Virgin Media name not for business

As the NTL and Telewest brand names prepare to be consigned to the scrapheap of cable history for consumers, to be replaced by the new Virgin Media brand and quadruple service offering, it has emerged that business users will not be migrated to the new operation.

Instead, business users will continue to be served by an unchanged ntl:Telewest business division, at least for the moment.

The rebrand, which comes after Virgin's November takeover of ntl:Telewest's internet services, will bring the massive group's consumer internet, telephone, television and mobile services under one name. But unlike the consumer side, ntl:Telewest Business will not be folded into the new Virgin Media group.

"When it comes to the rebranding, we did consider whether we should rebrand to Virgin," said Andrew McGrath, director of marketing at ntl: Telewest Business. "Virgin is arguably the most powerful brand in the consumer marketplace, but it's not known for business to business."

The creation of Virgin Media marks the consumer division's move to offering quadruple play services, selling telephone, internet, television and mobile in one package.

The business side will get no such package - yet. An ntl:Telewest Business spokesperson said that while some smaller firms could benefit from a bundled package, medium to large corporations have more complex requirements. She added that a voice line and cable modem package for small and medium firms called Business Essentials is already on offer, with mobile services is set to be included later this year.

The business division has written to its customers, advising them of the changes to the consumer brand and explaining the reasons for staying with the ntl: Telewest name.

"Customers know us well as ntl: Telewest, it's a comfortable name for them," said McGrath. "The name is respected in our target market so we'll continue using our built up brand equity."