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UPDATE UK Cable Provider Virgin Media Gobbles Rival Smallworld Fibre

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 (12:28 pm) - Score 2,915
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National UK cable provider Virgin Media has acquired Lancashire-based rival Smallworld Fibre, which typically served homes in western Scotland and North West England, for an undisclosed amount and in the process added 40,000 new customers.

The move, which leaves Isle of Wight based operator Wight Cable as the UK’s last remaining independent cable (DOCSIS) provider, means that customers in areas including Irvine, Dreghorn, Troon and Kilmarnock as well as Carlisle, Lancaster and Morecambe will soon become part of Virgin Media’s similar network.

Paul Buttery, Virgin’s Chief Technology and Networks Officer, said:

Even better broadband can open up fantastic possibilities for people as well as support the economic growth of an area. Smallworld will help us bring Virgin Media’s advanced services to thousands of homes, businesses and organisations for the very first time. Their great network is a perfect fit for us as we continue to invest and look for the right opportunities to grow. We’re excited about what the region has to offer and what we can offer the region.”

David Durnford, MD and Owner of Smallworld Fibre, added:

Virgin Media has led the way in bringing superfast broadband and next generation TV to millions of UK homes and our customers will now be able to benefit from their significant ongoing investment and innovation. Smallworld is a great, local success story and, as the pace of change in the digital world continues to quicken, we’re delighted to be passing the baton onto such a great partner.”

Customers of Smallworld should not initially expect any huge changes in their existing service, although further details are expected to surface when Virgin Media begins writing to their new customers in the not too distant future. We hope to have more details shortly.

UPDATE 1:31pm

A spokesperson for Virgin Media has told ISPreview.co.uk that the two services, which are based off the same technology, will be “integrated over the course of the year” but for now it remains “business as usual for Smallworld’s customers“. Virgin says they’ll continue to deliver the existing service but will eventually start offering some of their own-branded solutions to existing subscribers, which suggests that the old brand might eventually vanish.

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