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Virgin Media growing as Project Lightning expands
Saturday 06 August 2016 10:14:29 by Andrew Ferguson

The latest set of results from Virgin Media via its parent group Liberty Global reveal a change in Internet subscribers of an extra 56,100 once you strip back all the financial jargon.

The growth to 4,808,000 broadband customers is attributed in part to the expansion that Project Lightning is driving where apparently take-up is going to plan and we can confirm that we are seeing take-up in areas where the expansion project is underway. Of course always difficult to know the reasons for people switching, for some it may be a chance to access subscription TV without a satellite dish, or finally getting access to all the FreeView channels after having avoided an aerial upgrade for years, the hope though is that this is people crying out for ultrafast broadband and thus reflects pent up demand for speeds in excess of what VDSL2 can offer.

In terms of what appeals 49% to the public of Virgin Media broadband customers are now on a 100 Mbps or faster connection speed (the 49% is a figure from the combined UK and Eire operations which has 5.2 million customers). Interestingly when we look at the profile of speed test users, for Q2/2016 only 11% recorded speeds above 100 Mbps and the effect of wireless can be partly accounted for by removing tablet and mobiles which increases this figure to 14% (so clearly Wi-Fi issues do have an impact - 40% of tests were via a mobile or tablet). One only has to read user forums and social media to know that this difference between what is sold and what users are reporting is not unique to our testing.

Project Lightning is set by its completion to provide around 1 million homes passed by FTTP, with many more connected via the traditional DOCSIS network and it will be interesting to see if as time progresses whether the newly built FTTP (with RFOG) areas will fare better in the battle for peak time speed performance.

Looking to the future, as soon as Virgin Media adopt 300 Mbps as their top tier speed rather than a limited availability HomeWorker option, Ofcom will be able to report a jump of ultrafast availability from around 1.7% to 51% (Ofcom use an almost unique definition of a minimum speed of 300 Mbps for ultrafast broadband, EU and others operate to a 100 Mbps minimum).


Posted by bartman007 9 months ago
But still they have slow downs at night because they don't have enough hardware to cover the surge of customers. 152Mbps down to 5Mbps every flipping night.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
The problem with MOST internet, is that people WILL NOT pay what it is worth paying,(helping investment to improve the 'slowdown' when thousand all connect at the same time)

would YOU pay 100 pounds a month or more???
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
and after you agree to pay much more, we need to wave a magic wand to get the council, BT, and all the rest to get moving on allowing lots of new cable to be put down... :(
to say nothing about people protesting about it and preventing many from getting a good service!!!
Posted by bartman007 9 months ago
Wow comnut, better internet abroad and cheaper prices, look further than your own nose, and why does the council pay for VM?, I know they offer to pay towards BTOR, MOST are private companies, AND like VM it's OWNED by a LARGE US company....pffft.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
we are talking about **the uk** ...
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
and guess what else is different over in france, etc??? I hope you know... :P
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
Other UK companies owned by America..
Cadbury, Jaguar,Land Rover,Asda
harrods was owned by egyptian Fayed bros, now Qatar Holdings (persian)
London buses are run by a Spanish company
Boots chemists are owned by the Italians
Fortnum & Mason and the Savoy are owned by Canadians
British airways??? Spanish firm.
ICI??? Dutch..
Branston pickle??? Japanese..
Robertson's, gales honey is now US owned..

weetabix, Alpen and Ready Brek - chinese.
Posted by bartman007 9 months ago
Brilliant, well done that person....moving along
Posted by aaaashy 9 months ago
when is think going to get round to writing the sorry story of how, as VM ramps up the number of customers, it is allowing the speeds to become SLOWER and SLOWER? this drop in speed (both down and up) is getting worse, for longer and there is no improvement in sight.
But it would appear from TB's accounting of the story that it is only getting better
you seem to be in the right spot to start helping us users make a bigger fuss about it .... but altho i have read many comments about this problem, i have yet to read an ARTICLE by TB about it
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 9 months ago
You mean like where we show at peak times single thread drops 23% and multiple thread 18%.

Oddly no-one comments on those stories and other blog items covering that side of things.
Posted by rndmartin 9 months ago
The headline speeds are getting remore from the reality. When I was supposed to be one 50mb that was more or less what I got, not that I'm supposed to be on 200 I get -- 63.
Posted by Royahoward 9 months ago
Nice one rndmartin.. I do love irony..
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
no on got an answer to 'what else is different over in france???'

Clue: one has a B in it, the other starts with a C or G..

Posted by comnut 9 months ago
I think you will find there are not that many websites that CAN do over 70Mbps downloads...

to get faster downloads from a company website needs buying lots of hispeed cards, that would be a waste of money, as a large part of the country just does not get over 70 Mbps..

PLEASE do tell if you have found a **NORMAL** website that can download at that speed or more, even at peak times.. :P

High bandwidth is a luxury that many companies cannot afford in the current bad finacial state of the UK..
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
just like buying and maintaining a supercar that can do 200MPH safely, the BIG problem is finding somewhere in the UK that you can run it at that speed for more than 10 mins!!!

And if you did not see the top gear test, supercars are NOT built for comfort over a very long drive... :/

Just like VM hispeed, it is only for 'showing off' that you have the money and ability...

the rest of us VM users got our higher speed as a free gift from virgin..
Posted by chrysalis 8 months ago
comnut I dont know who you are, but your posts made me chuckle, you talk as if VMs peak time slowdowns are common place in the industry, umm they not, its now almost uniquely a VM problem, the vast majority of DSL providers do not have these problems on a large scale.
As to regards of a server able to push 70mbit in the evening, what are you on? A 100mbit server could do quite easily, but even more so gigabit connectivity is getting more and more common by the day in datacentres even on budget servers.
Posted by chrysalis 8 months ago
The likes of facebook, twitch, youtube etc. will also of course be using connectivity mentioned in the 10s of gigabits.
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