Cable operator Virgin Media (Liberty Global) has finally given up on its copper-based Virgin National Broadband (Virgin.net / ADSL2+) platform, which has seen its subscriber base decline for the best part of two years and recently lost another -12,300 during Q2-2013 to reach a total customer base of 168,600.
The BT and Vodafone (Cable & Wireless) based unbundled (LLU) platform, which was offered to those outside of Virgin’s cable network coverage, was never especially strong and, despite a brief resurgence during 2009 (after its packages were refreshed) and a peak of 275,900 customers in early 2011, it soon fell back into decline to become the son that few wanted to admit even existed.
Mark Wilkin, VirginMedia Support, said:
“From the 1st of October we’re no longer selling National Broadband to new or existing customers who move to an area outside our cable network. As a company, we’ve decided to focus on developing services on our next generation cable network.”
Over the years we had heard rumours of alleged plans to deploy an FTTC product via the Virgin National platform but no concrete confirmation ever surfaced and the products continued decline did little to encourage matters. Apparently Virgin Media will continue to provide “services and support for all of our existing National customers” but anybody else will be redirected to find an alternative ISP.
Unfortunately this is bad news for existing Virgin National customers. History shows that once an old platform has been cast aside then ISPs tend to forget about their remaining subscribers. Yes the support and service might continue to function but it’s less likely to remain competitive and thus the remaining subscribers will almost certainly continue to decline.
Here’s another statement from Virgin Media.
Gareth Mead, A Virgin Media spokesperson, told ISPreview.co.uk:
“As the fastest broadband company for the majority of the UK, Virgin Media customers expect incredible speeds. Unfortunately the ADSL technology, which is still used by three quarters of British consumers and supports our National service, cannot provide comparable connectivity to our own cable network. We will continue to serve our existing National customers but we’ve chosen to stop selling it to new customers.”