Virgin Media’s major expansion in the east end gets to the halfway stage
Virgin Media has reached the halfway stage of the enlargement of its cable network in East London, with 50,000 homes and businesses now connected to broadband speeds of 152Mbps.
The expansion was announced last August as the single largest expansion of the Virgin Media network since the company was formed by the merger of NTL and Telewest in 2007.
Properties in East Ham, Poplar, Bow, Stepney, and Stratford have been added, with Virgin claiming the news is a welcome antidote to recent reports criticising the standard of broadband in the capital, especially in Tech City.
Virgin Media London
Virgin Media has also committed to expanding its cable service to four million additional premises across the UK over the next five years. The £3 billion investment is targeted at areas already served by BT’s Openreach network in a bid to boost competition and offer more diversified services.
Some observers have lamented the fact that rural areas, already suffering from slow speeds, will not benefit from the programme.
The Openreach network primarily uses Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology which uses existing copper wire for the final few hundred metres of the connection, delivering speeds of up to 76Mbps. Virgin’s network offers up to 152Mbps, although it is worth noting that BT plans to rollout G.Fast across its infrastructure, potentially offering 500Mbps to the majority of the UK within a decade.
At the moment, the average broadband speed in the UK is 23Mbps, but just 22 percent of households subscribe to superfast broadband services. The government is targeting 95 percent coverage by 2017 and is looking at using alternative technologies to reach the final five percent of the population not covered by existing projects.