Virgin Media Uses ‘Narrow Trenching’ To Reduce Cost Of Fibre Rollout

Fibre optic quantum cryptography light © asharkyu Shutterstock

Virgin Media lays fibre in Cambridgeshire village using new technique

Virgin Media is trialling a new method in Cambridgeshire that could reduce the cost and time it takes to deploy fibre.

‘Narrow trenching’ contracts the width of the trench used to lay the cable from around 40cm to 10cm, making it a third cheaper to deploy and allows engineers to double the amount of ground they can cover in a day to 100 metres.

The use of the method means one hundred premises in the village of Papworth can now receive speeds of 1Gbps, while hundreds more can access 152Mbps broadband.

Virgin Media fibre rollout

Fibre“Rolling-out fibre broadband is a complex engineering challenge and the Council welcomes the development of the new trenching techniques such as these being trialled by Virgin Media and John Henry Group, which can help to minimise disruption to highways and the environment while improving the network,” said Nicola Debnam, Head of Local Infrastructure and Street Management, Cambridgeshire County Council.

Virgin Media’s network tends to be focused on urban areas, with most fibre serving rural communities laid by BT, either as part of its commercial rollout or through the government funded Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

However the Liberty Global-owned firm has sought to expand its network in recent times, announcing plans to connect 100,000 more homes in East London, while it has also added 45,000 premises in western Scotland and the north west of England through the acquisition of Smallworld Fibre earlier this year.

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