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Virgin Radio Tunes in to AboveNet

Currently ranked as the world’s most listened to station on the Internet, Virgin Radio is one of the UK’s favourite commercial radio stations. With an increasing number of web listeners tuning in on a daily basis, the need to deliver fast, accurate business content to its servers quickly and securely is critical to Virgin Radio’s efficiency and ultimately its success.


As the upsurge in Internet usage continues to rise within the media and entertainment sectors, the demand for high capacity network solutions has increased exponentially. The ability to increase audience size as well as geographical reach makes the reliability of the Internet and fibre networks ever more important. Delivering content to their millions of web listeners is now a vital part of the stations’ day to day process and as such, transporting content between Virgin Radio’s Golden Square studio and its datacentre in the Docklands, where the content is stored on its web servers, is now a mission critical requirement.


AboveNet was selected to implement a solution (Metro-Express) offering Virgin Radio a host of qualities that would meet the current needs of the station, whilst providing a future proof network capable of supporting any increased demand to the business over coming years. With security, scalability and cost-effectiveness all key factors in Virgin Radio’s selection criteria, choosing AboveNet’s dedicated solution ensured that all of these requirements were met with the highest level of expertise and customer satisfaction.

Metro-Express, a fully managed optical wavelength service, today provides Virgin Radio with a complete door-to-door solution that is monitored and maintained by AboveNet’s highly qualified engineering team 24 hours a day. Owning one of London’s largest dedicated dark fibre networks allowed AboveNet to install Virgin Radio with its own, completely private, optical fibre circuit, ensuring Virgin Radio would gain the maximum benefits from their solution.

Installing a dedicated fibre solution also meant that Virgin Radio’s constant need for additional bandwidth was satisfied. With current DWDM technology enabling a pair of fibres to be lit to 320Gb, the station’s need for a scalable solution was more than met. Privacy and security were also a priority for Virgin Radio and as such were instantly addressed - AboveNet’s private networks are not accessible via any industry public network.

Finally, with budget limitations being a key factor for Virgin Radio, AboveNet’s solution proved an obvious choice. Unlike SDH, AboveNet’s dark fibre solution allows immediate bandwidth growth without having to install new circuits; this can offer huge savings for Virgin Radio moving forward.

Why AboveNet

By providing a service that is simple, yet meets all of Virgin Radio’s criteria, AboveNet was able to implement a solution capable of supporting all current and future business needs. As content within the entertainment sector becomes more critical, the loss of data can not only be disastrous, but in some cases catastrophic to a business and its reputation. AboveNet is working with a number of high bandwidth media companies to highlight data security and how best to transport their critical content between sites.


“AboveNet’s Metro-Express service offered a competitive, robust solution that not only met our immediate networking requirements but at the same time, offers a flexible, scalable platform which provides us with enough headroom and support for any future growth,” said David Jones, Head of Technology Services at Virgin Radio. ” Virgin Radio selected AboveNet for its competitive pricing, professionalism and clearly superior optical solution, which was all delivered with a fast turnaround.”

“By continuing to do what we do best, which is providing the highest quality fibre networks and solutions, we have seen a significant increase in customers specifically within the media, entertainment and broadcasting sectors,” said John Dowbiggin, Managing Director of AboveNet UK. “I am positive that with companies such as Virgin Radio on board, AboveNet can only aid and support the continued growth within this arena.”

About AboveNet, Inc.
AboveNet, Inc. provides high bandwidth connectivity solutions for business and carriers. Its private optical network delivers key network and IP services in and among 15 top U.S. metro markets and London. AboveNet's network is widely used in demanding markets such as financial services, media, health care, retail and government.

About Virgin Radio
Virgin Radio is the UK’s only commercial rock and pop music station. It can be heard on 105.8FM in London, on 1215AM nationwide, on any DAB Digital radio, via Sky Digital and the cable TV networks and via WorldSpace. Virgin Radio is the world’s most listened to station on the internet and can be heard at Virgin Radio is wholly owned by SMG plc.