Scotland to lead the UK with Virgin Media investment in fibre broadband

14th November 2016

Virgin Media, the UK’s ultrafast broadband provider, today announced that Scotland will benefit from the first large scale rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband connected directly to homes and businesses.

In what will be a major boost to the economy, Virgin Media is committing to connect at least two thirds of the 360,000 additional homes and businesses being added to its ultrafast broadband network in Scotland directly with fibre to the premise (FTTP).

Backed by parent company Liberty Global, Virgin Media is expanding its ultrafast fibre broadband network as part of a £3bn UK-wide investment – known as ‘Project Lightning’ – to reach 17 million premises, an additional 4 million homes and business. In Scotland, Virgin Media already reaches one million homes and businesses and work has started to reach the additional 360,000 homes and business, announced last month.

More than a third of the additional homes and business will be available by the end of 2017 in both urban and rural areas.

The first areas to benefit are:

· 55,000 premises in Ayrshire (specifically Kilmarnock, Ayr, Prestwick and Irvine)

· 70,000 premises in Fife (specifically Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay, Rosyth and Inverkeithing)

· Plus, the villages of Kirknewton (West Lothian), Kilmacolm, Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Bridge of Weir (Renfrewshire), which were among the top ten communities in the Virgin Media ‘Supercharging Local Communities’ initiative earlier this year calling on residents to register their interest

Ofcom recently reported that the UK has the lowest proportion of fibre connections running directly to homes and businesses (known as FTTP) of any OECD nation. In addition, the regulator recently reported that Scotland has the lowest broadband speeds of any UK nation, just 73% of Scotland has access to so-called superfast broadband (30Mbps and above). The expansion of Virgin Media’s award-winning network – which delivers speeds of up to 200Mbps for consumes and 300Mbps for businesses – will give a further boost to Scotland and the UK.

Superior network

Virgin Media’s network offers the fastest widely-available speeds of up to 200Mbps for consumers and 300Mbps for businesses. Increasingly, the Company expects a greater proportion of new connections to its network will be FTTP. Earlier this month Virgin Media announced more than 50 per cent of premises connected under its Project Lightning plans would benefit from FTTP. Scotland is the first to benefit from such a large scale rollout. Using new engineering techniques such a ‘narrow trenching’, FTTP can be deployed more quickly in areas where demand is high.

Homes and businesses can register now

As Virgin Media accelerates the expansion of its network across Scotland, homes and businesses can make the switch to better broadband by registering their interest:

Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media is building the only genuinely ultrafast fibre broadband network. Scotland will benefit first from our plans to accelerate the rollout of fibre broadband. This private investment will give people in Scotland the broadband boost they deserve and help to drive economic growth. We urge local councils and landlords to work with us to ensure this expansion happens as quickly as possible.”

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “We want Scotland to become a world class digital nation. A key part of this is future-proofed digital infrastructure that will boost connectivity. That is why we are committed to providing superfast broadband for 100% of premises in Scotland by 2021. Commercial investment has a role and responsibility to play in delivering that commitment. I welcome Virgin Media’s announcement that two-thirds of their build in Scotland will be Fibre to the Premise, providing genuinely world class infrastructure capable of delivering ultrafast connectivity.”

Virgin Media’s Project Lightning is the single largest investment in the UK’s broadband infrastructure in more than a decade. It is funded entirely by private sector capital; it is not funded by UK or Scottish Government subsidies or by EU subsidies.


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. We’re expanding this through our £3bn Project Lightning programme, which will reach 17 million premises by the end of 2019.

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. 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 speeds and tailor-made services.

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company, with operations in more than 30 countries.