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Virgin Media and Redrow Push Ultrafast Broadband into New Build Homes

Monday, September 5th, 2016 (1:07 pm) - Score 3,499
virgin media new build homes plan

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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Mark Jackson
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. Avatar Stuart Evans

    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.

    • 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. Avatar Joe Dredd

    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.

  3. Avatar Stephen Buckingham

    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.

  4. Avatar fastman

    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

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      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. Avatar Darren

    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. Avatar fastman

    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

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      “…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. Avatar fastman

    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

    • Avatar Dumb argument

      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. Avatar fastman

    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

  9. Avatar fastman

    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. Avatar keith

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

  11. Avatar fastman

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

    • Avatar keith

      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. Avatar fastman

    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

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