BroadbandNetworks

Virgin Media Adds ‘Record’ 147,000 Project Lightning Premises

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Virgin Media’s Project Lightning network expansion continues after difficult start to the year

Virgin Media added 147,000 new premises to its cable network during the third quarter – the most additions since it embarked on Project Lightning– as its network expanded its reach to 14.7 million homes and businesses across the UK and Ireland.

The company secured 357,000 new home and SMB subscriptions during the period as the total user base rose to 5.9 million cable users and 3 million mobile customers. Total revenues were £1.24 billion, of which the UK accounted for £1.14 billion.

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Virgin Media Project Lightning

Project Lightning is the single biggest network expansion in the company’s history and aims to expand the cable footprint to 17 million by the end of 2019.

There had been concerns that progress was slowing, with Mike Fries, CEO of Virgin Media’s parent company Liberty Global, admitting in May that its UK and Ireland business had missed expectations and that Project Lightning progress had been stunted temporarily by management changes.

However it appears the programme is now back on track after two successful quarters. In August, Fries was more Bullish, telling investors that the management issues had been resolved and that 127,000 properties had been added in the preceding three months.

Some rural areas have been earmarked for expansion, but most of the deployment will be in places already served BT Openreach.

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