Virgin Media has announced plans to bring next-generation gigabit connections to its entire network in the UK by the end of 2021. If fulfilled, the move will make Virgin Media the UK’s largest and fastest widely available residential gigabit connectivity provider.
The company aims to provide almost 15 million UK households with access to gigabit broadband speeds. The service will be rolled out in cities across its national network later in the year. The first city will be Southampton, where the first customers are already trialling the service.
Virgin Media gigabit plans mean that more than a million people will be able to access broadband speeds of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) by the end of 2019.
Virgin Media, through the backing of Liberty Global, has invested billions of pounds to expand its network. Virgin Media will be rolling out its gigabit speeds using DOCSIS 3.1 technology across its cable network. Liberty Global has already successfully launched gigabit cities in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands using DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
Gigabit speeds are almost 20 times faster than the UK average broadband connection meaning that users can download a high definition (HD) film (5GB) in just 42 seconds, compared to more than 13 minutes on the UK’s average connection.
Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: “This is a giant digital leap forward for the UK.
“Virgin Media has been the unparalleled speed leader for many years. Very soon, for the first time ever, millions of people right across the country will be able to experience hyperfast and reliable gigabit internet connections thanks to the latest technology and the power of our network.
“This upgrade plan will see gigabit speeds rolled out at an unrivalled pace right across the country, bringing our customers the future-proof connections of tomorrow.”
Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “We welcome Virgin Media’s commitment to investing further in its network, providing gigabit speeds to millions more households. This shows the race to roll out ultrafast speeds to people and businesses across the UK is really gathering pace.”