Virgin Media Business looks to provide at least 2,000 Tech City businesses with improved download speeds
London’s Tech City is set to get a major internet speed upgrade thanks to a new deal with Virgin Media Business.
The company has announced it will be providing ‘faster, cheaper and more reliable’ broadband to small businesses in the area to allow them to grow faster and be more productive.
The new FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections will see managed internet access installed into buildings with shared occupancy. Once the fibre is installed, each of the small businesses in the building will get their own dedicated connection.
“Small businesses are the powerhouse of our economy yet poor connectivity exacerbates the challenges they face,” said Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business.
“We are transforming the prospects of thousands of companies by offering them faster, cheaper, more reliable broadband. These businesses will be able to work quicker, smarter and seize greater opportunities to grow with our better internet connections.
The project covers Tech City and will be available to new premises that house two or more businesses, with one to 249 employees, and will initially run until March 31.
Virgin Media Business expects the scheme to reach at least 2,000 businesses to begin with, with scope to further extend it to within reach of 6,000 more in the coming months.
Each of the qualifying small businesses in a building connected with fibre by Virgin Media Business in this new way would also be able to apply for subsidy from the Government’s SuperConnected Cities scheme, which was recently extended to March 2016.
Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, added, “Virgin Media Business’s new offer to Tech City businesses is a brilliant example of the many innovative products available to SMEs and will play an important role in removing barriers to better connectivity.”
The deal follows criticism from many Tech City businesses that the internet speeds currently on offer in the area, based around the Old Street roundabout in the east of the city, where not up to scratch.
A recent study by Hyperoptic found that London ranked only 26th in a survey of 33 European capitals in terms of broadband speeds with an average download speed of just of 26.3Mbps, more than 10Mbps slower than the European average of 36.8Mbps.
Watchdog Ofcom has also previously warned that the capital, like many major UK cities, suffers from a number of urban ‘not-spots’ caused by an absence of telephone exchanges to upgrade to fibre because so many buildings have direct connections. This means many businesses are unable to upgrade, having a major effect on average speeds.
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