Virgin Media and Liberty Global announce £3 bn in UK’s broadband

Virgin-Media-and-Liberty-Global-announce-£3-bn-in-UK’s-broadbandWith the support of parent company Liberty Global, Virgin Media is investing £3 billion on Project Lightning, the single largest investment in broadband infrastructure in UK for more than a decade.

Virgin Media will extend its unrivaled fiber rich network to approximately four million additional premises over the next five years. This will increase the number of homes and businesses to which Virgin Media can offer services by almost a third; from around half of the country today to nearly 17 million premises by 2020.

The £3 billion of additional private investment announced today is essential for individuals and businesses to thrive in the global digital economy. This substantial investment will be financed mainly through incremental borrowings.

David Cameroon, prime minister, UK said, “I welcome this substantial investment from Virgin Media which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to support business and create jobs by building a super fast nation backed by world-class infrastructure. These 6,000 new jobs and apprenticeships will mean financial security and economic peace of mind for thousands more hardworking families across the country.”

“Together with this Government’s rollout of super fast broadband which has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain,” commented Cameroon.

Tom Mockridge, chief executive officer, Virgin Media said, “Millions of homes and businesses will soon be able to benefit for the first time from broadband speeds at least twice as fast as those available from the other major providers. Consumers and business owners who want to make the switch to better broadband speeds now have an alternative; you can call on Virgin Media to ‘Cable My Street’.”

Mike Fries, chief executive officer, Liberty Global said, “Our next-generation fiber rich networks reach 50 million households across Europe, enabling our customers to discover and experience the endless possibilities of the digital world. After a record operating performance, Project Lightning is a significant investment that demonstrates the confidence we have in Virgin Media and the UK as a place to do business.”

Households connecting to Virgin Media for the first time will benefit from broadband speeds of 152 MB, at least twice as fast as the fastest speeds available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky. Virgin Media also offers the UK’s most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box.

Home workers and small and medium-sized companies will also receive a boost from better connectivity in areas where Virgin Media Business will become available for the first time.

Today’s announcement of “Project Lightning” marks a five-year transformation of Virgin Media to extend its existing position as ‘always faster’ to more areas as the better alternative to the incumbent BT’s network.

Liberty Global is a global leader in innovation and new technologies and is preparing trials of DOCSIS 3.1 technology across Europe later this year. This technology could extend Liberty Global’s speed leadership to up to 10 GB when it is fully deployed in the future.

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