Manchester flagship has faster fibre

Virgin Media Business Wholesale connects Equinix Manchester MA5 datacentre with new fibre routes and high bandwidth services.

Virgin Media Business Wholesale, the fixed wholesale connectivity arm of Virgin Media O2 Business, has launched diverse fibre routes and high bandwidth services into the Equinix flagship site, Manchester MA5.

The new site is a significant addition to what is considered the UK’s most important network ecosystem and interconnection hub outside of London. This development will enable more fast-growth businesses, especially those based in Manchester and the North, to take advantage of high-capacity infrastructure.

Equinix MA5 is the latest in an extensive list of over 160 data centres that Virgin Media Business Wholesale’s national network connects. Equinix Manchester MA5 is especially attractive to hyperscalers, connectivity resellers and enterprises requiring ultra-low-latency connections, since it offers premium colocation and long-term capacity.

With scalable hardware that can accommodate very high 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). This builds on the company’s planned upgrade to its NHCS offering. The first of which was the launch of a new NHCS core network that provided simpler provisioning for high bandwidth, ultra-low latency connectivity with no distance limitations.

Beyond this 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.

These network upgrades form part of Virgin Media Business Wholesale’s ongoing multi-million-pound investment programme to transform their 10Gbps and higher portfolio, which is delivering faster connections through greater automation and reduced delivery times. With planned expansion into more core hub sites later in 2024, the company will deliver full nationwide availability.

John Chester, Wholesale Fixed Director at Virgin Media O2 Business, 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, and I’m looking forward to sharing further updates to our 10G and 100G capability, as the programme thunders on.”

Lorraine Wilkinson, Regional Vice President, UK at Equinix, added: “Virgin Media Business Wholesale's launch of new fibre routes at Equinix’s MA5 data centre 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 (CAGR) in interconnection bandwidth is expected by 2025, driven by network, content and media, and financial services demand.”

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