Virgin guarantees network robustness as it creates 500 contact centre jobs | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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With its infrastructure under more pressure than ever due to the millions more using its network at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Virgin Media has taken a number of steps to assure users of the fundamental strength of its network and beefed up its support operations.
VirginMedia network 25March2020
In offering assurance as to the reliability, the UK cable network provider said that an intrinsic part of its basic job of keeping customers connected was to forecast demand. It noted that normally its busiest times have been in the evening when people return from work and stream video content and that it had designed its network to cope with periods of very high demand, including traffic spikes during exceptional events.

Yet it revealed that almost overnight after the UK government instructed people to work from home, millions of home customers began teleworking, accessing and sharing files on corporate networks, joining video conferences or accessing online entertainment during periods of self-isolation. Moreover, the extra usage was generating new patterns in data usage across the network.

The cableco said that traffic across its network is starting to build earlier than usual – starting at about 8 am – and remained higher than usual for both downstream and upstream traffic during the day. Downstream traffic was found to have increased around 50% during daytime hours but total demand was still significantly below levels the operator experienced in the evening peak for which the network is built to withstand and said the provider was right now ‘comfortably accommodating’ daytime increase. Upstream traffic has to date increased by up to 95% during daytime hours. Virgin assured that its network had ample capacity to handle this increased demand.

The bottom line when it came to technology, was that despite increased data use on the network, the Coronavirus pandemic had still not pushed up demand to the levels seen during recent computer game releases or when multiple Premier League games were streamed simultaneously such as when Amazon offered all matches over two matchdays in December 2019.

To support operations in the new business environment where it was receiving very high customer call volumes, Virgin announced that it was creating more than 500 new customer contact centre jobs in the UK to help keep customers connected. New jobs were being created at locations across the UK – namely Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Teesside - on both a permanent and fixed-term basis.