 2008 having lost customers, 272,700 now compared with a peak of 287,300 in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Mobile broadband is apparently on the way from Virgin Media and is to be expected in the fourth quarter. Other developments are that the much talked about 50Mbps service is still on course for the second half of 2008 even though it seems like an eternity since the news of the Ashford trial in September 2007.
With just 9.3% taking the 20Mbps £37 a month top tier broadband product, one has to wonder how many will opt for what one presumes will be a more expensive 50Mbps product. Virgin Media has steered clear of publishing usage limits, but if it was to offer entry level products with a clear usage limit of 40GB a month that saw the 50Mbps product retailing at £20 a month it would probably see a rush to join Virgin Media for the first time. The existing pricing structure could still operate for those with high usage requirements, but retain the traffic management tiers that it has now.