Announced today, the plan will see Virgin’s 152Mbps service extended to areas not within its reach – consumers and small businesses are being encouraged to register demand for services at virginmedia.com/cablemystreet and the rollout will then proceed in the areas of most demand, “with a focus on areas closest to Virgin Media’s existing network,” the company said.
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In addition to improving broadband access for residents and businesses, Virgin Media said the expansion would create 6,000 direct new jobs – of which 1,000 will be apprenticeships – over the next five years.
The rollout is a significant move for the only real consumer-facing infrastructure-owning rival to BT in the UK. While there are many fixed-line broadband providers, almost all of them are resellers that rely on BT’s wholesale network to operate their services; customers are therefore limited by the reach of BT’s own network, regardless of operator.