Rate your broadband service!
Happy with broadband? Or is it letting you down?
Rate your broadband ISP here >>
Virgin to extend reach to an extra 100,000 homes
Virgin is to expand its fibre optic broadband network to an additional 100,000 homes by the end of the year. This week (8 August) the telecommunications giant announced the start of a “substantial new construction project” in Southampton which will see Virgin Media almost double the size of its presence in the city.
Further projects are planned for 2011 and beyond, bringing investment in the network to more than £13bn. The fibre-optic cable offers customers speeds of up to 100Mb, the fastest in the country. Virgin currently caters to 13 million homes, and next year intends to increase that number by a further 500,000.
Virgin Media also revealed the average amount of data downloaded by its customers has increased by almost half (43 per cent) each year since 2007 and is now in excess of 25GB every month. This is equivalent to half an hour of music streaming every day, along with thirty hours of online TV viewing, a couple of hours spent watching YouTube clips and thousands of views of web pages and emails, according to the provider.
Jon James, executive director of broadband for Virgin Media, said: “By extending our unique fibre optic network to parts of the country previously outside our traditional heartland, we’re ensuring more people can experience the compelling advantages that a superfast connection can bring and in doing so, support the Government’s digital ambitions.
“Today’s increasingly digital lifestyle requires better broadband and we’ve seen a strong response from the communities we expand into who are crying out for quality services. We’re adding thousands of homes to our network every month as our expansion programme continues and we look for opportunities to give more people access to the fastest broadband and best in home entertainment.”
As the competition to provide superfast broadband hots up Virgin has emphasised what it sees as the failings of its competitors. In a statement Virgin Media said: “By contrast BT’s network remains reliant on copper telephone wiring, or in some cases even more inferior aluminium, which was never intended to supply broadband. This will not change for the overwhelming majority of homes eventually offered Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) services from other providers.”
During May BT refuted claims that it was seriously behind schedule in facilitating the roll out of superfast fibre broadband.
Point Topic, a specialist broadband research group, published figures claiming that almost half of the exchanges BT had said would be enabled for next-generation broadband had not been ready by the end of 2010.