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Virgin Media O2 UK to Offer Services via OFNL’s Full Fibre Ducts

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 (9:07 am) - Score 7,776
gtc engineer and van

A new partnership was recently signed that will enable ISP Virgin Media (VMO2), via a dual lay network (i.e. separate fibre cables laid in a single duct), to deliver its ultrafast broadband, TV, and phone services to new build homes on sites developed through the Open Fibre Networks Limited (OFNL / GTC / BUUK) duct infrastructure.

At present OFNL’s open access Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network, which also supplies Sky’s TV services via their fibre infrastructure, currently covers over 50,000 premises across the UK. Consumers typically sign-up to this via any one of several supporting ISPs (e.g. Direct Save Telecom, Seethelight and Pure Broadband etc.).

However, in a development that we somehow missed from mid-March (it was probably a busy news day), VMO2 has signed a new partnership with GTC and Power On that will enable them to run their own optical fibre cables through the same duct as first deployed by OFNL (each network will use its own fibres).

The change is likely to make GTC’s solution much more attractive to house builders, not least because it means greater choice for consumers – at more than just the retail ISP level – and enables developers to promote that extra choice to potential buyers. On the flip side, neither VMO2 nor the property developer then needs to worry about paying more to have additional ducts installed to get Virgin’s service.

Nicola Hindle, Chief Operating Officer of GTC, said:

“GTC is delighted to have agreed this partnership with Virgin Media O2. This ensures customers on our fibre networks, who already enjoy ultrafast broadband services as standard, will now also be able to choose from another of the UK’s leading providers of TV and broadband services. The great news for housebuilders is that Virgin Media O2 will be available via our fibre network without the cost or hassle of installing any additional duct or chamber infrastructure on their sites. A true win-win situation for housebuilder and homeowner alike.”

The downside is that this change only appears to impact new contracts that were signed with GTC from November 2021, while also being subject to Virgin Media’s availability in the same area. In other words, it doesn’t sound as if many existing OFNL deployments – from before that date – will benefit, thus the wider impact is currently likely to be quite limited.

GTC added that they’ve made “significant investments to ensure all its fibre infrastructure is gigabit capable today,” although it should be said that we’ve yet to see any of their own retail ISPs launch a gigabit speed package – most still seem to top out at 360Mbps. But we have previously seen indications that this may change by the end of 2022.

Once again, sorry for being uncharacteristically late with this story, and credits to Thomas – one of our readers – for highlighting it.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Mark Scott says:

    What a name!

    1. John Nolan says:

      Don’t start me off – laying separate ducts for alternative providers is the road to madness.
      See https://bit.ly/3nlXZAc

  2. John says:

    I can imagine VMO2 offering a 1Gbps down and 50Mbps up services tied to load of shit TV channels while OFNL will be offering symmetric 1Gbps cheaper without load of shit linear TV channels.

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