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Manchester gets £75m Virgin Media broadband boost

Monday, June 22nd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Manchester will be the first city to benefit from Virgin Media’s £3bn rollout of ‘ultrafast’ broadband.

A £75m investment in the city will make speeds of 152Mbps available to 150,000 homes and businesses, as well as creating 500 new jobs.

The project will take the total number of premises in Manchester covered by Virgin Media to 450,000.

Work to connect the first 20,000 premises starts this week as ‘Project Lightning’ begins in earnest.

The project is bringing connectivity to 4m UK premises over the next five years as part of what Virgin claims is the single largest investment in the UK’s broadband infrastructure for a decade.

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said: “This is wonderful news for Manchester residents and businesses.

“We are in the midst of a remarkable transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, and Virgin Media’s £3bn investment will play an important role in ensuring our cities are fully equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age in which we live.”

Virgin is celebrating the investment by setting up a ‘High Speed Selfie’ booth at Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, where members of the public will be able to have the photograph taken while facing g-force winds.

'Cable your street'

Virgin CEO Tom Mockridge urged those living in nearby towns to register on the company’s Cable My Street website.

He said: “Our message is simple: help us to cable your street.

“If you want to switch to broadband speeds twice as fast as you can get today, simply register with Virgin Media.”

Virgin says Project Lightning will increase the number of people in the UK able to access its services by almost a third and will reach nearly 17m premises by 2020.

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at the project’s launch earlier this year, said: “I welcome this substantial investment from Virgin Media which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to support business and create jobs by building a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure.

“These 6,000 new jobs and apprenticeships will mean financial security and economic peace of mind for thousands more hardworking families across the country.

“Together with this government’s rollout of superfast broadband which has now reached more than 2m UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.”

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