Virgin Media Names Next 30 Villages To Be Connected To 300Mbps Broadband

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Virgin Media will bring 300Mbps to SMBs in 30 more villages as part of its rural network expansion plans

Virgin Media has listed the next 30 rural communities to be covered by its £3 billion Project Lightning network expansion, bringing 300Mbps broadband to small businesses located outside major towns and cities.

The majority of premises passed in the expansion will be in major towns and cities also served by BT Openreach, but the imitative lets residents and businesses ‘vote’ to be connected by Virgin Media. Voting was suspended in April when ten communities were announced before resuming.

Project Lightning will see Virgin Media’s footprint increase from 12.9 million premises to 17 million by the end of 2019, with 500,000 homes and businesses added this year alone. A full list of the villages being added can be seen below.

Virgin Media rural

packetfront“By bringing fibre to the parishes and smaller communities, it shows that ultrafast broadband and top-notch TV isn’t just for big cities,” said Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from the local communities and as a result we have decided to speed up our network expansion plans, to connect the next 30 villages by spring 2017. But we won’t stop there – we urge more people to come forward and tell us where we should expand to next.”

Virgin Media has pledged to connect a quarter of the properties added using fibre to the premise (FTTP) technology.

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BT Openreach’s superfast broadband network is powered by fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology which uses copper for the final few hundred metres of a connection, slowing down maximum speeds.

The company has pledged to deliver ‘ultrafast’ broadband to ten million premises by 2020 and to the ‘majority of the UK’ within the next ten years, however FTTP will only play a relatively minor role in this project, with G.Fast –which speeds up copper connections – the predominant technology used.

A number of other companies are however building and delivering FTTP services across the UK. CityFibre hopes to establish itself as a wholesale FTTP alternative to Openreach by targeting urban areas outside London, Hyperoptic covers a number of cities including the capital, and Gigaclear is connecting rural communities to fibre.

TalkTalk and Sky are also participating in a joint venture in York to see whether FTTP can be cost effectively deployed on a wider scale across the UK.

Villages added (in order of votes cast)

  1. Windlesham (Surrey)
  2. Sutton Courtenay (Oxfordshire)
  3. Balsall Common (West Midlands)
  4. Chineham & Old Basing (Hampshire)
  5. Oakley (Hampshire)
  6. Farnham Common (Buckinghamshire)
  7. Wargrave (Berkshire)
  8. Lickey, Catshill, Marlbrook & Barnt Green (Worcestershire)
  9. Cullingworth (West Yorkshire)
  10. Shrivenham (Oxfordshire)
  11. Baddesley Ensor (Warwickshire)
  12. Harden (West Yorkshire)
  13. Broughton Astley (Leicestershire)
  14. Grimethorpe (South Yorkshire)
  15. Wigginton & Haxby (North Yorkshire)
  16. Copmanthorpe (North Yorkshire)
  17. Grassmoor (Derbyshire)
  18. Pontyclun (Rhondda)
  19. Darfield (South Yorkshire)
  20. Talke & Talke Pits (Staffordshire)
  21. Cudworth (South Yorkshire)
  22. Duffield (Derbyshire)
  23. Shafton (South Yorkshire)
  24. Denham (Buckinghamshire)
  25. Llanharry (Rhondda)
  26. Marcham (Oxfordshire)
  27. North Leigh (Oxfordshire)
  28. Repton (Derbyshire)
  29. North Cornelly (Bridgend)
  30. Watchfield (Oxfordshire)

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