Virgin Media to open up cable network?

Are Virgin Media cables something rivals would use?
Are Virgin Media cables something rivals would use?

A US investment bank analyst has suggested that Virgin Media could open its cable network to rivals, in a bid to capitalise on the next-gen broadband infrastructure.

Speaking to the Guardian, the unnamed analyst pointed out that: "Letting rivals use its wires for a fee makes commercial sense. And it could also keep the regulator off the company's back."

Considering strategic options

Currently, Virgin Media has spent around £13 billion in bringing high-speed internet to the UK, dwarfing the likes of BT who announced recently it is to put £1.5 billion into a fibre optic network of its own.

While the idea that rivals could use Virgin's cable network is flattering, a spokesperson for the company told TechRadar that there was nothing on the horizon to suggest that this could happen.

"In the context of the government's Digital Britain initiative and Ofcom's recent review of next-generation access, we have considered a range of strategic options but currently remain focused on delivering market-leading retail services," they explained.

ITV on demand

In other Virgin Media news, the company is celebrating its VoD success, by announcing that its ITV on demand service garnered four million views in March.

The service as a whole posted 58 million views in March, up 2 million from December 2008.

Speaking about the news, Katharine Burns Rivington, Executive Director of Content Acquisition at Virgin Media said: "Our customers are choosing their own TV schedules and shifting essential viewing to the time that suits them best.

"On demand is changing the way we watch TV and the success of ITV Player continues to drive the uptake of on demand viewing across our platform."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.