Virgin Media to spend £3bn on broadband
Virgin Media have announced to anyone who'll listen that they are going to be spending £3bn on improving their fibre optic broadband network. And you thought your broadband bill was high. This'll increase Virgin's network from 13 million homes to 17 million.
They reckon that this is the biggest investment in over a decade for broadband infrastructure in the United Kingdom, which is some claim. One great thing that will come out of all this, is that all this investment will create 6,000 new jobs.
The company also predict that this investment is going to be worth £8bn in terms of giving the UK's economic activity a shot in the arm. As well as widening their reach, this money is also being spent on improving existing networks, but sadly, it seems they're not looking to sort out the broadband in rural areas, which has long been neglected by providers.
So, plainly speaking, this investment is particularly good news for London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge thinks that everyone who wants to switch to faster broadband speeds now have the ability to take up the ‘Cable My Street’ option, adding: "In virtually all of the areas we have identified for expansion, BT is the only option available right now. Its ageing copper telephony wires are not capable of the ultrafast connectivity that Virgin Media delivers. Soon we will offer unbeatable services to even more homes and businesses across the country."
The thing is, Virgin Media need to start making some money with all this. The company was formed in 2007 with the merger of NTL and Telewest, whose vast programme of digging up the roads of the UK means that there's still some huge tax losses looming over them. They're also paying a fee to Richard Branson so they can use his brand.
Still, Virgin Media's operating profits are up by 41%, but with Sky and BT throwing their weight around on an almost constant basis, Virgin are going to have to be smart in 2015.