Virgin Media

Virgin Media Business Wholesale connects MA5 datacentre with new fibre

Virgin Media Business Wholesale marks next phase of ongoing high bandwidth upgrade programme, setting out to deliver faster and more accurate provisioning at strategic sites throughout the UK

Enabling the flagship site to offer premium colocation and long-term capacity for wholesale partners and the broader connectivity market, Virgin Media Business Wholesale, the fixed wholesale connectivity arm of Virgin Media O2 Business (VMO2 Business), has launched diverse fibre routes and high bandwidth services into the Manchester Equinix MA5 site.  

Equinix MA5 is the latest in over 160 datacentres that Virgin Media Business Wholesale’s national network connects, and is claimed by the provider as a significant addition to “the UK’s most important network ecosystem and interconnection hub outside of London”.

With hardware that can accommodate bandwidths up to 100Gbps, the new routes can support many managed backhaul services, including 10Gbps National Ethernet, 10Gbps and 100Gbps National High Capacity Services (NHCS), which is in the process of being upgraded. The first part of this was the launch of a new NHCS core network that provided simpler provisioning for high bandwidth, ultra-low latency connectivity with no distance limitations.

VMO2 Business believes that the development will enable more fast-growth businesses, especially those based in Manchester and the North of England, to take advantage of high-capacity infrastructure. It also regards Equinix Manchester MA5 as especially attractive to hyperscalers, connectivity resellers and enterprises requiring ultra-low-latency connections, since it offers premium colocation and long-term capacity.

Beyond the Equinix MA5 location, Virgin Media Business Wholesale is 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 complete diversity and provide a cost-effective way for organisations to build their own networks at scale. By pre-provisioning capability at these sites, partners can bring connections online much more quickly.  

The upgrades form part of Virgin Media Business Wholesale’s ongoing multimillion-pound investment programme to transform its 10Gbps and higher portfolio, which is designed to offer faster connections through greater automation and reduced delivery times. Expansion into more core hub sites is planned for later in 2024 as part of a full nationwide availability programme.  

Commenting on the addition to its portfolio, Virgin Media O2 Business wholesale fixed director John Chester 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, I’m looking forward to sharing further updates to our 10G and 100G capability.”

Equinix regional vice-president UK Lorraine Wilkinson added: “Virgin Media Business Wholesale’s launch of new fibre routes at Equinix’s MA5 datacentre reflects the increasing demand for digital services and the need for network service providers [NSPs] to keep up with the accelerated pace of innovation.

“Leveraging Equinix’s technologies, NSPs can deliver high-quality, profitable services. This further investment in Manchester will help the UK’s position as a strategic digital business hub, where a 43% compound annual growth rate in interconnection bandwidth is expected by 2025, driven by network, content and media, and financial services demand.”

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