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Virgin Media and Redrow Push Ultrafast Broadband into New Build Homes

Monday, September 5th, 2016 (1:07 pm) - Score 3,827

Cable operator Virgin Media has today reached a new agreement with UK property developer Redrow, which will initially result in more than 13,000 homes across Tamworth, Shrewsbury and Evesham gaining access to their 300Mbps capable broadband (HFC DOCSIS / FTTP) and TV network.

The deal, which follows a not dissimilar partnership agreement with the Home Builder’s Federation (HBF) that was signed in June 2016 (here), will steadily be expanded out to cover Redrow’s other new developments across the United Kingdom.

Apparently many of the new Redrow properties, such as at the Evesham development (Maple Gardens) in Worcestershire that will cater for around 4,400 properties, can also expect to be reached by Virgin’s new Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) based broadband platform instead of their usual Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) based DOCSIS cable network.

Similarly Virgin Media are also building 11km of new cable ducts and trench to reach the new homes at Redrow’s Lime Tree Meadows development in Shrewsbury (Shropshire).

Paul Buttery, COO of Virgin Media, said:

“This agreement with Redrow proves that Virgin Media has the firepower to create the connected homes people need and deserve – whether it’s to work efficiently from home, run a small business or simply have the very best broadband and connected entertainment. Redrow is among the first homebuilders to benefit from working with Virgin Media at scale and we look forward to our future together.”

Mark Marsh, Technical Director for Redrow Homes (Midlands), said:

“In the digital age Internet connectivity and communications systems are high on homeowners’ agendas and they want the best services and speeds possible. Our partnership means that Redrow customers are able to move in with services including a broadband connection and Virgin TV box already installed. It’s much more convenient than having to arrange installation after you’ve moved, which could involve a wait of several weeks.

Redrow’s partnership with Virgin Media also brings wider benefits to the neighbourhoods in which we’re building, as it means that Virgin Media is able to expand its services into the community and bring fibre optic ultrafast broadband to new areas more quickly than might otherwise be possible.”

All of this supports Virgin’s on-going £3bn Project Lighting network expansion, which is extending their hybrid-fibre (DOCSIS) dominated broadband and TV infrastructure to reach an additional 4 million premises by 2019 (i.e. 60-65% of the United Kingdom). More than 1 million of those will also be catered for via pure fibre optic FTTP lines (i.e. around 25% of the planned expansion).

Once again Virgin Media are encouraging developers of all sizes to register their construction plans on a brand new portal (here), which includes “essential technical guidance” that can help them to prepare for Virgin’s network (view the technical document). Meanwhile Openreach (BT) has also done a similar deal with the HBF (here).

Mind you it’s worth remembering that BT and Virgin Media aren’t the only games in town for property developers, with others like IFNL / GTC and Hyperoptic also being available in different parts of the country.

However in all these cases the most important message to get across is that it always costs less to include superfast or ultrafast broadband infrastructure during the early build phase, before developers put concrete, bricks and tarmac over the top of everything. Digging this up again later is slower and thus more expensive.

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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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24 Responses
  1. Stuart Evans says:

    So this is interesting, I live on a Redrow new build estate in Chester. I contacted them about installing Virgin Media due to us suffering <0.8mbps download speeds, they flat out refused to let Virgin Media install on the site. Joke.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      If it’s an estate that’s already been built, as opposed to one that’s in planning or commencing early construction, then you probably won’t benefit as it’s unlikely to be applied retrospectively.

      The benefit of deals like the one above is that they apply before the bricks and tarmac have been put down, thus making the service cheaper to roll-out.

  2. Joe Dredd says:

    The biggest downside I can see with this is that the infrastructure will be owned directly by Virgin ie a choice of 300mb/s at whatever price Virgin wish to dictate or ADSL at 5 to 17mb/s from their competitors who will obviously not bother to put in fibre to the cabinet.

    1. Dumb argument says:

      Yep a terrible down side, choice of providers, packages and prices.

  3. Stephen Buckingham says:

    I take it Virgin will allow other providers to use their fibre, just like BT have to. If not, it’s a monopoly, just like the old days with BT. The only progress is broadband speed, but no choice over the price of the service.

    1. Lee says:

      Don’t be so silly Stephen.

    2. Dumb argument says:

      “… but no choice over the price of the service.”

      Id like to know when we all started having a choice over the prices of broadband services. We must all be telling BT to put prices up each year.

    3. Scott says:

      Why should Virgin lease it’s lines? They don’t get government investment.

  4. fastman says:

    dumb argument openreach provides a choice of 530 Service provider of which in excexx of 160 offer a FTTC service — so lots of choice — all new homes post Feb 2016 announcement shoul have superfast broadband unless specifically requested not to — always better to have a choice of service provider

    1. Dumb argument says:

      Agreed and no doubt they will have a choice of ADSL and VM with FTTC also to follow should Openreach enable/have enabled the areas.

  5. Darren says:

    I wouldn’t take a VM service full stop. Let alone buy a home that only had VM as a choice. Their upload speed is rubbish.

  6. fastman says:

    if I is a new build site with virgin only there will be no openreach infrastructure on that site so no choice other than virgin ever

    1. Dumb argument says:

      “…so no choice other than virgin ever”

      You should become an MP with that artificial scaremongering. Openreach and VM can deploy as and where they wish using codepowers unless the area is in some way a conservation area.

  7. fastman says:

    Dumb argument you obviously know nothing about new sites — I can assure you if only virgin have access to the new site there will be no Openreach Network deployed in the new build area (its called a lock out) — that is fact — its the same as if a INFL of GTC site are used — you see if you can find any openreach infrastructure on a new virgin development of an INFL site or a GTC site

    1. Dumb argument says:

      Utter rubbish there are hyperoptic new build apartments which since being built have also had BT phone lines made available to them. The same goes for a resonably new housing estate in Essex where Virgin had the contract and 12 months later BT have started deploying there.

  8. fastman says:

    Dumb argument

    hyperoptic do not deploy new sites as they cannot meet USO requirements if you get exclusivity on a new site there is no USO those copper lines were already there as a copper new site so hyperoptic came onto a copper new site

    re your site in Essex — where is that !!!! you sure all of that is on the same phase or virgin have only phase 1

    1. keith says:

      I live in a Hyperoptic building which was new build and literally a month after moving in BT suddenly appeared and enabled the building. There was no BT there before.

    2. Dumb argument says:

      Thanks for that confirmation Keith.

  9. fastman says:

    keith so who provided the telephony lines as part of USO – I assume you had a phone line — surprised if Hyperoptic put that in — may also be a joint fed building as agreed with the landlord / developer so may have been a timing issue ,

    the biggest is estates with lock out as per my previous comment

  10. keith says:

    Hyperoptic provide phone service via VOIP there were no traditional “phone lines” so you assume wrong.

  11. fastman says:

    interesting that was allowed as USO — so was a new block or a co located block

    1. keith says:

      I have already answered you question and clearly stated it was a new build with no traditional phone lines.

      There will be no further of your questions answered for your attempted manipulation of truth because you are wrong.

  12. fastman says:

    keith

    was it a co-located block ie where Both Openreach and Hyoperoptic providing services and one provided it earler than the other or was it Hyperoptic only — that a stratightforward question

    1. Dumb argument says:

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/09/virgin-media-redrow-deploy-ultrafast-broadband-new-build-homes.html#comment-169765
      Quote Keith “There was NO BT there before”

      It was a straightforward question, which he had already answered and in advanced realised you would not read what was stated.

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