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Lightning strikes London: Ultrafast broadband boost for 450,000 premises

20th July 2016




Virgin Media today announced the next phase of an ambitious programme to deliver ultrafast broadband to London. When complete in 2018 some 450,000 new homes and businesses will be connected to the company’s fibre rich network.

Part of Virgin Media’s £3 billion Project Lightning investment plan, it will take the number of homes and businesses in Greater London covered by Virgin Media to more than 3 million.

Work is already under way. Virgin Media has connected approximately 100,000 new premises to its network in London since 2014. In addition, Virgin Media is on track to deliver ultrafast broadband to another 100,000 London premises by early 2017 and expects to cover the remaining 250,000 by the end of 2018, taking the total to 450,000.

The expansion will include 6,000 premises in Westminster and a significant investment in Barnet which will see fibre connected directly to 40,000 homes and businesses. Other areas where Virgin Media will build include Greenford, Southall, Hammersmith & Fulham, Twickenham, St John’s Wood, Bexley and Croydon.

Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, said: “London is one of the greatest capital cities in the world, so it deserves connectivity that meets its standing on the global stage. This expansion will give Londoners the broadband boost they deserve. We urge local councils and landlords to work with us to ensure this expansion happens as quickly as possible.

“From Lothian to London, Virgin Media and its parent company Liberty Global are committed to delivering the best broadband infrastructure for the UK. Our £3 billion Project Lightning network expansion is gaining momentum and by 2019, 17 million homes and businesses in the UK will have access to our ultrafast network.”

Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, said: “I have been campaigning for faster better broadband in Barnet and I warmly welcome the Project Lightning plans announced by Virgin Media to connect up thousands of homes and businesses to their expanding fibre network. This is great news. Many of my constituents want to have Virgin’s network as one of the choices open to them for their household or business connection needs.”

Councillor Philippa Roe, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: “I am delighted that Virgin Media is undertaking work to roll-out superfast fibre broadband to 6,000 additional premises in Westminster.

“This investment, and that by other broadband providers, is vital to making sure Westminster remains a City for All and an unrivalled place to live, work and invest in.

“Our ambition as a council is to see every business and resident in the borough connected to superfast and reliable fibre broadband, and this is a hugely promising step towards achieving that goal.”    

WiFi hotspots in Islington and Croydon
Alongside boosting fixed connectivity in the capital, Virgin Media has installed WiFi hotspots in Islington and Croydon, giving people the same reliable ultrafast connectivity outdoors as Virgin Media customers experience inside their homes. While currently in a trial phase, this connectivity is open for all members of the public to use in these areas. Public access points will be located on top of existing street cabinets.

Superior network
Virgin Media offers the fastest widely-available speeds in the UK of up to 200Mbps for consumers and 300Mbps for businesses.
Virgin Media has a superior fibre rich network in the UK which combines optical fibre and coaxial cable. The core network is fibre optic which provides ultrafast broadband to the street cabinet. Broadband is then delivered to the majority of premises using the Company’s superior coaxial cable powered by DOCSIS3 technology.

FTTP in Barnet

The majority of this London expansion will extend Virgin Media’s HFC network, however premises in Barnet will see fibre connected directly. Virgin Media recently pledged to provide fibre to the premises (commonly known as FTTP) to at least one in four properties in its Project Lightning expansion.
Project Lightning

Backed by parent company Liberty Global, Virgin Media is investing £3 billion to connect 4 million additional premises to its UK network, which will bring the total premises connected to Virgin Media’s UK network to 17 million by 2019. This is the single largest investment in the UK’s broadband infrastructure in more than a decade.

As network expansion continues across the country, Virgin Media calls for those who haven’t yet registered their interest in getting connected to ultrafast broadband and better entertainment to visit