The cable sector is generally organised around the operations of the UK’s only cable company Virgin Media.
Cable not only provides Digital TV but additional services such as high-speed broadband and telephone. Virgin Media’s HFC (Hybrid Fibre-Coax) network is mainly Fibre-Optic based with only the final link to the home being Coax & Copper. This network architecture can be upgraded to deliver FTTH (Fibre to the Home) services in the future.
In recent years Virgin Media has absorbed companies like the NTL:Telewest group. Currently about one third of UK households receive their television through cable but an even greater proportion receive broadband through cable. Many households also receive telephone services through cable.
Users can take advantage of ‘bundling’ offers (putting several services through one cable is often cheaper) and cabling provides a faster broadband service than is possible through the telephone network with ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line). Therefore, if cabling exists in the location of a new housing project it is usually worth trying to arrange access to it.
Virgin Media is very interested in connecting new housing projects to their cable network where it exists, and in most cases provide materials for the developer to install on-site. Virgin Media activate the connection to coincide with the build schedule then negotiate the installation of the services direct with the eventual property occupants/owners.