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Virgin Media Name 30 More UK Communities for 300Mb Broadband Boost

Monday, July 11th, 2016 (10:48 am) - Score 3,438

Coax cable (DOCSIS) and fibre optic provider Virgin Media has today announced the next batch of 30 communities and villages from across England and Wales that will benefit from an upgrade to their FTTP ultrafast broadband (up to 300Mbps) and TV network, as voted for by residents of each area.

The latest additions were selected under Virgin’s “Supercharging Local Communities” initiative, which is designed to help promote the operator’s on-going £3bn Project Lighting network expansion to an additional 4 million premises (i.e. 60-65% coverage of the United Kingdom before the end of 2019) by encouraging people to vote for their communities to be upgraded (i.e. those showing the strongest demand are then selected).

So far Virgin Media has already revealed the top 10 communities where demand for their ultrafast broadband service was strongest (here), which was based on 7,000 votes collected between 29th February and 29th April 2016. A further 5,000 votes have now been cast and as a result the following 30 locations have been chosen for an upgrade, which should take place by Spring 2017.

Paul Buttery, COO of Virgin Media, said:

“By bringing fibre to the parishes and smaller communities, it shows that ultrafast broadband and top-notch TV isn’t just for big cities. We have been overwhelmed by the response from the local communities and as a result we have decided to speed up our network expansion plans, to connect the next 30 villages by spring 2017. But we won’t stop there – we urge more people to come forward and tell us where we should expand to next.”

The 30 Chosen Communities
1. Windlesham (Surrey)
2. Sutton Courtenay (Oxfordshire)
3. Balsall Common (West Midlands)
4. Chineham & Old Basing (Hampshire)
5. Oakley (Hampshire)
6. Farnham Common (Buckinghamshire)
7. Wargrave (Berkshire)
8. Lickey, Catshill, Marlbrook & Barnt Green (Worcestershire)
9. Cullingworth (West Yorkshire)
10. Shrivenham (Oxfordshire)
11. Baddesley Ensor (Warwickshire)
12. Harden (West Yorkshire)
13. Broughton Astley (Leicestershire)
14. Grimethorpe (South Yorkshire)
15. Wigginton & Haxby (North Yorkshire)
16. Copmanthorpe (North Yorkshire)
17. Grassmoor (Derbyshire)
18. Pontyclun (Rhondda)
19. Darfield (South Yorkshire)
20. Talke & Talke Pits (Staffordshire)
21. Cudworth (South Yorkshire)
22. Duffield (Derbyshire)
23. Shafton (South Yorkshire)
24. Denham (Buckinghamshire)
25. Llanharry (Rhondda)
26. Marcham (Oxfordshire)
27. North Leigh (Oxfordshire)
28. Repton (Derbyshire)
29. North Cornelly (Bridgend)
30. Watchfield (Oxfordshire)

As before Virgin Media intends to reach each community by using a Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which will also harness Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) so as to ensure compatibility with their hybrid-fibre DOCSIS coaxial and fibre optic network. This form part of the operator’s wider 1 million+ FTTP premises pledge, which represents a quarter of the overall +4 million premises network expansion (i.e. a total network coverage target of 17 million UK homes and businesses).

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. 3G Infinity says:

    Think I need to pick up our village and move it closer to one of the above

  2. tim says:

    Nothing in Kent then 🙁

  3. SpencerUk says:

    My village (Cudworth) is finally going to be connected!!!!….Just about when I’m looking to be moving out…..

  4. MikeW says:

    The places on that list that I know are all places on the outskirts of big cities covered by VM. Such a coincidence that the top 10, and now the top 25, most voted-for locations all happen to be within spitting distance of existing big-city coverage.

    Does anyone really believe this voting stuff?

    1. We did a huge push on this in Rotherhithe when CableMyStreet first came out. We got over 1500 people to register. We thought we were in a good position, huge demand, VM infrastructure already in the area, lots of flats, etc. Result – nothing.

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      I recall when BT did their ‘Race to Infinity’ some years ago you could get access to a regularly updated table of the results. I wish Virgin would do this, but suspect they won’t.

    3. karl says:

      You could view it on VMs site (may had been facebook or their forums i forget) at one point, however that or a table as a whole does not tell you anything it still depends on you believing what BT or VM are telling you.

    4. Mark Jackson says:

      I disagree. If enough data is provided then you could at least use it as a test for accountability of the result(s). For example, Damian claims to have got over 1,500 to register and you could in theory then use that to check against the actual results for a given area.

    5. DTMark says:

      I knew we were never going to get cable here. The nearest point of presence for the cable network is about nine miles away.

      I don’t know what route their fibre takes to reach there, but looking at the areas covered on a map I doubt it comes anywhere near/past here.

      Nobody is going to run 9 miles of backhaul for 257 properties even if 100% of them voted for it.

      It might work if all the areas in between could be served, but we now have patchwork VDSL coverage giving superfast speeds to some of the 257 properties here and some percentage in between, so it’s not an attractive proposition.

      This could all have been organised [by BDUK] so much better.

    6. Darren says:

      I wouldn’t tough a Virgin Media service with a barge pole let alone beleive anything they claim.

    7. karl says:

      Yet they are one of the least complained about, big providers to Ofcom.

  5. comnut says:

    VM detractors… Have been able to find the same info on BT or other ‘superfast’ websites??
    If not, why are you complaining about just VM???

    There are many that are very happy with BT, *until* something goes badly wrong…
    And then are calmly told **NO INTERNET** for 2 or 3 weeks!!!

    In the recent VM outage, due to ‘stupid road workers’, VM internet WAS available – only about 500kbps, but is was usable enough!! 🙂

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