Virgin Media has just grown its cable broadband footprint by around 40,000 homes passed with the acquisition of SmallWorld who operated as an independent cable provider in Irvine, Dreghorn, Troon, Kilmarnock and Carlisle, Lancaster and Morecambe.
For customers reading this and in a state of shock, it appears that nothing will change immediately but SmallWorld will write to customers once changes are about to take place. For customers it does mean the prospect of access to the Virgin Media TiVo set-top box and the faster speeds (Virgin Media is starting to roll-out 152 Mbps).
Since SmallWorld utilises DOCSIS technology like Virgin Media it should not require major changes to the physical network and hopefully be a smooth transition. No doubt the Virgin Media advertising machine will launch a large push in the area to increase take-up on the network.
This leaves Wight Fibre on the Isle of Wight as the last of the independent cable providers, that arose from the great franchise experiment in the 1980's that was meant to get cable TV across the UK. Wight Fibre uses a mixture of DOCSIS, fixed wireless and is deploying FTTP for one new housing development on the island.