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Virgin Media O2 UK Expand FTTP Broadband South of Edinburgh

Saturday, August 6th, 2022 (12:01 am) - Score 1,968
Virgin-Media-O2-Engineer-Outside-Cabinet

UK ISP Virgin Media (VMO2) has been spotted expanding their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network across a number of new towns and villages to the south of Edinburgh in Scotland, which appears to be taking place at the same time as they upgrade some existing areas to XGS-PON technology.

The operator’s ongoing Project Lightning deployment has already covered a total of 15.86 million UK homes, and their current goal is to reach 16 million by the end of 2022. Some 14.3m of this is via their older Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) network, while the rest is using full fibre (FTTP) via Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) technology.

NOTE: Virgin are also upgrading existing HFC areas to FTTP (XGS-PON) by 2028 (Project Mustang), while their parents have separately created a new Joint Venture (JV) to reach 5 million more homes by 2026 (here) – this could rise up to 7 million.

However, it’s not often that we see VMO2 extending – at scale – north of the border, but that is what has been spotted in a number of locations just south of their existing coverage around Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh (credits to Daniel). In particular, they appear to be starting a large build across all or part of Bilston, Roslin, Rosewell, Auchendinny, Penicuik and Eskbank.

The deployment is a logical extension, since it sits on the edge of their existing network and appears to be occurring at the same time as they’re busy upgrading some nearby areas to XGS-PON technology. We did ask VMO2 for a comment on all this, but they merely confirmed that the build existed and provided no further information (VMO2 are notoriously cagey about their rollout plans – more so than most providers).

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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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9 Responses
  1. billy macgregor says:

    Full new build of FTTP from VMO2 just about complete in the town of Shotts ML7. also FTTP from Openreach before end of 2022

    1. Bawlk (LeafNetSco) says:

      Already? that’s was pretty fast!
      Shotts going from nothing to getting VMO2, Openreach FTTP soon and even the potential for Grain Connect to expand outside Keepmoat Homes development.

  2. Midlothian resident says:

    “South of Edinburgh” also known as Midlothian

    Virgin Media look like they are restarting their Midlothian build out after they had covered Danderhall, Loanhead, Bonnyrigg and parts of Dalkeith, Newtongrange and Gorebridge before lockdown in 2020.

    I’m surprised that they’re going to be expanded in small places like Bilston, Roslin & Rosewell Auchendinny, rather than just Penicick and Eskbank.

    1. Declan M says:

      They’re sub-ducting through the Openreach network if you go on to Scottish roadworks commissioner you can see where they’re doing works about i stay in woodburn where they put ducts in about 2 years ago but did take a fair while when they were doing micro trenching, will be a lot faster at rolling out. There is going to be a lot of overbuilding with Openreach and Virgin in Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik

  3. matthew says:

    virgin was build in bonnyrigg for a couple years now and im on virgin but openreach has started ther fttp and i will be joining them for speed and ping

  4. Clive peters says:

    Are they still rolling out RFOG? Seems kind of inefficient if whole network going over to XGS pon

    1. James™ says:

      Remember the fibre can be used for both, all they have to do is change the equipment at the end

  5. Tronald Dump says:

    I think their FTTP is as rare as hens teeth. Nobody has got it, nobody has seen it. Meanwhile, they can’t even give me 500mbit despite their network being “fully gigabit capable in all areas”. Total lie.

  6. Pete says:

    They briefly appeared in my area of Gorebridge a couple of weeks ago and seemed to do some civil works in the area and then left and there is nothing else planned from them for the area and still no ground boxes in front of the properties presenting a fibre for taking up the service.

    Mind you that’s at least better than Openreach, they haven’t even acknowledged the exchange for upgrade even though Newtongrange just a few miles north of Gorebridge has been included in Dalkeith’s FTTP upgrade plans.

    I’m really frustrated these days about it :/ Even considering trying Starlink…

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