Mon. Apr 12th, 2021

Virgin Media, the telecoms giant plotting a $38 billion merger with O2, today said it was switching 2.2 million London homes onto gigabit broadband speeds as it reported flat profits.

The company is also switching over hundreds of thousands in Ireland, making the move what it said was the biggest such switchover in the UK, bringing total gigabit connectivity across 45% of its network, or 6.8 million homes.

London has long suffered from poor broadband speeds despite being the engine room of the UK economy.

Across the UK, Virgin Media will now be beating BT on gigabit coverage. The former monopoly has around 3.5 million with gigabit speeds.

Virgin Media is owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media group, based out of Denver, Colorado.

Today it said its planned O2 venture in the UK was “on track” and said it was “successfully navigating” the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We expect to emerge a stronger, more agile business,” it said.

 Measures have included a price freeze for customers.

Third quarter revenues were up nearly 1% at £1.29 billion with underlying profits broadly flat after stripping out one off factors, at £514.5 million.

Last week it emerged that Brexit could see the monopoly implications of the Virgin-O2 deal decided by UK regulators, rather than European Union ones.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said a decision would be taken soon on the matter.

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