Home & Office

Virgin Media sees super-fast broadband packages take off

The UK telecoms company has seen a threefold increase in people signing up for 30Mbps packages or higher, it said as it reported second-quarter earnings
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Virgin Media tripled its total of super-fast broadband customers over the past year, the company revealed as it reported second-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Virgin Media
Virgin Media has seen a threefold increase in people signing up for 30Mbps packages or higher. Image credit: Virgin Media

For the three-month period from April to June, the British telecoms provider had revenue of £1.02bn, an increase of just over four percent year-on-year. Net income was down to £64.7m from £98.2m last year, though Virgin noted the second-quarter 2011 amount included a VAT refund of £77.6m.

"Demand for faster broadband continues to grow. The super-fast broadband customer base increased by 459,800 during the quarter, taking the total to 1.3 million, which is more than three times the number of a year ago and represents 31 percent of our broadband base," Virgin said in a statement.

In addition, Virgin saw increases in contract mobile customers — a rise from 53,000 to 1.6 million in the quarter — and in TiVo subscriptions. The gains were also driven by strong performance in its business division, which saw revenue of £166m, a rise of 9.8 percent year-on-year. The company noted it is now an approved supplier for the Public Services Network and that it has begun rolling out Wi-Fi across the London Underground.

Upgrading to super-fast broadband

Virgin's super-fast broadband services promise download speeds of over 30Mbps. While there has been a jump in customers signing up for these packages, they account for less than one-third of its base.

This means more than two-thirds of its cable customers are on older, legacy packages with lower download speeds. A company spokesperson told ZDNet it is encouraging customers on these plans to upgrade to the super-fast and ultra-fast speeds.

Since the beginning of April, the 30Mbps package is the slowest cable-based broadband service that customers can sign up for. Virgin Media still offers ADSL connections over BT-owned copper in areas where it does not have cable footprint, but this represents a minority of its business.

Like BT, Virgin Media has also been roughly doubling the speed of its cable packages since February 2012. To date, it said that around 22 percent of its network had been upgraded to take advantage of the new speeds. This equates to around 765,000 cable customers receiving doubled speeds out of the total four million or so customers it has on these packages.

Editorial standards