The partnership will help the spread of ultrafast broadband to new areas in the UK
Virgin Media will be providing ultrafast broadband to 13,000 new homes in Tamworth, Shrewsbury and Evesham through a partnership with housing firm Redrow.
The tie-up is slated to bring access to high-speed broadband and the TV services it enables. And Virgin championed it will bring ultrafast broadband to Shropshire for the first time, all through the low-tech approach of digging a 11km cable trench to reach the site of the new Redrow homes.
Access to the ultrafast broadband will be provided courtesy of Virgin’s Project Lightning, a £3bn network expansion that involves routing fibre broadband cables directly to a home rather than to an exchange. This bypasses the risk of loosing broadband speed when using older copper cables that commonly connect exchanges to homes and other buildings.
Virgin’s partnership with Redrow comes at a time when broadband advice site Cable revealed that thousands of people purchasing homes on new developments are discovering that the broadband connectivity they can receive is non-existent or not up to modern speeds.
“In the digital age internet connectivity and communications systems are high on homeowners’ agendas and they want the best services and speeds possible,” said Mark Marsh, technical director at Redrow Homes.
“Our partnership means that Redrow customers are able to move in with services including a broadband connection and Virgin TV box already installed. It’s much more convenient than having to arrange installation after you’ve moved, which could involve a wait of several weeks.”
Marsh also noted that Virgin’s partnership with Redrow also means that they improve ultrafast broadband access to the entire area, not just Redrow housing estates.
However, while this may have a benevolent aspect to it, Virgin is clearly set to benefit by using the partnership to beat its rivals in providing high-speed broadband to homes in the regions, and will effectively lay the foundations for it to rapidly get other people in the area not in Redrow homes to adopt the service.
This strategy would rely on the service being well received by Redrow homeowners so that they naturally encourage others to adopt the service, otherwise Virgin’s investment and efforts may fall to the wayside.
Rolling out ultrafast broadband is a competitive arena for the major telecoms companies, with BT having invested £6bn to get the service into 12 million homes and businesses by 2020, while CityFibre and Gigaclear recently joined forces to take on the British telecoms giant with their own plans to rollout ultrafast broadband to rural areas.
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