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Virgin Media Adds 50,000 New Connections, Eases Traffic Management Scheme

Virgin Media wants to add 50,000 new premises to its network by the end of 2009 with further plans to add up to 500,000 connections within the next few years.

The cable network company covers 12.5 million households and businesses nationally and adding another half a million would increase its coverage by another 2 percent.

Neil Berkett, the company's CEO, told investors that Virgin Media would be careful when executing the plans to make sure that it gets an optimal return on investment which could mean that most rural areas would be ruled out.

In related news, Virgin Media has eased the traffic management policy for its L and XL broadband customers; from now on, they will be able to download 2.25GB and 4.5GB respectively between 10am and 9pm before Virgin Media cuts their download speeds to 25 percent.

XXL users who have access to the 50Mbps line do not have to undergo any traffic management. Virgin Media also revealed that only the top 5 percent of its customers who download significant amount of data will be concerned.

Virgin Media Broadband executive director Jon James said in a statement "Today's changes just go to highlight how the major investment in our new DOCSIS 3.0 network is enabling all Virgin Media customers to enjoy the best of today's Web, whether viewing full screen HD video on a PC or unlimited downloads".

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Our Comments

In all fairness, over one month, M users can download 70GB before traffic management kicks in while, for L users, this limit increases to 135GB. As for expanding their networks, Virgin Media will almost certainly look for easy wins by, for example, extending existing cable infrastructures. Carphone Warehouse, BT and Virgin Media now owns 75 percent of the market.

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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 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.