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Virgin Media cuts agreement with HBF for new-build networks

Virgin Media has forged a partnership with the Home Builders Federation to improve delivery of fibre-based broadband services to new-build properties

Virgin Media has become the latest broadband network builder to sign a partnership agreement with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) with the intent of putting future-proof broadband services into new-build homes, after BT Openreach struck a virtually identical deal in February 2016.

The HBF’s latest partnership will give federation members – who currently deliver the majority of new-build homes in England and Wales – to provide houses with Virgin’s network built in from the ground up, supplying its headline 200Mbps ultrafast service alongside its cable TV packages.

Homeowners moving into properties covered by the scheme, which is being funded out of Virgin Media’s £3bn Project Lightning network build, will also receive discounts on service packages.

“The buyers of new homes understandably have very high expectations of the property they move into, and house builders strive to meet and surpass those expectations,” said HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley.

“With connectivity now vital to the way we live our lives, being able to equip today’s modern, high-quality housing with 21st-century connectivity is a key consideration for builders,” he added.

“Housing delivery is growing exponentially as we seek to tackle the country’s housing crisis – meaning more households will be living in new homes. Competition between network builders will help to ensure more homeowners can enjoy all the benefits of the digital age, helping to make new-build properties even more attractive to homebuyers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Virgin Media has undertaken to launch a new portal for federation members that will include technical guidance and enable them to kick off the new-site request process. Just as Openreach committed, it will also carry out new-site assessments for free.

“With our network growing at a faster pace than ever, the more demand we get from developers, the more we can do to support them,” said Virgin Media chief operating officer Paul Buttery.

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