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Virgin Media To Spend £3bn On Improving Broadband In The UK

17/02/2015 by Stuart Wilson


Virgin Media has announced it is to pour £3 billion into boosting Britain's internet infrastructure, which it hopes will go some way to bridging the so-called "digital divide" in the country.

As BBC News reports, the investment is one of the largest seen in the broadband sector for more than a decade, and will increase the reach of the network from 13 to 17 million homes by 2020.

Virgin Media claims the outlay will create around 6,000 jobs, fostering activity in the UK's economy to the tune of £8 billion.

Tom Mockridge, the firm's chief executive, says the plans are on a par with the building of the railways by the Victorians or the rollout of the motorways in the 20th century, adding that the move will give UK residents a choice over who is their superfast broadband supplier.

He said: "In virtually all of the areas we have identified for expansion, BT is the only option available right now.

"Its ageing copper telephony wires are not capable of the ultrafast connectivity that Virgin Media delivers. Soon we will offer unbeatable services to even more homes and businesses across the country."

However, Mockridge suggested to the BBC that there is more work to do in ensuring the most rural areas in the UK have access to the broadband speeds seen in better connected towns and cities – which he believes BT has to take some responsibility for.

As such, he hinted that those regions which are currently lacking in high-speed services – known as the final third – will not benefit immediately from Virgin Media's investment.

"I think an investment of this size is unambiguously helping to close the digital divide," he explained.

"Everything can't happen at once so we are really focusing on the areas where we can bring ultrafast broadband as quickly as possible and as effectively as possible."


Virgin Media, broadband, UK, Telecoms & Internet, Digital

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