Virgin mulling network expansion options

24 Jun 2010

British cableco Virgin Media has detailed plans to expand the reach of its cable infrastructure, according to ISPreview. The operator has said that up to one million new households in areas where fixed line incumbent BT has yet to upgrade its network could be reached without the need of any subsidy. Virgin is reportedly in negotiations with a number of power companies with a view to gaining access to street-side electricity poles, which it claims could be utilised to deliver fibre-optic cabling. Commenting on the development, Jon James, Virgin Media’s executive director, noted: ‘For [BT] it is not worth upgrading existing customers to a slightly better service, but for us it’s a new market where we know we’ll get 30%-40% take up.’

In addition to the network expansion plans, Virgin has also revealed that it could offer downlink speeds of up to 400Mbps over its existing network using a combination of DOCSIS 3.0 technology, bonding and the introduction of a new cable modem to handle the increased speeds. James said of the company’s plans: ‘We are also doing 100Mbps – launching in Q4 this year – we are trialing 200Mbps but that’s a very commercial trial in the sense of working out in the real life what you can do with 200Mbps. We know very well we can do 200Mbps and we could do 400Mbps. We are launching a new modem by the end of the year that will be 400Mbps capable. And that’s a vehicle for the evolution of our speed portfolio in the next two years.’

United Kingdom, Virgin Media