express– Thousands of Virgin Media customers could soon be treated to the ultimate Gigabit broadband. This blisteringly quick technology is around 18 times faster than the UK average and allows those using it to download a full HD movie in just 40 seconds. With more of us than ever now using the web to work from home and watch endless boxsets, having faster speeds is becoming vital.
Despite recent announcements that the UK’s broadband is set for record investment, large swathes of the country are still struggling with their downloads but Virgin is hoping a new incentive can help. The telecoms firm says it is now allowing some consumers to make use of the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
If you weren’t aware, these Vouchers are worth up to £1,500 for homes and £3,500 for businesses and help to cover the costs of installing gigabit-capable broadband.
If a whole street joins forces and applies for the money it can mean homes get better speeds more quickly than if they waited for the standard fibre rollout to arrive in their area.
As an initial trial, Virgin Media says it is inviting residents in West Sussex to register their interest so that Gigabit Broadband Vouchers can be used, alongside private investment from the company, to help connect them to some of the nation’s fastest broadband speeds of up to 1.1Gbps.
The average broadband speed in the area is 43.8Mbps but many premises experience much slower connections. At that rate it would take around 13 minutes to download a blockbuster movie or almost there hours for a PS5 title to arrive on the console.
Speaking about the news Rob Evans, Managing Director, Fixed Network Expansion at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re spearheading the UK’s broadband charge with the nation’s largest gigabit network that is expanding to new areas each day.
“Our mission is to upgrade the UK and this voucher scheme, combined with our continued private investment, will help to bring the benefits of next-generation digital infrastructure to harder-to-reach areas. We urge residents in West Sussex to get involved and register their interest so that Virgin Media O2 can bring gigabit connectivity to West Sussex communities as quickly as possible.”
And Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, added: “Our broadband voucher scheme is energising broadband firms to deliver ultra high-speed connections to the most hard-to-reach parts and I’m delighted to hear Virgin Media O2 has joined us and launched its first scheme in West Sussex.”
Virgin Media, who recently joined forces with O2, is making big promises about the future of its broadband.
The new joint company says it will bring gigabit connectivity to its entire network – covering more than 15 million homes and businesses – by the end of 2021, helping to deliver nearly two-thirds of the Government’s 2025 broadband target four years early.
The company has also committed to investing at least £10bn over the next 5 years in the UK.
This news from Virgin comes as BT’s Openreach has also announced big investment in its infrastructure with the company saying it is bringing ultra-reliable FTTP broadband to 551 more towns and cities with 43,000 premises getting the upgrade every single week.