Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, millions of people across the UK have been relying on our next-generation broadband services to run their businesses or work from home, educate their children remotely and stay connected to families, friends and communities.
We are witnessing shifts in network usage never before imagined, and as a result we have been monitoring the performance of our networks every minute to ensure our customers, as well as key services such as hospitals, medical centres, care facilities and supermarkets, stay connected.
The first nationwide lockdown in March caused a dramatic impact on how Virgin Media customers used their broadband services. Despite increased demand, the network has stayed resilient with ample capacity. As lockdown restrictions have been eased and re-introduced several times, 2020 became a record breaking year for data usage.
Our ultrafast networks have more than met their “new normal” of usage demands since the crisis began. As we continue to upgrade and expand our network across the UK to provide millions of homes with access to gigabit connections, we’ve added extra capacity in anticipation of our customers’ increased bandwidth needs.
Our networks have always been designed to cope with surges in demand – we’re used to dealing with this every single day during the evening busy period when our customers use their services more intensively. But investments in our core network and smart management services mean we’ve been able to keep our customers connected despite the dramatic shift in consumption patterns that COVID-19 has created. Even though there’s been a big increase in demand and traffic, it’s all within our network’s capability – and there’s still additional headroom if needed.
Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said:
“Despite a surge in demand as people have relied on their broadband more than ever, our network proved itself reliable and resilient and helped keep people connected to loved ones, work and entertainment.”
“This is a new dawn for broadband usage; the way people use their connectivity has irrevocably changed and we expect Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on patterns of data consumption.”
Keeping customers connected
As well as providing ultra-fast, reliable broadband during this time, Virgin Media has also been keeping customers entertained and connected to loved ones during the lockdowns by offering a range of free data and services.
Currently they are making a variety of pay TV channels and on-demand programming such as Discovery Science and Sky History, available for customers at no extra cost, and are also providing free mobile data to ensure families facing financial difficulties can get online so their children can take part in remote-learning. Full details of the offers and initiatives can be found here.
Investment in infrastructure
Since 2013, Liberty Global has been investing in building the next generation broadband network in the UK. We are the speed leader at scale in our markets, but more importantly, we go beyond speed to provide seamless, reliable, secure connections within the homes and businesses we serve.