VMO2 Soups Up Data Centre Fibre Routes In The North


The fixed wholesale arm of VMO2, Virgin Media Business Wholesale has hooked up the Equinix Manchester MA5 datacentre with new fibre routes, which is supposed to provide juicer connectivity to businesses in the North.

Equinix Manchester MA5 is the latest data centre in a list of 160 that VMO2 connects, and we’re told this site in particular is especially attractive to hyperscalers, connectivity resellers and enterprises requiring ultra-low-latency connections since it offers ‘premium colocation and long-term capacity’.

The new site is described as a ‘significant addition to what is considered the UK’s most important network ecosystem and interconnection hub outside of London.’

Using scalable hardware that can apparently accommodate bandwidths of up to 100Gbps, the new routes can support managed backhaul services such as 10Gbps National Ethernet, and 10Gbps and 100Gbps National High Capacity Services (NHCS).

As well as this new bit of fancy piping, VMO2 is also upgrading network capability at four other data centres in the UK including Equinix LD5, Equinix LD8, Telehouse North and Global Switch, for those on first name terms with their local data centres.

These new upgrades 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, claims the release.

“We’re excited to add this flagship site to our already extensive portfolio of data centre locations across the UK,” said Wholesale Fixed Director at Virgin Media O2 Business John Chester. “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(US$12.74million) upgrade programme gathers pace, and I’m looking forward to sharing further updates to our 10G and 100G capability, as the programme thunders on.”

Regional Vice President, UK at Equinix, Lorraine Wilkinson 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 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in interconnection bandwidth is expected by 2025, driven by network, content and media, and financial services demand.”

The network upgrades are part of the firm’s ongoing programme to transform its 10Gbps and higher portfolio, with planned expansion into more core hub sites later in 2024.

It’s in the weeds stuff, but its routes like these and the data centres they connect that make the world go round when it comes to connectivity. The main takeaway seems to be that businesses in Manchester and the North in general are supposed to have more access to high capacity infrastructure as a result – which is nice.

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