UK quad-play operator Virgin Media has confirmed that the north-west city of Manchester is to be the first to benefit from ‘Project Lightning’, unveiled earlier this year. This major expansion of ultrafast connectivity to 4 million premises over the next five years is claimed as the single largest investment in the UK’s broadband digital infrastructure for more than a decade.
An extra 150,000 Manchester premises benefit from ultrafast broadband for the first time as Virgin Media expands its network based on demand from consumers and communities which register their interest at virginmedia.com/cablemystreet.
The initiative covers premises in Manchester. Virgin Media expects to connect more premises in neighbouring postal towns prioritised according to demand from consumers and businesses.
Work starts this week to connect the first 20,000 Manchester homes and businesses to broadband speeds of 152Mb, which the operator says is at least twice as fast as the fastest speeds available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky. Broadband speed and the capacity it delivers matter for consumers and businesses. Data usage on the Virgin Media network is growing at 60 per cent every year which, if this trend continues, will be 10,000 per cent higher in ten years.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, said: “This is wonderful news for Manchester residents and businesses. We are in the midst of a remarkable transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, and Virgin Media’s £3 billion investment will play an important role in ensuring our cities are fully equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age in which we live.”
Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media Chief Executive Officer, said the company’s message was simple: “Help us to cable your street. If you want to switch to broadband speeds twice as fast as you can get today, simply register with Virgin Media to ‘cablemystreet’.”