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Virgin Media Brings FTTP Broadband To North Wales

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 £3bn network expansion reaches Wrexham and Chester, delivering FTTP broadband

Wrexham has become the first town in North Wales to be connected to fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband as Virgin Media’s £3 billion Project Lightning network expansion ventures into the country for the first time.

The company, which plans to add four million additional homes and businesses to its network by 2019, recently promised to connect at least one quarter of premises to FTTP in one of the UK’s largest deployments of the technology to date.

Residents will have access to 200Mbps and businesses 300Mbps, but the use of FTTP means the upper limit is theoretically even higher. Rollout will start later this year, covering the town centre and a number of business parks.

Wrexham FTTP

Fotolia: Flag of Wales © Ayzek #32444109Ian Morris, MP for Wrexham, said he lobbied Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge to cover the town when he appeared at a parliamentary select committee last year.

“I am absolutely delighted at Virgin Media’s announcement of their investment in an entirely new broadband network in Wrexham,” said Lucas. “It is a huge vote of confidence in Wrexham and its future. This is a private sector investment of enormous significance. It will further increase Wrexham’s appeal as a location for business and is a massive boost for jobs and growth. Both businesses and individual consumers will benefit.”

The Wrexham expansion has been made possible by a separate rollout in nearby Chester. Work there will start in 2017 and will initially cover 45,000 homes and businesses. More areas could be added depending on local demand.

Project Lightning will expand Virgin Media’s national footprint from 13 million premises to 17 million by the end of 2019, with 500,000 homes and businesses added this year alone. 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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