The wellbeing of our people is, as always, a top priority. As we continue to closely monitor the situation, and the guidance provided by Government and medical authorities, we have communicated health and safety advice to our employees and put in place necessary working arrangements as well as travel and site restrictions.

As a business, we have robust continuity and resilience plans in place that can be activated as required.

What measures have we taken to date?

  • Regular communication to employees reiterating public health guidance and updates.
  • We have established a dedicated hotline for anyone in the business who has a confirmed case of Coronavirus and fully adhere to Government guidance on individuals self-isolating if they have symptoms.
  • The majority of our workforce is able to workfrom home and have been asked to do so. For those who cannot work remotely, additional measures such as social distancing, have been put in place.
  • Internal non-critical business travel has been halted.
  • Ban on all international travel unless approved by an Executive Committee member.
  • Planned employee events have been cancelled.
  • Following PHE guidance on self-isolation for any employees returning from high-risk places such as Hubei province in China and Italy as well as those returning from countries such as Cambodia, Hong Kong and Japan as outline by Public Health England, who have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if symptoms are mild.
  • We’ve advised our employees that all meetings with external visitors should be carried out remotely (through a video conference or call) unless approved by a member of our Executive Committee.
  • Any external visitors to our sites will be required to sign a declaration confirming they are not showing symptoms of Coronavirus, do not have household members who have Coronavirus or are being tested and have not come into contact with anyone who is confirmed to have the virus. Visitors are also required to follow our hygiene guidelines.

Travel and meetings

We’ve advised our employees that all meetings with external visitors should be carried out remotely (through a video conference or call) unless approved by a member of our Executive Committee.

Contact centres

Continuity plans have been created and assessments to assess workforce impact. Changes will involve prioritising calls for service impacting incidents and also enabling our contact centre teams to work from home. Depending on the severity of the impact we do expect call answer times to be slightly longer and where necessary we will put messages on our IVR with alternative contact methods so we can continue to support our customers.

Delivery timelines, planning visits and onsite

Our approach is to prioritise essential work for organisations providing critical or key services to the nation during this period, and wherever possible minimising work that requires our engineers to enter customer premises.  We have categorised these projects/deliveries as follows:

  • Priority 1: where there is a direct impact to front-line services, such as NHS and Emergency Services, or critical network infrastructure, including but not limited to utilities providers, broadcasters and backhaul services.

  • Priority 2: where there is an impact to, or to provide support for flexible working and self-isolating key workers, for example organisations such as councils, education providers and utilities, as well as key retailers, transport and logistics.

As of today, we will prioritise Priority 1 and 2 orders, and will then work through Priority 3 and 4 orders, which may be subject to significant delays. 

  • Priority 3: supporting the ability to support working from home in all other organisations and businesses.

  • Priority 4: any other activity.

Where we are providing your service using Other Licensed Operators, please be aware that they may be operating with restrictions, and potentially applying similar/additional criteria. We will review each order of this type on a case-by-case basis and advise accordingly.

We will work closely with you to manage lead times and priorities for your organisation in line with Government guidelines.  As always, your account and service teams will keep you informed, so please discuss any special requirements with them.

Managing faults

We always keep a close eye on our network performance, proactively optimising performance, and implementing preventative measures wherever possible.   

Should you find a fault affecting your service, please do report it in the usual way and we’ll get on to it as quickly as possible.

Once again, we are prioritising critical national infrastructure faults in the first instance, but as it stands we’re maintaining our usual response times for all faults reported. Your Service Manager will of course keep you fully up-to-date on the progress of your fault once it’s logged.

External site visits; field-based install and fault teams

As outlined above, changes and prioritisation will be made to our engineer visits where required, and limiting activity to only that deemed necessary/critical.

We have implemented new measures to help us to ensure the safety of our people and indeed our customers, when we are carrying out important work on-site. 

These include:

  • Daily reviews with all team members to assess health and risk factors, capacity, prioritisation and travel plans.
  • One day prior to a site visit, the customer will be required to complete a declaration form confirming they, or the team onsite, are not showing symptoms of Coronavirus, do not have household members who have Coronavirus or are being tested, and have not come into contact with anyone who is confirmed to have the virus, has been asked to self-isolate, or been to a coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days.
  • If a customer responds “yes” to these questions then the visit will be rescheduled accordingly.
  • In exceptional circumstances, where critical ‘threat-to-life’ services are deemed at risk, we will work with the healthcare professionals onsite to provide suitable protective clothing and follow necessary protocol.
  • On the day, the same assessment will be requested prior to work commencing.
  • All other customer meetings that are held by our Service and Account teams will be held over the phone or using virtual collaboration tools, in line with the recommendations regarding non-essential travel and social distancing.

Network assurance

Virgin Media is well prepared for our workforce and customers to work from home. A full impact assessment has been carried out with continuity plans put in place to deliver an effective and smart response for the ongoing management and operation of our network. This includes the cessation of non-essential work and the prioritisation of ‘blue light’ customers and those providing critical services.

Our network is built to withstand evening and weekend peaks including traffic spikes so any usage increase seen in the daytime will be catered for from our existing capacity. It’s there ready and waiting. Of course, we are continually investing in our network capacity so will make any necessary changes if they are required.  

In the event of a significant impact on our workforce we have planned for various scenarios. This includes the prioritisation of major faults and resolving any capacity-based issues over more day-to-day tasks such as quality improvement work.