Virgin to launch dealer broadband


Virgin Media is planning a major roll out of its fibre optic broadband offering to the dealer channel this year.

Virgin Media sales director Rob Shardlow (pictured left) said consumer offers will be attractive for customers and sales commissions will be good enough for dealers to subsidise laptops for customers.

"We are looking at opportunities for the dealer channel to sell our cable broadband services. Dealers cannot have failed to notice what Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U are doing on the high street," said Shardlow.

"We can offer something genuinely different and better. Ours is a market-leading proposition. No one can get close.

"To date, we have had limited exposure in the dealer channel because we have not had a genuine contract proposition in the market. Now we have something the dealer channel will be able to get behind."

Virgin Media is expected to launch in the dealer channel by the end of the year, but Shardlow refused to put a date on it.

Virgin Media head of sales Ian Driver (pictured right) is evaluating distribution partners for its indirect sales drive. Virgin Mobile currently works with High Symons, Fone Logistics, Dextra, 20:20 and Data Select for prepay sales.

Driver said: "If a customer takes a 20Mbps cable service, the dealer has the opportunity to convince them they’ll need decent hardware to do it justice; that’s not going to be the entry level laptop. 

"The dealer may offer a free laptop to get people in, but he then has the opportunity to up-sell. We will give an agreed commission to the independent channel – it’s up to the dealer to decide how to invest it.

"This as a massive opportunity for the dealer; the opportunity to deliver a truly converged service irrespective of whether it’s wired or wireless. Once a dealer has sold pay TV, broadband, fixed-line and a mobile, he can sell a laptop, connection cables and accessories too."