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Virgin Media passes an extra 10,100 homes in 2013
Friday 02 August 2013 10:00:58 by Andrew Ferguson

The second quarter results for Virgin Media have been published and while the results make for positive reading if you are worrying about the UK broadband average speed. Looking at Virgin Media broadband specifically the main positive appears to be the increasing amount of people ordering or being upgraded to a faster product, the overall figures for broadband at Virgin Media actually decreased by 15,500 in the quarter. There footprint for cable products managed to increase by 10,100 premises passed in the last 12 months.

The breakdown is that the cable broadband service lost 3,500 customers, the rest being ADSL2+ customers in areas where Virgin Media has no cable services. The total number of broadband customers as of 30th June was 4,475,000 with 168,600 using the off-net ADSL service.

The proportion of customers on a 30 Mbps or faster product has increased from 58% to 64% and four out of ten new customers are signing up to a 60 Mbps or faster service. At the ultra-fast end of the scale half of the 100 Mbps customers have now been upgraded to 120 Mbps.


Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I wonder where there customers have migrated to? FTTC perhaps? I can't see cable customers moving to ADSL.

More of this to come I reckon... much more.
Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
I'd guess sky or some such. There's absolutely no benefit to being on Virgin's DSL service, it's not cheaper and doesn't come with any advantages.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

VM deserve it imo.
Posted by Joppy over 4 years ago
@GMAN99, I know a number of people who left VM cable for ADSL just to get a stable connection.
Posted by driz over 4 years ago
@Joppy/@GMAN99: I tried VM for a month around Feb 2011 - cancelled it within 28 days and switched to Be ADSL. VM way too jittery and contended. With VDSL2 here now I don't even need to toss up between high-speed and can-actually-play-games.

Perhaps they'll rethink the 'headline speed' approach to marketing.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
That's a marked drop in expansion, 100,000 in 2012 and approximately the same in 2011.
I guess that VM got no where with their talks with Utility companies back in 2010 to use their infrastructure, much like with Openreach. Most likely because of the same issues... they wanted access on the cheap.
Posted by wolfhound over 4 years ago
I love the speed and reliability of my VM cable connection. I don't understand why so many seem to migrate away from them; possibly the bundle deals with Sky attract sports fans who don't really care about their BB speed. I'll stick with VM for now, hate to go to Sky.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

for many, they have the same speedy reliable connection that you, for some they are on heavily contended circuits which results in slow speeds and high latency.
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
V is now struggling to hang on to customers as their figures show. They have not expanded their coverage and with BT FTTC now available in most of their coverage area at best they will remain static

VM have to look to expanding their footprint now if they are to grow the business. The scope to upsell is now limited and completion higher

FTTC will not compete on speed but will compete on price and the retail market is very price sensitive
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I think it will compete on speed though Bob, because I suspect most only want 20/30Mbps at the moment which FTTC is obviously more than capable of.
Posted by jchamier over 4 years ago
VMs problem is their large competition now has close speed options, and they are properly unlimited with no traffic shaping/throttling.

If you have a home with 4 adults who are avid users of internet streaming services, you can easily go above the daily thresholds and get throttled on the mainstream services. You either go to the 100meg service (to get very high thresholds) or you defect to another ISP.

I know people who say the on-demand service on the TV is the killer feature, and it makes cost sense to buy all your services from the same vendor.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Yup, and if they turn off shaping/throttling... meltdown
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
VM have long been swimming against the tide of saturating their market, and the competition have made a lot of progress.

With all-IP VoD available from a few players now the USPs cable used to call its own are gone and with truly unlimited services available the only USP VM have is with those who need a peak bandwidth e-penis to supplement them, DSL services beating VM on latency, loss and jitter.
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
I think if the economy continues to improve and take up of HS broadband continues to grow we will start to see BT facing real competition

VM & Sky seem the most likely to dip their toes into the HS broadband market probably with FTTP or a variant of it. Cost will be lower for them than for BT as they do not have the legacy market costs.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
What does the legacy market cost mean?

How could VM or Sky deploy fibre cheaper than BT?

VM won't, they have too much invested in cable which technically can still go further.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Sky could though if they thought the demand was there but I reckon they'll milk FTTC for now. If they do go FTTP it will only be a good thing as BT will have to match it
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
for a long time VM riding on superior tech but shoddy service, now BT catching up I expect further shrinkage of customers.
Posted by fibrebunny over 4 years ago
Other streaming services all use the same infrastructure. Save for VM of course. Pricing and content are more significant. With Sky being less able to compete on pricing. The only advantage to deploying fibre would be if they could avoid regulation and lock it down tightly.
Posted by CaptainW over 4 years ago
"...With Sky being less able to compete on pricing...."

How do you know that they can't compete on price? Look how quickly they recently slashed the price of broadband, albeit an offer, for Sports customer's to match BT's price. They have the advantage that they don't have the legacy infrastructure to keep up, like BT do. So they can quickly, change pricing that suits them. They have fixed costs in TV also, so can probably do the same there...
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Don 't forget that

A. Sky can't go anywhere BT can't go and
B. over the next 5 years Sky will totally migrate onto VM's network at a cost of 44M.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"B. over the next 5 years Sky will totally migrate onto VM's network at a cost of 44M. "

Want to tell us more? :)
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
I can tell you more. Sky are buying backhaul from VM.

Nothing more or less than that, they're buying backhaul from some exchanges from VM and using them as transport provider to connect their LLU kit to their core network.

It's not a total migration, it covers areas where VM have presence.

TalkTalk also purchase backhaul from VM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Just for more information:

'BSkyB has struck a £49 million (€57 million) deal with Virgin Media’s business services unit whereby the latter will provide backhaul network capacity for its broadband service.

Virgin Media will connect about a third of Sky’s unbundled local exchanges with Sky’s own wholly-owned broadband network.'

Price wrong, claim of total migration wrong, apart from that all good.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Very interesting thanks for that! For a minute I did think that VM were going to offer wholesale on their cable network to Sky :)
Posted by ukhardy071 over 4 years ago
I left VM due to a resetting superhub. Inability to access it's GUI. Modem only mode being 1/2 a solution. Huge packetloss. VIrgin installer coming through my loft ceiling. Moved from 100Mbps to 13Mbps. Sky performed better. Believe it or not, on virgin I struggled to watch Youtube 1080p. The Sky virgin deal is interesting though. I just hope Sky do not end up crippled like virgin is in some areas.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The Sky/Virgin deal is nothing to do with the DOCSIS 3.0 network so no reason to have the same issues as the Virgin retail.

If Sky are buying Gigabit and 10Gig links then that is what they will get and paying the appropriate cost for dedicated links
Posted by ukhardy071 over 4 years ago
Great stuff!
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

you mean a third of Sky's unconnected LLU exchanges will be connected via VMs network to the rest of the Sky network...
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Oops! Sorry Dix, didn't see your post...
Posted by leexgx over 4 years ago
as where i am now i may consider moving to FTTC from virgin as the cab is less then 200m from my house that will be live in the next month or so just so i can get stable ping and stable connection with out having to Use a VPN to watch youtube at peak times on virgin (i have to turn off my wifi and use 3g when i want to use my internet when i get home on my mobile), what should fix it is if they move the FTTN nodes to the street level (no street repeaters cabs) as most of the issues are at the Coxa DOCSIS end not the fiber side of the cab
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Your Youtube issues aren't due to the coaxial network. There are solutions that can be carried out both at the coaxial side and the fibre side of the cabinet.

Whether VM want to spend the money on these solutions, however...
Posted by irrelevant over 4 years ago
My parents moved from VM to adsl at a miserable 2MBps.. but then, they hardly use it for more than sending emails!

I'd like to see them round here though, just as an alternative (my "superfast" FTTC from sky is stuck at 25MBps despite being within spitting distance of the cab, due to poor underground cabling between us.) So proximity isn't always a promise of top speed!
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

Count yourself lucky you so close to the cabinet, many with aluminium cabling don't fair so well.

One solution is to get BTW FTTP with a business contract (~£50 p/m), then you'll get 330Mbps.
Posted by leexgx over 4 years ago
+ the £1500 or higher install fee
Posted by JonasT over 4 years ago
I always say this on VM posts, but they are bold face liars.

I have 100Mbit and have had issues since august of 2012, my estimated fix date has been push back continually until 21st august 2013. I have no doubt in my mind it will be pushed back again. I get 1-2Mbit between 4-11pm unacceptable on 100Mbit.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

Starts at £500 actually, but can go anywhere up to £3000 depending on distance and work needed, generally those 500m or more from the cabinet.
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