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Virgin Media: Tell us where to build ultrafast fibre broadband network

Wednesday, March 2nd 2016 by Ellen Branagh

Virgin Media is searching for communities that will benefit from getting access to ultrafast broadband speeds as part of its £3bn network expansion across the UK.

The ‘Supercharging Local Communities’ programme gives homes and businesses in 18 counties the opportunity to benefit from a fibre connection straight to their door as part of Virgin’s Project Lightning network expansion.

Virgin is urging residents and businesses to have a say on where the expansion starts by registering their interest on its website.

The 18 counties are: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Renfrewshire, Rhondda, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Lothian, West Yorkshire, Worcestershire.

The company now offers broadband speeds up to 200Mbps for residents, and connections up to 300Mbps for businesses.

Its optical fibre broadband uses technology called DOCSIS 3 and is connected directly to the customer’s property, meaning it can deliver fast, reliable broadband to homes and businesses.

Virgin said it is using an approach called narrow-trenching, which reduces the width of the trench used to lay optical fibre cables from around 40cm to just 10cm, to roll out the network with minimal disruption.

The method enables engineers to cover up to 100m in a day, making it more than twice as fast as current methods.

A similar technique has been used recently in Leicester where Virgin has started to connect six villages, it said.

Not just for big cities

Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “Expanding our network to communities in across 18 UK counties shows that ultrafast broadband isn’t just for the big cities, we are dedicated to investing and delivering connectivity across the UK.

“Better broadband brings huge benefits for people and businesses.

“You can now help to bring ultrafast internet access to your home or business by registering today at Cablemystreet.”

Last week, Virgin Media announced that thousands of businesses in Birmingham’s emerging tech hubs are to get ultrafast broadband.

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.

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