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Is the broadband market now saturated?

Today saw the announcement of increased losses for the first quarter of 2009 from media giant Virgin Media. The company operates in the cable TV, broadband and telephone markets with the broadband operation leading the way over the last few years. Interestingly, there appears to have been a reduction in new customer numbers in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008. Whether this is because of the UK recession is open to debate what many now believe the UK broadband sector is oversaturated and competition is rife.

As the UK government looks to roll out a nationwide broadband network, including many of the far-flung rural areas of the UK, it would appear that consumers could be the main benefactors of increased competition. Broadband package prices are at historically low levels while technology continues to improve and broadband speeds across the UK have picked up substantially. Many people believe that the number of broadband service providers in the UK will fall dramatically over the next few years with more and more investment required for new technology and new services. Indeed only yesterday we saw news of a possible merger of T-Mobile and Orange which would create one of the U.K.'s leading mobile phone and broadband companies.

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