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UPD Virgin Media UK Bring Cable Network to 2 East Lincolnshire Villages

Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013 (8:20 am) - Score 1,353

Cable operator Virgin Media, which normally focuses its superfast broadband, TV and phone platform on urban areas, has quietly expanded their network to include two small North East Lincolnshire (England) villages, Stallingborough and Habrough (750 homes), and more could follow.

At present Virgin’s hybrid cable (DOCSIS 3.0 / EuroDOCSIS) network passes around 12,531,500 homes across the United Kingdom, which represents just less than half of the country and is up by +84,600 since the same time last year.

The slow rate of expansion is generally due to the high cost of building out their network and the threat from stiffer Ofcom regulation (i.e. Virgin are not currently deemed to have Significant Market Power but that could change if they expand too far). Competition from BT outside of the big urban areas might also play a part.

As a result Virgin’s physical network grows at a comparatively slow pace and it’s particularly rare to see them hooking up smaller villages. Never the less Stallingborough (population 1,200) and Habrough (population 650), which reside just above the larger seaport town of Grimsby, have now been connected to their cable platform and more could follow.

According to the BBC (Look North), locals launched an 18 month campaign to show that enough demand existed in the area for Virgin Media to expand. It’s understood that locals could previously only expect speeds of around 0.5 – 4Mbps (Megabits per second) and the new network promises connections of up to 152Mbps.

Mind you it’s not the first time that Virgin Media have dabbled with connections to more remote villages and indeed they’ve already hooked up several other rural-ish communities. The operator claims that this latest deployment thus represents yet another “experiment” to develop a feasible model, which could be used in similar areas going forward. But we’ve heard that a few times before over the past 4 years.

Never the less if you live in a reasonable sized village, which benefits from being closer to one of Virgin’s hub towns, then a local campaign might just be enough to show Virgin Media that demand does exists for their network expansion to be economically viable.

UPDATE 10:03am

Now here’s the official comment.

Paul Buttery, Virgin’s Chief Customer, Technology and Networks Officer, said:

We have been taken aback by the overwhelming support from the community which was what made this possible. We’re always looking at ways to bring our products and services to even more homes across the UK and I believe our privately funded investment in the area can help transform the lives and prospects of the people and businesses in Stallingborough and Habrough for the better.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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