Cable broadband shines in Virgin Media Q2
50Mbit/s by the end of the year
Virgin Media's recent move to push broadband to the centre of its offering is paying off. The firm announced strong underlying profits today and said it expects its forthcoming 50Mbit/s network upgrade to further distinguish it as a premium/expensive ISP.
Some 19,500 net customers left the firm in the three months to 30 June, but cable broadband subscriptions were up 54,000 on the previous quarter. It now has 3,836,100 total cable and ADSL broadband customers.
Discounting depreciation, amortisation and a one-off charge related to the Virgin Mobile acquisition, underlying operating profit hit £333m, up six per cent and beating expectations. Total revenues actually slid slightly from £995 million a year ago to £990.5m, but VM said efficiency savings improved margins.
Overall churn fell to 1.3 per cent from 1.8 per cent from the same period a year ago, despite price increases and in line with VM's previously announced strategy of hanging on to big spending punters.
CEO Neil Berkett said: "The second half of this year will mark a major milestone as we roll out our unrivalled 50Mb broadband service. We believe this superfast service, combined with our leading video-on-demand product, will prove extremely attractive to existing and new customers."
He might have a point. The number of customers subscribing to the top tier broadband package was up 82 per cent on a year ago. More than 9 per cent of it broadband customers take the current to tier 20Mbit/s service.
Berkett also said that talks with Sky to deliver its basic channels package to cable TV subcribers, were ongoing but so far unsuccessful. Sky withdrew the channels during a public spat over pricing last year that hit VM subscriber numbers hard.
The full report is here (pdf) ®
"I regualy get speeds of over 1.5megabytes persecond out of my 20MBps connection. infact Its hard to find a server on the net that can keep up with the virgin connection Ive got allready."
I concur. any time i seem to be getting a slow connection a quick download from the apple site of apple software, i.e ituns and it will max out my 20Mb connection.
It's good to know the internet cant keep up sometimes.
Yep I'll go for that - blackworx at hotmail dot com. Our local box was vandalised and speeds have never been the same since it was supposedly repaired, despite VM's protestations to the contrary. Cheers.
Know your download
I get around 20Mb/s on my 20Mb VM connection. Which is pretty good for TCP/IP!
As I type this I got 21,610,800 bits/s or 20.6Mb/s.
If you get a lot less then you give them a phone and complain. Then you ask for it to be fixed or refunded. When you do that, they'll give you a rebate for every week it's not at the full speed.
I did this, (I was only getting ~8Mb) I got a new cable modem and they had to rewire the neighbourhood box due to water damage. So I guess my whole street benefited. I take no prisoners ;-)
The key is knowing what your current maximum download speed is.
I wrote a simple batch script that downloads a large file from their own servers and one from the BBC download site and this tells me my current bit/sec.
In theory the 8 hops from Vm should be the fastest. But I only get 2Mb from the
VM servers. But I get 20Mb from the BBC site over 11 hops.
Proof that VM really choke their servers.
If anyone wants it, I'll be happy to supply it freely. It uses Windows batch file and a copy of cURL (which is a free open source file).