I still need the reassurance of a familiar brand before it's a real story - Tony Maddox, CNN senior VP
WHAT MOBILE OPERATOR Virgin Media gives with one hand, it might seem to be taking away with the other.
The UK public has been treated to millions of pounds worth of advertising featuring Usain Bolt telling us that the internet service provider is doubling everyone's' broadband speeds. But far less marketing dosh has been spent telling us that the company is also raising everyone's prices.
The cynical among us might conclude that the price increases are to pay for the "free" broadband upgrade.
However, Virgin Media denies this.
A Virgin Media spokesperson told The INQUIRER that the broadband speed doubling programme is funded by an additional £110m investment of funds it made from flogging Vmtv to Sky in 2010. He said, "There is no charge associated with the upgrade and when customers have their broadband boosted they will not see an increase in their bill as a result of this. The annual price changes coming into effect in April are unconnected with this programme.
The spokesperson went on to say the price hike is part of an annual review of services. "We're making some changes to our cable pricing this April and over the past month we've been writing to those customers affected to explain what's happening."
Starting this week, the first areas covering 1.5 million cable homes will be upgraded to support double speeds. Initial locales include Newcastle, Ashford, Ipswich, Dundee, Belfast and Cambridge, with customers in other areas to be upgraded later. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ