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Virgin Media UK Finish FTTP Build to 34,000 Premises in Barnet

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 (10:19 am) - Score 4,317
virgin media small trench digger fibre

Cable broadband ISP Virgin Media has today confirmed that they’ve completed their network expansion to 34,000 homes and businesses in Barnet (London), which can now benefit from access to their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) platform and related TV services.

As usual this effort forms part of the operator’s £3bn Project Lightning build, which originally aimed to add an additional 4 million premises to their UK coverage (so far they’ve completed c.2.2 million) using a mix of FTTP via Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFoG) and Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) technology. Both methods make use of the DOCSIS standard so as to harness the same consumer hardware.

The roll-out in Barnet was actually announced all the way back in 2016 as part of Virgin Media’s wider plan to expand across 450,000 extra premises in London (here), which was originally due to complete by the end of 2018 but obviously they’ve ended up taking significantly longer than that.

Richard Vivian, VM’s Regional Director for London, said:

“It is fantastic news for residents in Barnet that we have finished our expansion and they can now access ultrafast broadband services. This significant digital boost for more than 34,000 premises will make it easier for Barnet residents to work, stream, shop, learn and much more, all online.”

At present locals can already access a top (average peak time) download speed of over 516Mbps via VM’s new network, although by the end of 2021 they’ll be able to benefit from the new DOCIS 3.1 upgrade that will make speeds of 1Gbps+ possible (here).

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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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21 Responses
  1. Herve Shango says:

    I like this sort of news (the progress VM is making), but…they need to improve ont heir customer services and also improve on how they deal with technical issues from time to time.

    1. Herve Shango says:


  2. oleg says:

    I “like” upload speed, max 50 ? and they still push in ad 516 download and nothing about upload – I personal think all Tarifs must be symmetrical or ad/ news “At present locals can already access a top (average peak time) speed of around 52Mbps via VM’s new network, although by the end of 2021 they’ll be able to benefit from the new DOCIS 3.1 upgrade that will make speeds of 1Gbps+ possible (here).”

    1. CarlT says:

      I’m pleased you like upload speed so much but the vast majority continue to use far more capacity downstream, hence that’s how the advertising is focused.

      The big user of it at the moment is remote conferencing in the daytime and then streaming, both of which requiring consistency more than burst.

    2. CarlT says:

      Ah I see.


      Most of us aren’t in this position and I’m not sure why the entire industry would have to change due to your specific needs. Don’t like VM’s asymmetry simply don’t purchase their products.

      With that back to work on my 110 Mb/s service.

    3. Oleg says:

      for CarlT

      I will never Buy VM

      I am just worried for people – I think not a lot of people will see different between VM FTTP 516 for £52? £ and Hyperoptic FTTP 500 £50

      it is not for specific needs

      By the way I am at barnet – I don’t have VM

    4. dean says:

      I am sure ISPs are quite happy selling speeds at prices they have decided upon and people want those speeds at those prices. Otherwise they would not be buying it and providers would not be providing it, but thanks for your ‘thoughts’ on the matter on what you think any organisation should be doing and what people are and are not buying.

    5. CarlT says:

      Go to https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/broadband/deals you’ll see download and upload speeds listed.

      There’s even a page devoted to their broadband speeds – https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/broadband/speeds

      So not sure what the problem is. ISPs have gotten much better at advertising their upload speeds and those that are really concerned by them will probably investigate appropriately.

      I think it’s fair to say you don’t need to worry yourself about such things.

    6. Oleg says:

      for CarlT and dean

      Please ask you parents will they understand different between Hyperoptic and VM paying same price

      I am pretty sure most of people thinks it is same because of ad
      a lot of people don’t understand diffrent FTTP or FTTC, they even don’t know which ISP they using

      VM M100 Fibre £42 D10/U10 Hyperoptic 150 Sym £35+29 Act fee

      And please don’t tell me: people don’t need upload speed – it is not for me – believe I will find way to get upload speed

    7. dean says:

      Difficult to understand what your point (not that you have one) or your price comparisons are supposed to mean. You can pay more for FTTC or as you want to put it 80Mb max down 20Mb max up from some providers than both those prices you mention. Does that also mean FTTC as a whole is utterly pointless? As at least one of its speeds (be it down or up one) are inferior to the products you mention.

      Is it some type of upload fetish you have or is it just (and more likely) a stupid post to try to imply because one small player that covers less than 10% of the market has better speeds than VM that means VM product is bad and pointless?

  3. Mr Surprised says:

    I always had a perception that pretty much every urban area in London had access to CATV services. Good news for the people of Barnet to have access to high speed Internet services from Virgin Media.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      IIRC Virgin covers around two thirds of London premises, so over a million do not have access to cable services.

    2. Roger_Gooner says:

      There are still parts of London with VM service. For example a friend of mine lives in East Acton opposite Worwwood Scrubs with nothing from VM (or OR FTTP). I believe that there are also other nearby places without VM including parts of Harlesden, Neasden and North Cricklewood. I also know someone who lives in Southall and much of it is not cabled.

    3. Roger_Gooner says:

      Meaning “without VM service”.

    4. A_Builder says:

      @Mr Suprised

      After a while I ceased to be surprised at how patchily London coverage was.

      When we take on a site the first thing we need is decent Comms for sure offices CCTV etc.

      You’d be surprised at how many £2M+ dwellings can only get ADSL even now. It doesn’t require a lot of nous to figure out that well paid people in expensive house will buy fast connections. My experience is that one you point out that FTTP is available they just buy it in an instant.

    5. CarlT says:

      In my experience you’d be surprised. Many that are pretty well to do in my experience tend to stick to brands they know and don’t purchase the top tier as, well, they’re loaded and have many other ways to spend their time than on the Internet.

      Okay, perhaps not so much right now and it’s driving me mental too, but usually.

  4. Annoyed says:

    Well this is a lie. I live in Barnet and they never did any work on my street and the availability checker confirms this to be the case. The did the street on either side of me but not mine.

    1. CarlT says:

      Nothing in the story says they did every street in Barnet, just that they’ve finished their target build. Your street evidently didn’t form part of that target build.

  5. David P Marsh says:

    My spead was supposed to be 70mbs likely to get 50 now I am told update to 100 at no charge made no difference to my internet

  6. Bartman says:

    Hopefully they will improve their mobile network, it’s well below the standards of the competition and really needs upgrading. But this is outside the M25.

    1. edward says:

      ” their mobile network”

      They do not have one its basically an MVNO on EEs network for now. EE for the most part performs poorly in my area. Mobile operators always will have varying coverage.

      I can with a dual sim phone literally walk here in one direction to the top of my road and have 5 bars from O2 and NONE (no reception to make or receive calls) on EE, walk to the other end of the road and i get 4 bars on EE and only 2 on O2. Yes it can be that fickle. Indoors at home its 2 bars on EE and 5 on O2, in my Garden it varies sometimes they are equal 3 or 4 bars, other times O2 gets 5 and EE only 3, yet as stated a 2 min walk away and that is the opposite depending on direction.

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