Virgin Media O2 gigabit broadband rollout passes 10 million UK homes

A Virgin Media engineer connecting a house to the Virgin telephone, internet and cable television network in North London. (Photo by: Newscast/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Virgin Media O2 says its hyperfast broadband is now available in more than 10 million UK homes (Getty)

Virgin Media O2’s hyperfast gigabit broadband is now available to more than 10 million properties, as the telecommunications giant continues with its upgrade plan.

The recently merged company’s latest switch-on saw a further 1.7 million homes added to the gigabit network, with Blackpool, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford and Swindon among the areas to benefit.

Gigabit broadband offers average speeds of 1,130Mbps, 14 times faster than the national average.

Two-thirds of Virgin Media O2’s UK footprint is now covered, with the aim of making the Gig1 service available to all 15.5 million homes before the end of 2021.

Chief executive Lutz Schuler said: ‘We’re rapidly expanding our gigabit broadband network and more than 10 million homes across the UK can now access these next-generation speeds.

‘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.’

The development is welcome news for the government, which has set a target of achieving at least 85% gigabit-capable UK coverage by 2025 – although Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially pledged at the 2019 general election to achieve 100% coverage.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘We have set out ambitious measures to encourage commercial investment in broadband, speed up rollout and spend £5 billion connecting hard-to-reach areas, so I’m pleased to see the excellent progress Virgin Media O2 is making getting lightning-fast gigabit speeds to the nation’s homes and businesses.’

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