Virgin Media O2 reaches 10 million homes in gigabit roll-out

Recently merged operator adds nearly two million customers from mid-size cities and large towns to footprint of gigabit broadband estate

Just over a month after announcing its intention to upgrade its entire fixed network to full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) by 2028, Virgin Media O2 has revealed that its gigabit broadband network has been expanded to reach more than 10 million homes across the UK, meaning that two-thirds of its footprint can now access what it calls “hyperfast” broadband speeds.

The landmark was reached by an upgrade of the recently merged operator’s network that has seen 1.7 million locations gain access to the next-generation connectivity. These include towns and cities such as Blackpool, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford and Swindon, which are now able to access Virgin Media’s next-generation Gig1 broadband service, which, with an average download speed of 1.130Gbps, is the fastest available from a major broadband provider in the UK and 14 times faster than the national average, said Virgin.

The operator has a target of delivering gigabit broadband speeds across its entire network of 15.5 million homes by the end of 2021, and said such connectivity will prepare homes for the technologies and applications of tomorrow. Gigabit speeds enable consumers to do more online – including working, streaming, socialising and gaming – all at the same time and on multiple devices, it said.

“We are rapidly expanding our gigabit broadband network and more than 10 million homes across the UK can now access these next-generation speeds,” said Lutz Schüler, chief executive officer at Virgin Media O2. “As the UK’s largest gigabit provider today, committed to connecting our entire network to these speeds by the end of the year, our investment is helping the UK meet its broadband targets and providing consumers with connectivity fit for the future.”

In its mission to upgrade the UK, the company has committed to invest at least £10bn over the next five years in the UK and, building on the success of its existing fibre network expansion activity, is exploring options to go further and faster by deploying fibre to millions more homes across the country. This investment includes an accelerated monthly roll-out of gigabit speeds to multiple locations across the UK between now and the end of the year.

Customers taking Gig1 will be able to use Virgin Media’s Hub 4 gigabit capable router, which is its fastest to date and features intelligent Wi-Fi firmware to provide speedy and reliable connectivity throughout customers’ homes, boasting more antennae than its predecessor, so it can manage multiple devices at the same time around the home which can all share the hyperfast speeds.

As part of the drive to upgrade its fixed network to full FTTP, Virgin Media O2 said it will be capable of delivering symmetrical 10Gbps download and upload speeds.

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