53 Facts About Virgin Media


Virgin Media is a British telecommunications company which provides telephone, television and internet services in the United Kingdom.

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Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network in the United Kingdom, although optical fibre does not reach customer premises, instead going to a nearby street cabinet to provide a fibre to the cabinet service.

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Virgin Media competes primarily in broadband with Sky Group, BT Group and TalkTalk, and in mobile with EE, Vodafone and Three.

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Virgin Media expanded during the 1990s and adopted the Telewest name in 1992 following the merger of its then-parent TCI and US West.

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NTL:Telewest's takeover of Virgin Mobile completed on 4 July 2006, creating the UK's first 'quadruple play' media company, offering television, internet, mobile phone and fixed-line telephone services.

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Channel agreement for Virgin Media to keep non-premium Sky channels ended on 1 March 2007.

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The companies failed to resolve their differences, and subsequently after midnight on 1 March 2007, Virgin Media replaced the Sky1, Sky2, Sky Travel, Sky Travel Extra, Sky Sports News and Sky News channel content with a standard message.

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Sky said the deal would cost only 3p per customer per day, but Virgin Media said that a minimum payment guarantee included in the contract meant that the actual amount due would exceed twice the payment.

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On 12 April 2007 Virgin Media filed a legal case in the High Court against BSkyB under the UK Competition Act 1998 and Article 82 of the EC Treaty.

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On 3 February 2014, Virgin Media acquired Smallworld Fibre, a cable provider based in North West England and Western Scotland, for an undisclosed fee.

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In November 2014, Virgin Media reached an agreement to sell its ADSL business to TalkTalk Group, allowing Virgin to focus on its cable broadband offering.

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On 20 July 2018, it was announced that Virgin Media would stop broadcasting all of the UKTV channels from 22 July 2018 over fees and an issue with Virgin's on-demand broadcasting rights.

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The companies were not able to agree terms to allow the ten channels and their +1 and HD offshoots to continue to be available on the platform and the channels stopped being available at just after midnight on 22 July 2018 with Virgin Media replacing the UKTV channels on their service with other networks.

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Virgin Media gradually restored all 10 UKTV channels with their +1 and HD Simulcast channels along with now added simulcast GOLD HD and the reinstalled UKTV Play app.

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In July 2009 and 2010, Virgin Media Broadband came first in an Ofcom broadband speed test in the UK.

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Virgin Media identified more than one million homes in parts of the UK that could benefit from deployment over telephone poles, without the need for government subsidy.

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Virgin Media confirmed plans to expand its broadband network in the UK by using the infrastructure owned by BT.

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Virgin Media upgraded existing customers, from 30Mb to 50Mb, 60Mb to 100Mb, and 120Mb to the new 152Mb service.

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In February 2015, Virgin Media announced its biggest investment in broadband infrastructure in over a decade.

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On 29 September 2015, Virgin Media announced its broadband packages would be rebranded as Vivid.

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On 29 June 2020, Virgin Media announced that customers on their "Ultimate Oomph" broadband, TV and phone package would receive a free speed boost from their M500 package to their new M600 package, replacing 516 Mbps download and 36 Mbps upload with 636 Mbps download and 41 Mbps upload.

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Virgin Media maintain on their consumer website that they do not throttle users' download or upload bandwidth.

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However, Virgin Media did originally employ a form of bandwidth throttling whereby customer bandwidth was reduced temporarily after a threshold was reached during peak periods.

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Virgin Media experimented with and revised all parameters involved in the throttling, such as threshold size, peak period definitions, throttling percentage and duration.

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In 2013, Virgin Media changed their traffic management policy to the detriment of their customers.

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Virgin Media's advertisements regarding their "unlimited" broadband services, and their controversial traffic management were investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority, after having previous advertisements banned.

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From 28 February 2014, Virgin Media announced that they were scrapping traffic management for downstream traffic on 30 Mbps or higher packages.

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Sometime after this Virgin Media changed their policy again due to further feedback from customers, and they now state on their website that no matter what broadband package users have taken, they will not be subject to any bandwidth throttling.

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In March 2012, Virgin Media won an exclusive contract to provide Wi-Fi access to London Underground platforms until 2017.

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Virgin Media announced mobile internet at 80 stations by July 2012 and a further 40 stations by the end of 2012.

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On 11 February 2010, ntl:Telewest Business was rebranded as Virgin Media Business, marking the end of the NTL and Telewest brand being used by the company.

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Virgin Media provides dedicated internet and telecommunications services to businesses.

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Virgin Media owns Virgin Mobile Telecoms Limited, a UK-based Mobile Virtual Network Operator with contracts to use EE's carrier network, with over four million subscribers.

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Virgin Media Phone offers landline telephone services; it ranks as the number two service behind the former UK state monopoly, BT Group.

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Virgin Media TV carries around 300 digital television and radio channels, including a mixture of subscription, premium subscription and pay-per-view channels.

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Virgin Media Television was the content subsidiary of Virgin Media, and operated a number of wholly owned channels including Bravo, LIVING, Trouble and Challenge.

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On 4 June 2010, Virgin Media announced that they had reached an agreement to sell Virgin Media Television to BSkyB, subject to regulatory approval.

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BSkyB and Virgin Media announced the completion of the acquisition on 13 July 2010, following Irish regulatory approval.

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Virgin Media1 was a part of the deal but was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin Media name was not licensed to Sky.

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Virgin Media owned Sit-up Ltd, a UK-based broadcaster of home shopping television channels, as a joint venture from its launch in 2000 and in full from May 2005.

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On 1 April 2009, Virgin Media confirmed it had sold Sit-up to Aurelius AG for an unspecified amount.

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Virgin Media Pioneers was an online community for British entrepreneurs, providing tips, advice and networking.

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Virgin Media launched in February 2007, with a public relations event and expensive advertising campaign covering major UK television channels, newspapers and billboards.

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Virgin Media sponsored the Channel 4 reality TV show Big Brother in its eighth series in 2007 and its Celebrity Hijack and ninth series in 2008.

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In 2012, Virgin Media launched a multimillion-pound ad campaign starring Usain Bolt and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson to promote Virgin's superfast broadband service.

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On 8 June 2016, Southampton F C announced that Virgin Media would become the club's shirt sponsor on a three-year deal.

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On 2 April 2008, The Daily Telegraph reported that Virgin Media would be beginning a trial to take action against subscribers who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from internet Peer-to-peer services.

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Virgin Media emphasised that it is seeking to measure the overall level of illegal file sharing, not to keep records on individual customers.

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On 3 May 2012, it was reported that Virgin Media had become the first ISP in the UK to implement a web filter to block access to The Pirate Bay, in compliance with a UK High Court order in April, although there continues to be a great number of mirrors, proxies, or VPNs, so this has proved unsuccessful.

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In early 2008, it was announced that the ISP arm of Virgin Media had entered into a contract with the former spyware company Phorm to intercept and analyse their users' click-stream data, and sell the anonymised aggregate information as part of Phorm's OIX advertising service.

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Reports on the Guardian website in May 2008 suggested Virgin Media may be further distancing themselves from the controversial system.

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In December 2008, Virgin Media was one of several ISPs in the UK to attempt to censor its users' access to the Wikipedia article about the 1976 album Virgin Killer by stadium rock band Scorpions.

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Virgin Media admitted that a member of their staff hadn't followed the correct security procedures, which resulted in the system's vulnerability.

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