By Jonathan Easton
Virgin Media O2 has announced the expansion of its gigabit broadband network to more than 10 million homes.
The upgrade represents more than two thirds of the operator’s footprint, and reaches cities including Blackpool, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford and Swindon.
Homes within the network are able to access Virgin Media’s Gig1 service, which provides average download speeds of 1,130Mbps. The service is available starting at £62(US$85.50) per month on an 18 month contract.
The company has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years to build on and expand its existing fibre network, with Virgin Media O2 aiming to reach 15.5 million homes by the end of 2021.
CEO at Virgin Media O2, Lutz Schüler said: “We’re rapidly expanding our gigabit broadband network and more than 10 million homes across the UK can now access these next-generation speeds.
“As the UK’s largest gigabit provider today, committed to connecting our entire network to these speeds by the end of the year, our investment is helping the UK meet its broadband targets and providing consumers with connectivity fit for the future.”
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We have set out ambitious measures to encourage commercial investment in broadband, speed up rollout and spend £5 billion connecting hard-to-reach areas, so I’m pleased to see the excellent progress Virgin Media O2 is making getting lightning-fast gigabit speeds to the nation’s homes and businesses.”
The news should serve as a boost for Virgin Media, which this week was found to be the most complained-about broadband, home phone and pay-TV provider in the UK.