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Virgin Media targets half a million new homes after 'record' customer growth

Tuesday, May 10th 2016 by

Virgin Media is on track to give half a million households access to its broadband network this year as part of the company's Project Lighting rollout.

The announcement comes as Virgin said it has experienced “record customer growth” in the UK in the first quarter of 2016, adding 55,000 customers.

Virgin’s £3bn Project Lighting, announced last year, is connecting 4m premises to ultrafast broadband.

Just last month, Virgin said a quarter of those would be connected using fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology.

Announcing its quarterly results, the Liberty Global-owned company said: “From a new build perspective, Project Lightning is a key source of customer growth for us in the UK.

“We have already released approximately 330,000 premises since the programme launched in 2015.

“We are on track to add over 500,000 premises in 2016, which would take our total Lightning homes released to over 750,000 by the end of the year.”

During the first quarter of 2016, it said it had launched an initiative to encourage interest and raise awareness in the programme.

In March, the company said its ‘Supercharging Local Communities’ programme would give homes and businesses in 18 counties the chance to benefit from a fibre connection straight to their door and urged people to register their interest on its website.

As part of its quarterly results, the company said: “Our ‘super-charging local communities challenge’ invites communities to rally together to register their interest for our services.

'Smooth and efficient'

“We will prioritise build based on the level of interest received.

“Demand remains strong and we are continuing to work closely with our partners to ensure a smooth and efficient process from planning through build, sales and installation.”

Virgin said its growth had come from its existing cable footprint and the new homes added as part of Project Lightning, as well as by its winter marketing campaigns.

Virgin added 67,000 new internet customers and said its ultrafast speeds of 100Mbps and higher are now taken by nearly half of the company’s 5.1m broadband subscribers.

For business customers, it said its TechCity programme, which provides dedicated fibre connections to business hubs in major cities, also boosted sales during the quarter.

The scheme, which was launched in London and Manchester last year, has now been extended to Birmingham, with plans to launch in other UK cities throughout the year.

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