Virgin Media plots Wi-Fi network

Virgin Media is planning to create a massive Wi-Fi network to match that of chief rival BT.

Virgin Media plots Wi-Fi network

The company aims to follow the lead of US cable firm Cablevision, which has created thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots on the back of its network in New York. Virgin, which has around 50% of the population covered by its cable network, plans to do something similar over here.

It takes the sheer power of the cable broadband network and puts it where people need it

“We have been inspired by what Cablevision has been able to do in New York and are actively exploring the possibility of creating a similar network here,” Kevin Baughan, Virgin’s director of advanced technology told The Daily Telegraph. “It takes the sheer power of the cable broadband network and puts it where people need it.”

Virgin will deploy routers alongside its street cabinets to create the Wi-Fi network, which will likely be free of charge for Virgin customers and also available to the public on a pay-as-you-go basis. However, the speeds are unlikely to hit the heights of Virgin’s domestic service, with Wi-Fi connections topping out at 5Mbits/sec, according to the newspaper, which is only a tenth of the cable network’s current maximum download speed.

Virgin would have its work cut out to match the breadth of coverage of BT’s Openzone Wi-Fi network. It recently claimed to have added its two millionth hotspot in the UK, including the BT FON community hotspots operated by BT’s customers.

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