Turning the great gigabit broadband ambition into reality

7 July 2020

As we all start to emerge from lockdown, it’s clear that ultrafast broadband is essential to our daily lives.

For most people over the past few months, broadband has been a window to the outside world, providing us with a way to stay connected, informed and entertained.

Families across the country have been busy stress-testing their broadband connections through family Zoom quizzes and catch-ups, work conference calls, remote lessons, gaming downloads and multiplayer action with friends, boxset binges and everything in between. This all adds up -The average Virgin Media household has used an extra 325GB of data in the first 10 weeks of lockdown, a figure that continues to grow by the day.

The role of connectivity and what it enables us to do has never been clearer. But standing still isn’t an option as new technologies emerge, societal behaviours change and households use their broadband more than ever, Virgin Media is continuing to innovate and invest to provide connectivity for today and the future.

We’re already making it even easier for our customers to do everything they want to online at blistering speed by continuing to rollout gigabit broadband across the UK. Last week, we switched on Gig1 in both Liverpool and Edinburgh, making this next-generation connectivity available to a further 600,000+ homes.

This follows the launch of Gig1 in Birmingham and Coventry earlier in the year, and means our gigabit broadband service is now available to more than 2.7 million homes in seven cities around the UK. Right now almost one in five Virgin Media premises has access to gigabit speeds.

Today’s broadband boost is part of our plan to bring gigabit speeds to more than 15 million homes across our entire network by the end of 2021 – that’s faster and at a bigger scale than any other ISP.

And with our rollout continuing apace, it means Virgin Media will single-handedly deliver at least half of the Government’s gigabit broadband ambition four years early while also continuing to expand our network footprint.

This is great news for consumers. Covid-19 has accelerated the shift towards digital ways of working, playing and keeping connected. Research we commissioned last month found our digital habits have shifted permanently and nearly half of us (45%) would like to carry on catching up with friends and family via video calls and group messages, while a similar number reported enjoying their new digital lives.

The need for faster, gigabit speeds and more capacity will become even clearer as we more fully embrace near-term technologies to fuel smarter homes, completely home-based working and more data-hungry entertainment such as cloud gaming, online VR games, augmented reality services and 4K streaming.

With Gig1 broadband, our customers will have enough capacity for everyone to be able to work, play, create, share, stream and stay connected at the same time using one connection. It means stress-free connectivity for the whole household, no matter how many devices they have or how they’re using them.

We may be living in uncertain times, but we remain committed to investing in our network and bringing Gig1 to more cities throughout the year. Whatever the future holds, we’ll be ready to keep our customers connected to what’s next.