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Virgin Media Expand Ultrafast Broadband and TV to 108,000 Premises in Kent

Monday, April 24th, 2017 (7:23 am) - Score 2,616

At present only around a third of homes and businesses in the county of Kent (England) can access Virgin Media’s 350Mbps capable cable broadband and TV network, but that’s about to be boosted after the operator confirmed that their network will add “up to” another 108,000 premises.

As usual this work forms part of Virgin Media’s £3bn Project Lightning network expansion, which aims to cover a total of 17 million premises by 2019 (i.e. 4 million extra premises, including 2 million via FTTP) and that should boost their coverage of the United Kingdom to around 60-65%.

Being an urban focused provider we can expect most of this work to be centred on big population centres like Canterbury, Ashford, Maidstone and so forth. In fact work has already begun in Ashford to connect up to 8,000 new premises and the whole deployment is expected to be completed across the county before the end of 2018. We also know that they’re doing some FTTP around Thanet.

Neil Bartholomew, Regional Director for the South East at Virgin Media, said:

“We’re delighted to be expanding our network to tens of thousands more homes and businesses to help to make Kent a world class digital hotspot. Local residents and businesses will soon be getting the high-speed connectivity they deserve. We urge more people to come together and register their interest – your street could be next.”

Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said:

“A growing town like Ashford needs the very best modern technology and we are delighted Virgin Media have chosen our borough for such a significant digital infrastructure investment which will mean we will have some of the best broadband access in the country. This will make a big difference for our residents and businesses, making it easier, faster and more efficient to connect.

The Council understands the significance of this type of broadband investment and Ashford has been at the forefront of pushing the fibre agenda. Its importance cannot be underestimated, which is why our Local Plan to 2030 includes an innovative Fibre to the Premises policy, ensuring all new developments in Ashford will benefit from this vital infrastructure and paving the way for similar policies within all local plans.”

No doubt some rural areas will also benefit, although these are usually in the minority and often only opportunistically reached when the necessary fibre optic cable happens to pass through a reasonably sized village (while on its way to somewhere bigger).

One thing we do wish is that Virgin Media would publish a fuller deployment plan for the regions they announce, ideally listing the areas within a county that they expect to reach. Simply saying “Kent” doesn’t offer a lot of meaningful detail. We’re not asking for street level coverage here, just a bit more meat on the bone.

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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.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Richard says:

    Its all very well that fibre optic broadband is being installed, but what I object to is the MESS they leave behind, unsightly dug up grass not levelled off properly , stones and earth littered in road, gray grit all over tarmac path and so on, why cannot these workmen cleanup the mess properly!? And what about the plants being damaged on some home owners front proerty as they dig alongside??

    1. Ultraspeedy says:

      Perhaps you could suggest to all installers of anything that requires digging, which is a naturally dusty and rubble involved job that they hire Mary Poppins to make things spit spot for you afterwards.

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