Virgin Media outlines delivery of cable TV over Fujitsu fibre

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EXCLUSIVE: UK cable operator Virgin Media has outlined to IPTV News its vision for the delivery of its cable services over a fibre-based broadband network proposed recently by Japanese firm Fujitsu.

The cable operator is closely involved with Fujitsu's plans to create a future-proofed new fibre broadband network in rural parts of the UK. Fujitsu is proposing to invest GB£2bn (US$3.2bn) in a new predominantly Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network for up to 5mn homes across the UK - but only if it is granted "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access" to incumbent telco BT's ducts and poles.

Virgin Media plans to employ Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) technology to replicate its existing services on the new network, including cable TV, its new TiVo offering and broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The cable operator claims that this approach would enable it to allocate dedicated spectrum for linear TV, video-on-demand, interactive services etc. Fujitsu would of course also offer wholesale access to its new fibre network to other ISPs.

Virgin Media is already halfway through its own programme of cable expansion, having added 200,000 homes to its network last year, and is on track to add the same number again this year. The cable operator reports that it has also successfully trialled the delivery of cable services over telegraph poles in the villages of Woolhampton in Berkshire and Crumlin in South Wales.

For its part, BT is planning to use funds from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project, created within the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport as a delivery vehicle for the Government’s policies on broadband.

BT is already on target to pass five million premises with fibre-based broadband by the end of this month (June 2011), and expects to pass ten million premises in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015, using a mixture of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology
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