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Virgin Media Build Ultrafast Broadband Network to 16000 Durham Premises

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 (10:38 am) - Score 1,746

Cable operator Virgin Media UK has announced that an extra 16,000 homes and businesses in the County of Durham (North East England) will be the next to gain access to their 350Mbps capable broadband and TV network, with the local deployment work being set to complete by the end of 2019.

As usual this announcement forms part of the operator’s £3bn Project Lighting network expansion, which aims to reach an additional 4 million premises (2 million of those will be via FTTP) across the United Kingdom by the end of 2019. Overall that should extend their UK coverage to around 60-65% (total of 17 million premises), assuming that they can catch-up after recent concerns over their roll-out progress.

Hugh Woolford, Regional Director at Virgin Media, said:

“By expanding our network to thousands more homes and businesses we are making Durham a digital hotspot, and time-strapped families will soon be benefitting from the reliability of a service that’s 20 times faster than the local average.”

The operator has also released a new video of their engineers at work.

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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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11 Responses
  1. occasionally factual says:

    @Mark
    Have Virgin Media given any figures about how many actual FTTP installs have been completed under Project Lighting? I’ve only seen media releases about additions to the plan not about how far it has progressed?

    1. MikeW says:

      At last report, VM had passed 0.94m homes with Lightning, where maybe 10% of the total is in Ireland, 90% in the UK.

      They haven’t been reporting a breakdown between full-fibre and coax.

    2. MikeW says:

      In terms of actual installations using Lightning, that isn’t well-reported either.

      However, in the most recent results, VM do say that of their 49,000 new customers in the quarter, 64% came from the Lightning coverage.

    3. occasionally factual says:

      @MikeW
      Thanks for that.

  2. mike says:

    Is there any more detail on this? Durham (the city) is part of County Durham, but the article confuses both. If the 16,000 premises are across the county this suggests they’re going to cable the smaller towns, which is a lot more interesting than expanding their coverage in Durham city.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      The official release mentions “Durham” and “County Durham”. The word city didn’t come up once.

    2. CarlT says:

      mike, VM are certainly deploying in smaller towns/villages around cities.

      See Garforth, Kippax, Robin Hood and Rothwell, West Yorkshire for satellite towns, and Swillington, West Yorkshire for a village being dleivered to.

      If they’ve fibre running through or nearby they’ll deploy. Getting the fibre to the area is what costs, once the network is close a street of 30 semi-detached costs the same whether in a suburb of a city or in a village.

    3. CarlT says:

      Just FYI both this wasn’t declared as any particular separate build, it all comes under Leeds and surrounds.

      There are a ton of other build projects going on throughout West Yorkshire though. Leeds, Bradford, Castleford, Wakefield, Ossett, the above, etc, etc.

    4. Mike says:

      I have seen them cabling in select areas where the nearest VM network has been 10+ miles away.

    5. CarlT says:

      There will be fibre running through the area already, but no CATV network built around it.

      It would take a lot of premises indeed to justify two new 10+ mile fibre runs to feed it – they do need two, one for resilience.

      The 10,500 premises build here was fed from existing fibre feeds. A 3 km fibre run has been put in to serve an area though this was due to a reroute, the original plan was a 1 km run but a bridge was impassable.

      https://www.oxera.com/getmedia/7dee2979-ac6b-412d-81c0-abce11bc0f5b/Benefits-of-network-expansion.jpg.aspx
      http://www.telecomramblings.com/files/2013/03/TRImage124-130304-01.28-268×300.jpg

  3. Jazzy says:

    In the mid 90’s Telewest added a limited cable infrastructure to Consett and Stanley but it only served business customers and the now scrapped Derwentside District Council

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