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Virgin Media Business unveils flat-rate VPN service

Big Red VPN offers businesses unconstrained bandwidth for a flat rate

Virgin Media Business has launched a new network offering called Big Red VPN, which it claims gives business and public sector organisations as much bandwidth as they need at a fixed cost.

The company is offering three packages, providing "unconstrained" bandwidth of 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps respectively for a single, flat price. According to Virgin, this removes the need for in-life network upgrades, as staff increasingly work from different locations and with more data-hungry devices.

Virgin was not able to put a specific figure on each of the offerings as this depends on the network design, which varies from one customer to another. However, the company said it will work with each customer to develop a single price that suits their needs.

"We're helping CIOs move away from playing a game of catch-up, to enabling their organisations to plan for growth and innovation - without the constant worry of whether they have the capacity to support it," said Virgin Media Business's managing director Mark Heraghty, commenting on the launch.

The news is supported by research from Virgin Media Business, which found that over a third of CIOs in the UK are forced to upgrade their Virtual Private Network (VPN) annually, at an average cost of £30,000 each time.

Meanwhile, more than half of the 500 CIOs surveyed said they are constantly frustrated by the amount of time they have to spend securing budget for IT improvements. The research was carried out by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Virgin Media Business.

The problem of providing enough network bandwidth is likely to grow in 2012, with volumes of business data increasing as budgets are squeezed. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are struggling to keep up with the consumerisation trend, which has meant that employees are using a wider range of data-hungry mobile devices to access the network.

A recent study by virtualisation specialist Citrix, carried out in conjunction with YouGov and Research Now, revealed that more than two-thirds of businesses have no controls in place to manage employees' devices, and 45 percent of IT managers are unaware of all the devices being used.

Despite these challenges, Google's CIO Ben Fried penned an ode to letting go in a September issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, stating that learning how to harness change by, for example, enabling remote working will distinguish the successful CIOs of the future.

Techworld's sister site Computerworld UK is hosting a live podcast on the subject of network bandwidth and data deluge at 3pm on Wednesday 7 December. Full details can be found here.


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