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BT, Sky, TalkTalk and EE in the frame for Virgin Media’s non-cable broadband customers

Virgin Media could be waving its National Broadband customers goodbye if it sells its non-cable broadband business on. 

The National Broadband product is an ADSL-based service made available in areas where Virgin’s cable network doesn’t reach. 

Virgin Media stopped selling the product in October 2013, but continues to serve the remaining 130,000 customers who still use it. 

How big? This big! Richard Branson ponders the size of a National Broadband sale

According to reports in the Financial Times, Virgin Media is considering selling it off, which would put BT, Sky, TalkTalk and EE in the frame as bidders. 

BT and Sky, the two biggest UK ISPs by subscriber size, could snap up Virgin Media’s customers to extend their lead over the market or TalkTalk or EE could use them to get a leg up. 

If TalkTalk were to buy Virgin’s National Broadband customers that could see its subscriber base jump to 4.2 million, inching just behind Virgin Media’s current 4.5 million base. 

If a sale were to take place, it’s likley that some National Broadband customers would take their money elsewhere. After Sky acquired O2 and Be Broadband, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 customers are thought to have left Sky. 

While Virgin Media spokespeople have declined to comment, Financial Times reports that information packs have been sent out to prospective buyers. 

National Broadband is a legacy product from a time when Virgin Media sold digital TV, mobile, home phone and broadband services (via BT’s Openreach network) to customers outside of its cable network. 

Virgin Media is now concentrating on developing and expanding its cable broadband network, which is available to over 12.5 million UK homes.

Earlier this year Virgin Media launched a new up to 152Mbps service and will be steadily upgrading customers broadband speeds throughout 2014. Virgin Media also recently acquired Smallword Fibre, an ISP whose network coverered western Scotland and north west England, serving over 40,000 homes.  

Image: Virgin Media

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