How wholesale partners can help UK PLC meet demand

By Dale Parkinson, Sales Director – Wholesale, Virgin Media Business

December 14th 2020


  • More than three quarters of businesses have struggled to adapt to Covid-19 due to legacy IT networks, according to new research from Virgin Media Business Wholesale 
  • Organisations want to adopt innovative technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), but they aren’t investing in the networking infrastructure needed to support them
  • Virgin Media Business Wholesale is making a multimillion-pound investment in its national 10Gbps network to support channel partners in helping UK plc to stabilise and recover from the pandemic
77% of large organisations have struggled to adapt to the pandemic due to legacy IT networks, according to new research from Virgin Media Business Wholesale. 48% are finding it challenging to support remote working, while the same proportion are struggling to meet customer demand. Yet businesses are reluctant to make upgrades to their networks, with less than a quarter (23%) seeing this as a top priority, and the perceived cost of making improvements (36%) is the main reason companies have failed to take action.
The new research of IT leaders in the UK was commissioned by Virgin Media Business Wholesale to find out more about the challenges organisations are facing, as well as their appetite for future technologies. It found the channel has a pivotal role to play in making
the case for flexible and agile networks that can help businesses recover from Covid-19 disruption.
To help them do this, Virgin Media Business Wholesale is making a multimillion-pound investment in its core network capabilities and widening access to its 10Gbps portfolio across the UK. This includes its National High Capacity Services (NHCS) which can help businesses transfer huge volumes of data at lightning-fast speeds, and in a secure way.

The company is also reducing pricing for its NHCS 10Gbps services by up to 38% and is making it easier for partners to access the technology through its Engage partner portal – a one-stop-shop for online account management. 

Through these advanced networking technologies, connectivity channel partners can not only help organisations meet current challenges but prepare them for newer technologies, too.


Over half (52%) of IT leaders are exploring how they can use IoT technology over the next 1-2 years to boost supply chain management and customer service. 48% are looking at how they would incorporate 5G into their businesses, as its benefits for employees and consumers become more widely known. But organisations aren’t setting themselves up to take advantage of these. Less than half (48%) say they’re currently upgrading their networks to future-proof their business so it can cope with the demands of these innovations on bandwidth and data. 

The study also showed that there is room for channel partners to get closer to their end-customers. 31% feel that their channel supplier doesn’t have the knowledge or expertise to guide them through challenges. And 27% say their partner doesn’t have the right technological solutions to help meet current demand.

"These findings show that legacy networks are holding UK plc back. Inadequate infrastructure is preventing businesses from meeting challenges around remote working and omnichannel customer demand, and holding them back from embracing newer, more innovative technologies."

"By adding more flexible and agile connectivity solutions to their product portfolio and getting closer to their end-customers, the IT channel can play a critical role in ensuring organisations benefit from the lightning-fast speeds, flexibility and agility provided by solutions like National High Capacity Services."

"At Virgin Media Business Wholesale, we want to help get the country back on its feet.  We’re investing millions in our core network capabilities and digital services so our 10Gbps portfolio will be available in many more locations and can support even more businesses. We’ve cut the price of our 10Gbps portfolio by up to 38% and improved our Engage portal to ensure channel partners receive a first-class experience."

"With our future-proof network, knowledge and expertise, we’re standing by to support our partners so they can play their part in helping businesses to rebound and recover from Covid-19.

The survey, conducted over one week in October 2020 by Censuswide, consulted 252 senior IT managers from UK organisations of at least 500 employees.


Virgin Media Business has also been speaking to C-Suite executives at large enterprise and public sector organisations across the UK to fully understand the challenges and needs fuelled by the crisis and their
priorities as they look to rebound from Covid-19. Its findings can be found here:

Virgin Media Business provides internet, data and telephone services to more than 50,000 UK businesses. It also partners with the public sector: with local councils and thousands of schools to improve connectivity in communities and support learning, and with the emergency services to enable them to perform their life-saving skills efficiently. Virgin Media has the largest gigabit-capable network in the UK which currently passes nearly 15 million UK premises. Through its Project Lightning programme, Virgin Media is continuing to expand its ultrafast network to more homes and businesses across the UK. More than 2 million premises have been added to Virgin Media’s gigabit capable network since the project began.


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