Virgin Media switches on gigabit speeds for 2.2 million London homes as profits flatten ahead of O2 merger

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irgin Media, the telecoms giant plotting a $38 billion merger with O2, today said it was switching 2.2 million London homes onto gigabit broadband speeds as it reported flat profits.

The company is also switching over hundreds of thousands in Ireland, making the move what it said was the biggest such switchover in the UK, bringing total gigabit connectivity across 45% of its network, or 6.8 million homes.

London has long suffered from poor broadband speeds despite being the engine room of the UK economy.

Across the UK, Virgin Media will now be beating BT on gigabit coverage. The former monopoly has around 3.5 million with gigabit speeds.

Virgin Media is owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media group, based out of Denver, Colorado.

Today it said its planned O2 venture in the UK was “on track” and said it was “successfully navigating” the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We expect to

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A tale of two markets as Toronto home sales set record but condo prices flatten

Toronto’s real estate market fractured in October as buyers favoured suburban neighbourhoods and detached homes while sellers wanted out of downtown condos.

There is a supply-demand disconnect in the real estate market in Toronto, says Freddy Mak, co-founder Ferrow Real Estate Inc. Condos are in flush supply — but the demand is for detached housing.

“People want suburbia. They want that detached single home — or even townhome, semi-detached,“ said Mak. ”And that inventory is very, very limited.“

These diverging markets — one where buyers bid up prices for spacious homes at a record-setting sales pace, and another where buyers have their choice of downtown condos — shone through in a Wednesday report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

The average selling price for homes across the Greater Toronto Area was $968,318 in October, 13.7 per cent higher than last October’s average of $851,877, the board said. But price-wise,

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