Virgin Media Business has launched a managed fibre broadband offering for businesses in Tech City struggling with East London’s notoriously flaky connectivity.
In 2014 infrastructure providers came in for criticism over the state of broadband provision in Tech City, the nebulous area of the City and East End of London that has become a hotspot for IT startups in recent years.
Part of the problem is thought to be the rapid transformation of the area, from a down-at-heel district comprising mostly of warehouses and businesses that tend not to rely heavily on IT, to a high-tech centre where people demand instant, superfast connectivity.
In November 2014, the City of London Corporation announced it was seizing the initiative on superfast broadband, embarking on a programme to map fibre demand in the area, which it planned to use to put pressure on suppliers to get more fibre into the ground.
Virgin Media Business said it will offer dedicated connections with upload and download speeds up to six times faster than what is currently available in Tech City – and for half the cost.
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Cutting delivery time
It said that installing dedicated, managed internet connections in multiple-occupancy office buildings would mean each SME located in the building would be able to have its own superfast fibre to the premises (FTTP), meaning such companies could abandon expensive leased lines or superslow ADSL over copper.
It will work with landlords and local authorities to drastically cut the time it takes to deliver new connections, caused by the many permissions needed for interruptions to parking, road access, footpaths and so on.
Those choosing to connect to Virgin Media Business under the scheme will be eligible for broadband connection vouchers to cover the cost, under the government’s ongoing SuperConnected Cities scheme.
“The Government's Connection Vouchers have already provided thousands of businesses across the UK with a faster and more reliable internet connection,” said digital economy minister Ed Vaizey.
“Virgin Media Business's offer to Tech City businesses is a brilliant example of the many innovative products available to SMEs, and will play an important role in removing barriers to better connectivity."
“We are transforming the prospects of thousands of companies by offering them faster, cheaper, more reliable broadband. These businesses will be able to work quicker, smarter and seize greater opportunities to grow with our better internet connections,” added Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly.
The provider hopes to cover 2,000 businesses initially, and 6,000 more later in the year.