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50,000 Extra Premises in Northern Ireland to Get Virgin Media’s Network

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 (7:53 am) - Score 465
virgin media fttp and docsis deployment swindon

Cable operator Virgin Media has announced that their ultrafast broadband and TV network is being expanded to reach a further 50,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland, with the roll-out already started in Ballykelly, Bangor, Limavady, Newtownards, Strabane and Artigarvan.

At present only 30% of premises in N.Ireland are covered by Virgin Media’s Hybrid Fibre Coax and FTTP based DOCSIS network, which is almost entirely focused on urban areas. The new deployment forms part of the operator’s on-going £3bn Project Lightning network expansion, which aims to add an additional 4 million premises by 2019 and extend coverage to around 60-65% of the UK (roughly 2 million of the expansion will use FTTP).

Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland, said (Irish News):

“Families and businesses will be able to benefit from ultra-fast broadband 12 times faster than the average speed available today.

We stand ready to invest in Northern Ireland, without subsidy from Stormont, London or Brussels.

There’s a widespread acceptance now that without excellent broadband speeds, businesses struggle and may even leave.

We believe our technology is the best possibly available and will be a game-changer both in the home and business for Northern Ireland.”

We note Hanway’s not-so-subtle snipe at Openreach (BT) in the second sentence, which is perhaps a little unfair since Virgin only tend to focus on the easy low hanging fruit of urban areas, rather than the more economically challenging smaller towns and rural areas in the final third of the UK.

On the other hand an investment of £3bn is certainly nothing to sniff about and shows that major fixed line expansions are a very expensive business.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. CarlT

    The comments might be a little unfair however Openreach did exactly the same thing, focusing on the low hanging fruit.

    There are plenty of areas VM are building to that still have no VDSL or were covered by BDUK.

    VM are dealing with market towns and villages in my locale alongside the more standard urban and suburban infill.

    Rothwell is pretty market town – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothwell,_West_Yorkshire
    Robin Hood is a village – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Hood,_West_Yorkshire
    Great Preston with its population of 1,500 is pretty village-y – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Preston – and is getting FTTP right now.

    Where VM have networks running through or near villages and market towns they’ve no problem with building out to them. These can actually be considerably cheaper per premises than urban areas when building networks as VM do. This doesn’t hold true for BT’s FTTC for obvious reasons.

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