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Virgin Media Could Take On BT With Wholesale Broadband Plans

Virgin Media is apparently exploring the possibility of bringing in substantially more revenues by emulating BT's business of wholesaling broadband to its competitors.

A report in the Guardian hints at the idea that Virgin Media could well open its fiber optic cable broadband network in a bid to bring in much needed revenue, which could in turn, bring down prices for its own customers.

BT provides the network for much of UK's copper based ADSL broadband and the future of the country's digital future hinges in no small part on the company's ability to deliver its 21CN network on time.

Opening its network to competitors not only makes commercial sense right now but would also bring Virgin Media in the good books of the government while giving it more financial resources to roll out its fiber optic cables in non-cabled areas.

Just like BT with its Openreach subsidiary, Virgin Media could use NTL Telewest Business to bring those plans to life, through a cleverly thought spin off which would not attract the ire of the competition commission or the OfCom

Virgin Media is already miles ahead of the competition as it announced yesterday that it was starting the trial of 200Mbps broadband in Ashford, Kent, at a time when most of its ADSL-based competitors are barely reaching 24Mbps.

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Our Comments

Virgin media could apparently launch its Openreach competitor as early as 2011. Doing this would ensure the long term survival of the company and allow it compete more effectively with both BT and Sky. The company currently has 5.5 million customers, which puts it behind Sky and BT.

Related Links

Virgin Media considers giving competitors access to cable network

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/04/virgin-media-cable-network-internet (opens in new tab)

Virgin Media considers opening up broadband network

http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/news.aspx?id=56922 (opens in new tab)

Virgin Media To Extend Broadband Network Coverage

http://blog.broadbandinternetuk.com/blog/215/virgin-media-to-extend-broadband-network-coverage (opens in new tab)

Virgin Media feels the crunch

http://www.techwatch.co.uk/2009/05/06/virgin-media-feels-the-crunch/ (opens in new tab)

Virgin Takeaway nice profit

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2009/05/06/virgin-takeaway-nice-profit-115875-21336010/ (opens in new tab)

Virgin Media UK Tops 3.97m Broadband ISP Subscribers

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2009/05/06/virgin-media-uk-tops-3-97m-broadband-isp-subscribers.html (opens in new tab)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.