Virgin Media O2 completes Gigabit upgrade

UK service provider Virgin Media O2 has said it has completed the upgrade of its national network to Gigabit speeds. The company laid claim to delivering nearly two-thirds of the UK government’s broadband ambition four years ahead of the target date.

The operator completed its rollout after switching on gigabit speeds to a final 1.1 million homes, meaning all 15.5 million homes passed by Virgin Media O2’s network can now access Gigabit broadband.

The Gig1 broadband service offers average download speeds of 1.13Gbps – said by VMO2 to be 22 times faster than the national average. Virgin Media first launched gigabit services in September 2019.

The company has committed to invest at least £10 billion over the next five years in the UK.

The company has also completed a number of trials to deliver speeds of 2.2Gbps to homes using its existing network and technology.

Earlier this year Virgin Media O2 announced its intention to upgrade its fixed network to fibre-to-the-premises by 2028. This technology is capable of delivering symmetrical 10Gbps download and upload speeds.

Gig1 broadband is available to new and existing customers and can be packaged with or without telephone, TV and mobile services. Prices start from £62 per month on an 18 month contract.

“Just two years ago we set out to spearhead the UK’s gigabit revolution and today we’ve delivered. Our investment to bring gigabit broadband to every home on our network has catapulted the UK’s digital infrastructure forward by a decade and forced others to up their game,” said Lutz Schüler, CEO at Virgin Media O2.

“As the country’s largest gigabit provider by far, we’re the driving force behind widespread gigabit availability four years ahead of the Government’s target. Having reached this major milestone in just two years, we’re doubling down on our mission to upgrade the UK by continuing to innovate and invest in our network to support the technologies of tomorrow – there’s no slowing down at Virgin Media O2.”

The UK government’s digital secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Getting high speed broadband into everyone’s homes is a top priority and Virgin Media O2’s efforts mean we’re making quick progress in our mission to level up the UK with better connectivity. We must ensure that rural areas are not left behind, which is why alongside industry’s roll out we’re investing up to £5 billion to make top-of-the-range speeds available in hard-to-reach communities.”

Virgin Media O2 is already one of the largest network builders in the country and continues to expand its footprint through Project Lighting which has seen more than 2.6 million additional premises built to so far since works began – all can now access gigabit services. To go further and faster, the business is actively exploring options to deploy fibre to millions of additional homes across the country.

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