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Virgin Media is in a race against time to become the UK's fastest network provider. The multi-media conglomerate is offering network speeds of up to 100 (mbps) to its customers. The conglomerate is hoping to start delivering high-speed internet facilities by 2012 as well as supplying over half of the UK with these services. The trial will be focused on areas in and around London.
As British Telecom is the largest threat to Virgin Media, BT will now have to speed up their own approach to delivering a fast network service to their customers before their rivals Virgin Media has the opportunity to gazump their efforts. BT is hoping to offer up to 70% of the United Kingdom maximised fibre-optic broadband facilities by 2012.
Virgin Media is offering a dual-package deal to all of their customers, the package will include a television and telephone bundle. Each package will cost from £35 for a dual-package (telephone and television) or a £45 single package. The service requires a brand new router that Virgin Media is offering completely free of charge. This may prove to be very challenging for Virgin Media as reports show that only a small percentage of their broadband customers have requested a 50 megabyte speed package.
The Global Next Generation Telecoms - Trans-sector Vision and Broadband Development report mentions that as markets develop FTTH networks (Fibre To The Home), the technology will become the leading force of economical and social change. These changes will then be assimilated into the developing world via mobile broadband facilities. The report suggests that the FTTH should be used in a way that creates a potential economical and social synergy between various independent sectors. This will not be limited to the sectors this will extent to high speed internet access and for entertainment purposes.
The report details and outlines the key market trends based on broadband development and analysis of trans-sector initiatives. Japan is the world leader for the amount of FTTH subscribers and Korea was the first to receive well over 50% of households using FTTH. In terms of broadband network infrastructure, the European markets are lagging behind some of the more progressive markets such as Japan and South Korea. Virgin Media's and BT's investment towards improving broadband connectivity in the UK is likely to drive other competitors to improve their broadband speeds.
Author: Leanna Bovell, Analyst
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