Virgin are a massive company. With fingers in everything from home broadband to healthcare and beyond, there’s no shortage of areas in life where you’ll find the Virgin brand. Because of that scale, it can be hard to keep on top of all the Virgin news out there, although it’s fair to say that Virgin don’t do the best job at collating that information into one place.
As a result, we’ve decided to gather up all the biggest news stories from the last 30 days in one place. Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best, so let’s dig in to what December had to say about Virgin.
Christmas is a time for getting the family over and luxuriating in the ultra-fast broadband speeds that Virgin offers. Or, at least, it would be if it weren’t for the continued issues that Virgin Media customers have faced over the last few months.
Customers in certain areas of the country have been told that issues causing sluggish speeds during peak hours aren’t going to be fixed until the New Year.
Primarily affecting customers in South London, the issue has meant internet outages at certain times of the day when more customers join the network. As we approach Christmas day and more people get time off work, those outages are expected to get worse.
In a statement sent to the Daily Star, a Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue affecting some customers’ broadband services…and are working hard to resolve it as quickly as possible. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience experienced.”
Nevertheless, customers are choosing to contact Virgin Media at unprecedented rates within affected areas, and Virgin would do well to solve the issue sooner rather than later.
The battle for pay TV supremacy is heating up. With Sky Q dominating the 4K market and BT’s own 4K offering leaving Virgin in the dust, something had to be done to close the technology gap between the UK’s biggest TV suppliers and Virgin.
Now, we know how they intend to do it – with the TV V6 Box and TellyTablet.
TV V6 is the latest generation of Virgin’s TiVo technology and improves much of what people didn’t like about their last generation boxes. V6 is less than half the size of the outgoing box and supports 4K thanks to a vastly improved processing unit, which will also dramatically improve performance on the box. Specifically, Virgin are saying V6 is 10 times faster than the outgoing box.
Utilising that new power is a range of supported streaming services like Netflix, iPlayer, Vevo and more. You’ll also enjoy a 1TB hard drive and the ability to sync your recordings to tablets, for watching on the go. Additionally, the V6 features 6 tuners, which allow you to record 6 programmes or films simultaneously.
The V6 has a few other neat features, like intelligent search and SeriesLink+ which make finding episodes easier, and a new remote control which doesn’t use IR, so you can use it from anywhere.
The box will cost £99.95 for new customers joining Virgin, but new and existing customers on the Full House or VIP bundles will be able to buy it for £49.95.
The stranger prospect is the TellyTablet – a huge 14” tablet which runs Android Marshmallow that has a built in stand. Virgin think it’ll be perfect for running apps and watching TV in your home or on the go, though time will tell how successful that is. It’s available now for £299 or as part of a Virgin Media bundle.
Virgin Media might already operate one of the biggest broadband networks in the UK, but that doesn’t mean they’re done in the market. According to a report in the Telegraph, Virgin are working on Project Prosecco, a new budget broadband option which would counteract the work being done by TalkTalk at the bottom end of the market.
The plans are thought to be at an early stage, but would represent an unprecedented move downmarket. Sources have said that Virgin Media would offer significantly lower internet speeds in order to protect the value of their ultrafast broadband options, and to prevent cannibalisation.
Those same sources say that Virgin Media are considering a 2017 launch date, although no final decisions have been made as to the plan.
Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive at Virgin Media, was asked about the possibility of a budget broadband launch and said: “There are a lot of people down in the more economic sector. But we think there is room for everyone in this market.”
Keep your eyes out for a cool glass of prosecco in 2017, then.