Virgin Media names 10 communities to benefit from fibre

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Virgin Media has unveiled the names of 10 communities, chosen by local residents, that will see optical fibre brought directly to their homes and businesses. The 10 communities received the most votes as part of the cable operator’s ‘Supercharging Local Communities’ initiative.

Launched earlier this year, the initiative is part of Virgin Media’s £3 billion Project Lightning network expansion. Local residents and businesses in 18 UK counties were urged to vote for their community to benefit from the scheme and bring the fastest widely available broadband speeds to their area.

Four of the 10 communities are in Scotland, including Kirknewton in West Lothian; Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Brookfield in Renfrewshire; Bridge of Weir in Renfrewshire; and Kilmacolm in Inverclyde.

Ratby in Leicestershire, Wilsden in West Yorkshire, Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, Lightwater in Surrey, Hartley Wintney and Phoenix Green in Hampshire, and Oakley in Dorset will also benefit.

Last month, Virgin Media committed to connecting fibre to the premises (FTTP) to at least a quarter of the 4 million additional homes and businesses being added to the Virgin Media network as part of its ‘Project Lightning’ expansion plans.

The cable operator has already started to deploy FTTP in Manchester, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire (see Virgin gigabit trial in Cambridgeshire village).

This FTTP expansion will use narrow-trenching, an installation technique that reduces the width of the trench used to lay optical fibre cables from around 40cm to just 10cm and enables engineers to cover up to 100m in a day, making it more than twice as fast as current methods. A similar technique has been used in Leicestershire where Virgin Media is connecting six villages.

Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: ‘This is truly people-powered connectivity. The collective support and demand from across the UK has exceeded our expectations and we’re delighted to be supercharging these 10 areas with ultrafast fibre broadband and top notch entertainment. Investing and delivering better connectivity in these communities shows that ultrafast broadband isn’t just for the big cities – we urge more communities to come together and register their interest.’

As Virgin Media continues its network expansion across the country, it has reopened voting for the Supercharging Local Communities initiative in 18 counties, with more communities to be announced later this year. To register interest visit: www.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet

The 18 eligible counties are: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Renfrewshire, Rhondda, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Lothian, West Yorkshire, Worcestershire.

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