UK-based broadband provider Virgin Media is said to be considering allowing rival providers access to its network, according to The Telegraph. Virgin Media’s parent company Liberty Global is reportedly conducting a review of whether to offer wholesale access to the former’s cable broadband infrastructure to alternative operators such as Sky, which currently rely entirely on the network managed by BT’s infrastructure unit Openreach.
It has been suggested that Liberty Global is considering the strategic shift amid an increased investment in fibre from both BT and smaller, alternative operators, which is expected to lessen the technical advantage that Virgin Media’s cable network currently has against Openreach’s copper infrastructure. As a result of such network developments from rival providers, Liberty Global is reported to be examining whether it would be better off operating a wholesale business with lower margins but an increased market share.
One option which is understood to be under consideration is a wholesale deal with Sky only, excluding the likes of Vodafone UK, TalkTalk and other alternative ISPs; in return for an exclusive agreement, Liberty Global could look for reciprocal benefits in the supply of Sky Sports and other channels for Virgin Media’s pay-TV service.