More than a million UK homes across the West Midlands are set to benefit from the region’s fastest gigabit home broadband service which boasts speeds up to 20 times quicker (according to Virgin Media) than the current regional average.
Following continued investment in the region, Virgin Media will switch on its next-generation Gig1 Fibre Broadband services in early March in Birmingham and Coventry – the first cities to benefit from the service this year – as well as surrounding areas across the West Midlands.
This forms part of Virgin Media’s plan to roll out gigabit speeds to more than 15 million homes across its network by the end of 2021 – delivering half of the Government’s broadband ambition four years early.
To mark the upcoming launch of the next-generation service in the West Midlands, Oliver Dowden CBE, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Andy Street CBE, Mayor of the West Midlands, visited Virgin Media’s National Apprenticeship Centre at its Eagle Court office in Birmingham.
The centre is home to more than 1000 Virgin Media employees and is where hundreds of apprentices are trained in a variety of roles ranging from field operations to network engineering – all playing a vital role in Virgin Media’s gigabit rollout and network expansion.
Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media is delivering on its promises, putting its money where its mouth is and bringing next-generation broadband to its entire network. Switching on gigabit speeds for more than a million homes in the West Midlands, the UK’s largest gigabit rollout to date, will be a leap forward for the region and a big step for the Government’s gigabit broadband ambition. From gaming to streaming, Gig1’s hyperfast speeds will mean that households can do everything they want to do online, at the same time and without delay, with millions of more homes set to benefit this year as we bring this next-generation connectivity to more cities around the UK.”
Dowden, said: “Today’s announcement means we’re a million homes closer in delivering our plans to deliver gigabit broadband to everyone in the UK. We’re working closely with companies like Virgin Media and investing £5 billion to ensure the hardest to reach areas aren’t left behind – so that every part of the country can enjoy the benefits of a world class internet connection.”
Street said: “Connectivity like this has the potential to make life easier for people here in the West Midlands and is sure to help our businesses and economy grow. I’ve spoken frequently on the need for good, reliable connectivity in the region and Virgin Media’s investment here in network expansion is an important step towards making the West Midlands one of the best connected places in the country.” and TV programmes, very large files and 360 degree videos can be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection simultaneously. The connection will also support innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality headsets, cloud gaming and futuristic immersive in-home entertainment.
Virgin Media will announce which further cities are set to benefit from its Gig1 Fibre Broadband service later in the year as it continues its national gigabit rollout plan. Last year, the company launched gigabit broadband services in Southampton, Greater Manchester and Reading.