Virgin Media has 20% of its customers on superfast broadband
Virgin Media in the last quarter up to the 31st March 2012 has shown reduced churn, with gross disconnects of 3,500 and net cable customer additions of 21,200. The power of bundling to improve revenue is reflected by the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increasing by 1.7% to £46.95. 64% of Virgin Media's cable customers take a triple-play package, and 86% take a bundle of two or three products.
Looking at the broadband figures, the company has some 4,148,600 customers on its cable broadband network, with a net add of 45,700 in the last quarter. In terms of the split of customers across the speeds they supply, nearly 850,000 take a 30 Mbps or faster service, and of these some 250,000 are on a 50 Mbps, 60 Mbps or 100 Mbps product. The 100 Mbps service is now available across the whole Virgin Media cable network, this roll-out completing in March 2012. The speed doubling programme has started, with 6% of customers receiving their upgrade so far.
In the around half the UK where Virgin Media does not have its cable network it offers an ADSL service, and this segment has shown a decrease in subscribers from 261,300 to 233,000 in the quarter.
The speed doubling program which represents an investment of over £100m needs to both double end-user speeds asignificantlytly increase capacity in each local area, as we are seeing a rise in the number of complaints about Virgin Media speeds, particularly from the gaming community are seeing jitter and packet loss. The problem Virgin Media faces is that it still has a net debt of £5,640m to service, which in the last quarter attracted interest of £105.6m, reducing the debt would allow for network improvements, but doing both at the same time will prove difficult.