Virgin Media has this morning announced that it will begin rolling out a '100 meg' broadband service by the end of the year.
"There is nothing we can't do with our fibre optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100Mb service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience. Just as we led the way by launching the UK’s first ever next generation service, we want to keep giving our customers the very best broadband available, by investing in technological innovation and transforming the experience they have when they are online. The launch of Virgin Media’s 100Mb service will be a historic moment and will mean the UK will be comparable to other leading broadband nations."Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media
The company has also announced it will be expanding its 200Mbps trials to Coventry, with some users in Kent already testing the super-fast broadband service. It says this will help to focus on future technologies such as home teleconferencing and on-demand HD downloads.
This move will put pressure on BT which is currently rolling out its 'up to 40 meg' services which use similar fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology already deployed widely within Virgin Media's network. There has been some speculation recently that Virgin may be looking to provide wholesale cable broadband services, although strategically the company is in a stronger position by taking advantage of its unique infrastructure.
Virgin Media has also published its fourth quarter results for 2009. The most interesting figures with respect to broadband are that the number of customers on its 20Mbps and 50Mbps cable products has increased by 45% to 560,300 in the last 12 months, and the number of 50Mbps customers is 41,400 an increase of 81% since the previous quarters results. The sharp rise in 50Meg numbers, is likely to be a result of the price drop and a greater awareness of the product availability.