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Virgin Media’s Ultrafast Broadband to Reach 50K Nottingham Premises

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 (12:08 pm) - Score 803
virgin media engineer street works

Cable operator Virgin Media (Liberty Global) has announced that the next area to benefit from their £3bn “Project Lightning” network expansion will be the city of Nottingham (England), which will see an additional 50,000 homes and businesses gain access to ultrafast broadband.

At present the operator’s cable (EuroDOCSIS3) network is already capable of reaching around 13 million premises (figures vary), although Project Lightning aims to see this expanded by another 4 million in predominantly urban areas by 2020 (17 million premises).

The deployment is already helping to connect many thousands of new premises in both Manchester and Leeds, with Nottingham today becoming the latest to begin the work. Apparently an investment of £25 million is being made by Virgin Media in the city, which compares with the £75m needed to add 150,000 in Manchester.

As before the first areas to benefit will be those that demonstrate the strongest demand and which exist closest to the operator’s existing cable network (cooperation from local authorities is also a bonus). Today’s announcement thus covers premises in the NG postcode and that includes Nottingham city centre, its suburbs and parts of some surrounding towns such as Mansfield, Newark-upon-Trent and Grantham.

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s CEO, said:

The early interest from homeowners, businesses and Nottingham City Council has been instrumental in Virgin Media being able to fast track our network expansion plans in the area. You can now help us to get ultrafast internet access to your home or business premise by registering today at virginmedia.com/cablemystreet.”

Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Councillor, said:

Better broadband brings huge benefits for the people and businesses of Nottingham. I welcome Virgin Media’s investment to extend its ultrafast Internet to the city centre and suburbs and encourage communities across Nottingham to identify their demand for broadband.”

It’s worth noting that BT’s rival Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology is already available to 23 million premises (around 80% of the UK), although FTTC is a slower and more variable service (up to 80Mbps) and BT has also benefitted from a big injection of public funding. Virgin’s commercial deployment will also overbuild some of BT’s FTTC.

Meanwhile Virgin Media’s network can deliver speeds of up to 152Mbps and they’re about to begin another huge double speed boost (here), which could deliver top speeds of 300Mbps+ and that will be deployed within the space of a few months to their existing footprint.

So far Virgin Media has now earmarked over 250,000 UK properties for their ultrafast broadband upgrade, which means there are plenty more announcements to come.

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