Never Trust a Virgin

If you’re from the UK, you’ve probably seen the Virgin Media ads telling you that they, unlike all other broadband providers, send their information through fibre optics.

As Rich of do you think that’s just bollocks? does on a weekly basis, I have the urge to tell you

It’s not true! It’s a lie! They are lying to you!

They use copper wire like everyone else! A part of the network is fibre optic (hence why they cannot be sued for false advertising), but it’s the part that is used by every other broadband network out there.

Of course, you would have to wonder how this special fibre optic network would have sprung up without months of digging up every street in the country. BT are, apparently, working on installing a fibre optic network, which will cost over a billion pounds to put in place.

1 Comment

Filed under comment, Technology

One response to “Never Trust a Virgin

  1. This is my industry. Virgin are not strictly lying. They’re just using Marketing: choosing weasel-words to create a perceived differentiator to a public that’s already confused by the technology and options.

    It’s true that both their cable network and phone companies’ backhaul transmission is all done optically these days. On the local loop to your home there’s very little use of optical; but Virgin (and other cable companies’) use of coax copper cable to the home can often provide better speeds than the twisted-pair copper that phone lines (and therefore DSL) use. On average, then, an optical-and-coax network is probably going to provide faster speeds than an optical-and-twisted-pair one, but it’s certainly not true everywhere.

    So they might arguably be able to make their “fastest broadband” claim, and they can rightfully say it is mostly fibre-optic. But it certainly does seem like they’re trying to make a consumer think they’re all optic, and the rest aren’t.

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