Virgin Media starts FTTP roll-out in areas that received most votes in poll as part of £3bn network expansion
Virgin Media has named the first ten communities to be connected to its broadband network via fibre to the premise (FTTP) technology following a public vote.
The company is currently embarking on a £3 billion expansion programme that will see its footprint increase from 13 million premises to 17 million by the end of 2019, with 500,000 homes and businesses added this year alone.
The company has 4.8 million UK broadband customers and 3 million mobile subscribers.
Virgin Media expansion
The majority of properties passed will be connected to the wider network using coaxial cables, which can currently deliver 200Mbps to homes and 300Mbps to SMBs.
However, last month, Virgin Media said at least one quarter (one million) of the properties covered via its Project Lightning will be connected via FTTP – opening up the potential for up to 10Gbps in the future.
The expansion will mainly cover areas already served by BT and Virgin Media had invited communities in a number of counties to register their interest so they could be covered first. Project Lightning has already started work in larger cities such as Manchester and Leeds as well as more rural areas in Leicestershire.
Not just for urban areas
Kirknewton (West Lothian), Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Brookfield (Renfrewshire), Bridge of Weir (Renfrewshire), Ratby (Leicestershire) Wilsden (West Yorkshire), Kilmacolm (Inverclyde), Stoke Poges (Buckinghamshire), Lightwater (Surrey), Hartley Wintney and Phoenix Green (Hampshire) and Oakley (Dorset) received the most votes.
The vote has now re-opened for residents in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Renfrewshire, Rhondda, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Lothian, West Yorkshire and Worcestershire.
“The collective support and demand from across the UK has exceeded our expectations and we’re delighted to be supercharging these 10 areas with ultrafast fibre broadband and top notch entertainment,” said Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media.
“Investing and delivering better connectivity in these communities shows that ultrafast broadband isn’t just for the big cities – we urge more communities to come together and register their interest.”