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Virgin Media plans to improve broadband in new-build homes

Tuesday, June 14th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Plans to improve broadband connections in new-build homes have been unveiled by Virgin Media.

The provider is working with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to make it easier for homebuilders to install fibre infrastructure on new developments.

Virgin has launched a dedicated new-build portal on its website including technical guidance and a new, simple site request form.

It has pledged to carry out all initial new site assessments free of charge and will offer exclusive discounts to homeowners moving into properties included in the scheme.

Cable.co.uk has reported extensively on the connectivity problems that many new-build residents are faced with.

Thousands of homebuyers have moved into new properties only to find the broadband provision is either slow or non-existent.

In February, the government announced that all new developments would be offered fibre-based broadband through BT Openreach, either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative.

Today’s announcement by Virgin forms part of the provider’s £3bn Project Lightning network expansion and is aimed at increasing the number of new-builds able to access ultrafast speeds up to 200Mbps.

Paul Buttery, Virgin’s chief operating officer, said: “By partnering with Virgin Media, developers can build 21st century homes, equipped with the most modern broadband infrastructure delivering the fastest speeds.

“With our network growing at a faster pace than ever, the more demand we get from developers, the more we can do to support them.”

'High expectations'

As part of the deal with HBF, Virgin Media will provide developers with the equipment to connect homes to its network and offer a rebate scheme to cover any costs of the work. Virgin will also supply a dedicated manager for each site.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: “The buyers of new homes understandably have very high expectations of the property they move in to, and house builders strive to meet and surpass those expectations.

“With connectivity now vital to the way we live our lives, being able to equip today’s modern, high quality housing with 21st century connectivity is a key consideration for builders.

“Housing delivery is growing exponentially as we seek to tackle the country’s housing crisis, meaning more and more households will be living in new homes.

“Competition between network builders will help to ensure more homeowners can enjoy all of the benefits of the digital age, helping to make new build even more attractive to homebuyers.”

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