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Virgin Media Wins Minor Battle Against BT

The telecommunications watchdog, Ofcom, has confirmed that it will not force cable giant Virgin Media to open its network to competitors, a move that is likely to enrage its archrival BT.

Unlike the latter, Ofcom said that Virgin Media did not pose a significant threat to the market, in other words, it does not have "significant market power" or SMP.

BT on the other hand, is obliged to open its broadband service to customers and an Ofcom represenatative told ISPReview "Under the revised Communications Act which came into force earlier this year, we have new powers to require telecoms operators to share their ducts and poles even if they do not have SMP." But the regulator did confirm that they have not found Virgin Media to have SMP.

The cable company announced last week that a quarter of UK homes now have access to its top of the range 100Mbps fibre broadband service. Virgin Media then showcased a 1.5Gbps broadband service a few days later, the world's fastest cable broadband, which it had been trialling at a handful of London-based tech companies.

In addition, it has confirmed that it is in discussions with councils and boroughs in London to run a free Wi-Fi service that would use its spare network capacity.