Manchester first city to benefit from £3bn ultrafast rollout

22nd June 2015

  • Ready to connect: consumers and small businesses simply sign up to ‘cablemystreet
  • 150,000 Manchester homes and businesses benefit from ultrafast broadband speeds of 152Mb, twice the fastest speeds available from competitors
  • £75m investment in Manchester; 500 new jobs at Virgin Media and construction partners
  • Additional 150,000 homes and businesses will bring Virgin Media coverage of Manchester to 450,000 premises

Virgin Media, the UK's ultrafast internet provider, today announces that Manchester is the first city to benefit from “Project Lightning”, unveiled earlier this year. This major expansion of ultrafast connectivity to 4 million premises over the next five years is the single largest investment in the UK’s broadband digital infrastructure for more than a decade.

World first:  Manchester set to be ‘blown away’ by speed of Virgin Media 

To mark the launch of its ultrafast broadband network expansion, Virgin Media is celebrating with a world-first ‘High Speed Selfie’ photo booth experience in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.  The two day public experience is the first of its kind ever created and gives visitors the unique opportunity to be photographed in the face of g-force speeds.  Former Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding trialled the results in a London studio last week (the results of which can be viewed here).  As Virgin Media continues its rollout in towns and cities across the UK, the ‘High Speed Selfie’ will be there to mark the occasion.

Up to 150,000 Manchester premises to secure first time access to ultrafast broadband

An extra 150,000 Manchester premises benefit from ultrafast broadband for the first time as Virgin Media expands its network based on demand from consumers and communities which register their interest at

Today’s announcement covers premises in Manchester.  Virgin Media expects to connect more premises in neighbouring postal towns prioritised according to demand from consumers and businesses.

Virgin Media ‘breaks ground’ on first 20,000 premises

Work starts this week to connect the first 20,000 Manchester homes and businesses to broadband speeds of 152Mb, at least twice as fast as the fastest speeds available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky.   Broadband speed and the capacity it delivers matter for consumers and businesses.  Data usage on the Virgin Media network is growing at 60 per cent every year which, if this trend continues, will be 10,000 per cent higher in ten years. 

Digital Economy 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."

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media Chief Executive Officer, 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 to ‘cablemystreet’.”

-Ends –

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

The company’s dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely available broadband speeds to homes and businesses. And we’re expanding this through our £3bn Project Lightning programme, which will reach 17 million premises.

Our interactive TV service brings live programmes, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games in a set-top box, as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones.

We launched the world’s first virtual mobile network, offering fantastic value and services to customers. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.

Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 27 million customers across 14 countries.

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