Virgin Media will spend around £3 billion on increasing the footprint of its broadband network in the UK and increasing the overall speeds for users.
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.
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.