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Virgin Media slides fat 10Gbps pipes into Murdoch's BSkyB

I wanna be your backhaul man

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The business end of Virgin Media has revealed more details about a £49m deal to beef up BSkyB's broadband network.

Virgin Media announced last month - in what is likely to be its final quarterly report to the City before being acquired by US cable giant Liberty Global - that it had bagged "major backhaul contract wins" from BSkyB, Telefonica and another unnamed mobile network operator.

At the time, financial terms were kept secret. But today, VM was excited to reveal its five-year contract with BSkyB, which is 39 per cent-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - an old foe of Liberty Global's boss John Malone.

The agreement will widen some of the A-roads on Sky's internal network, or boost fibre-optic backhaul capacity to put it technically. This will allow it to shift 10Gbps of internet traffic from its network backbone to the telephone exchanges used by its broadband customers.

The 10-times increase on the current 1Gbps interconnectivity could, at least initially, ease any network slowdowns experienced by Sky subscribers.

The eight-figure deal helped bolster Virgin Media's first quarter results in April, the company said.

"Virgin Media Business’ network will connect around a third of Sky’s unbundled local exchanges with Sky’s own wholly owned nationwide broadband network," it added.

The network core upgrade is expected to be in place by the end of this year. ®

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