Sky and Virgin Media Business have announced a deal that will improve services for millions of Sky broadband customers.
From today onwards, Virgin Media’s powerful cable network will be used as backhaul, providing extra capacity for the Sky network.
The main benefit this will have is that during peak times, when everyone gets home from work and starts firing up Sky Go, BBC iPlayer and Netflix, there will be more capacity to go around. This will help Sky meet the rising demand of its customer base, which has continued to grow.
Mohamed Hammady, director of Sky Network Services at BSkyB, said: “As we see traffic on our network grow significantly year-on-year, this agreement provides us with the capacity we need to keep innovating for customers and as such are committed to maintaining our high-capacity network.”
Tony Grace, managing director, Virgin Media Business added: “High capacity connectivity is vital in today’s digitally driven world. Whilst we’re concentrating on developing better services for the public in our consumer division, we also believe that our high capacity network is ideally placed to provide the underlying infrastructure that can help other providers with their backhaul capacity needs.”
Earlier this year, some Sky broadband customers suffered when services that normally kicked out 16Mbps crashed to sub-1Mbps speeds. Today’s deal could mean that any future slowdown is less likely, at least in the short term. If Sky continues to add more customers to its network, then it’ll need even more backhaul.
Virgin Media says that the core of the network will be in place by the end of 2013. The Virgin network will connect around a third of Sky’s unbundled local exchanges with Sky’s own wholly owned nationwide broadband network.
Image credit: danbri