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Virgin Media Pumps £3bn into UK Broadband

Virgin Media Pumps £3bn into UK Broadband

Virgin Media is to make a £3bn investment in its national broadband network infrastructure and plans to pass approximately four million new homes and businesses with its high-end 152Mbps product over five years.

It claimed that by 2020, it will be able to supply 17 million premises with superfast broadband products, a third more than at

present.

The investment is backed by Liberty Global, and is almost double the £1.7bn funding available for the government's BDUK rollout with BT. Virgin Media hopes its plan, dubbed "Project Lightning", will bring £8bn into the UK economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Together with this government's roll-out of superfast 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."

Mike Fries, Liberty Global CEO said: "Our next-generation fibre-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."

Responding to criticism that chasing a new net business could disadvantage Virgin Media's existing consumer and business broadband base, managing director of Virgin Media's business, Peter Kelly said: "It will drive a re-architecting of our core infrastructure across the voice and data portfolio.

"I do think existing customers will be getting better service."

Kelly said Virgin Media already has one of the UK's fastest widely-available consumer broadband products, with speeds topping out at 152Mbps.

He added that some business customers can already get 1Gps and believes there was no reason why a consumer gigabit product could not be introduced in the future.

He said: "When it comes to B2B, I have over 200,000km of fibre in the ground supporting the public and private sector. When it comes to the consumer, we are building out hybrid-fibre coax (HFC) infrastructure to the home, with fibre to the cabinet.

Downstream fibre to the premises will be part of the programme."


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