Out Of Time

With impeccable timing Virgin Media has got it all wrong again as they launch a 50Mbps home broadband service this week.

In itself, you'd imagine that I'd welcome this. Indeed, it's long overdue on our bandwidth poor islands.

However, the problem is the price. At £50 ($75) per month it's breathtakingly expensive at a time when many people must be looking at their utility bills and thinking of downgrading their broadband account.

At least Virgin Media is paying down some of its mountainous debts and has deferred payment on a larger tranche earlier this autumn, but it still lacks the marketing punch it needs to make people realise what a superior service it provides and time is running out before Sky deploy their broadband services over IP.

So, we finish the year with much of the broadcast media in the UK a basket case heading into an even tougher year ahead. The stark exceptions are Sky and the BBC, whose unique circumstances will inure them to the downturn we're in.