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Birmingham businesses to get ultrafast Virgin Media broadband

Friday, February 26th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Thousands of businesses in Birmingham’s emerging tech hubs are to get ultrafast broadband from Virgin Media.

More than 2,000 firms in the Colmore Business District, Jewellery Quarter, Hagley Road and Broad Street areas are set to benefit from download and upload speeds of 100Mbps.

The companies, which are based in 250 shared buildings, will each get their own dedicated internet connection from fibre cables installed directly into the premises.

The investment by Virgin Media Business follows similar schemes in London’s Tech City and Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Gigabit connections will be installed into each building with each company able to order a 50Mbps or 100Mbps product. Firms also have the option to order individual leased lines with speeds up to 1Gbps.

Mike Smith, director of SME at Virgin Media Business said: “Birmingham is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading digital tech clusters and as such needs reliable, secure, high speed internet access.

“Better connectivity can transform the way small businesses operate and the services they provide, allowing them to seize the chance to become digital leaders.”

The need for improved connectivity in Birmingham was highlighted in the Greater Birmingham Digital Audit in February 2015.

Commissioned by Digital Birmingham, the study found that 92% of businesses in the region thought digital capability was important for future business growth.

'Second only to London'

Councillor Lisa Trickett, cabinet member for sustainability for Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham has the highest number of start-ups in the UK, second only to London.

“Our economy is underpinned by a vibrant SME community and access to digital technology and faster connectivity is essential in ensuring they continue to thrive.

“We welcome Virgin Media Business’s new digital investment that will boost speeds for our small businesses, allowing them to take advantage of the digital opportunities tech provides.”

In October, a Virgin Media Business report called ‘The UK’s Digital Opportunity’ revealed that digital technologies could boost the UK economy by 2.5% of GDP (or £92bn), as well as creating over a million new jobs across all industries over the next two years.

Virgin Media is investing £3bn in its infrastructure to bring faster connectivity to nearly 17m UK homes and businesses.

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