Virgin Media Business Wholesale Connects New Fibre Routes via Manchester MA5 Datacentre

The wholesale division of Virgin Media O2 Business (VMO2), which supplies UK broadband ISPs and network operators with connectivity services, has today launched new diverse fibre routes and high bandwidth services into the Equinix flagship datacentre site, Manchester MA5.

Equinix MA5, which offers premium colocation and long-term capacity for network operators outside of London (i.e. those with a focus on serving Manchester and the North of England), is the latest in a long list of over 160 data centres where Virgin’s national network now connects.

With scalable hardware that can accommodate very high bandwidths of up to 100Gbps, the new fibre routes can support many managed backhaul services, including 10Gbps National Ethernet, 10Gbps and 100Gbps National High Capacity Services (NHCS). This builds on Virgin’s planned upgrade to its NHCS offering, which started with the launch of a new NHCS core network that “provided simpler provisioning for high bandwidth, ultra-low latency connectivity with no distance limitations.”

Beyond this location, Virgin is also upgrading network capability at four other data centres in the UK including: Equinix LD5, Equinix LD8, Telehouse North and Global Switch, which are now live. These new upgrades all offer extra diversity and provide a cost-effective way for organisations to build their own networks at scale and bring them online much more quickly.

John Chester, Wholesale Fixed Director at VMO2 Business, said:

“We’re excited to add this flagship site to our already extensive portfolio of data centre locations across the UK. It sets us up to provide our wholesale partners with more efficient and cost-effective network solutions, and further increases the reach and diversity of our network across the region. As our £10m upgrade programme gathers pace, and I’m looking forward to sharing further updates to our 10G and 100G capability, as the programme thunders on.”

Lorraine Wilkinson, Regional Vice President, UK at Equinix, added:

“This further investment in Manchester will help the UK’s position as a strategic digital business hub, where a 43% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in interconnection bandwidth is expected by 2025, driven by network, content and media, and financial services demand.”

Speaking of VMO2 Business’ multi-million-pound network upgrade programme, the operator is currently planning further expansions into more core hub sites later in 2024, which they hope will ultimately “deliver full nationwide availability.”

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