• Virgin Media O2, Scotland’s largest gigabit provider, now provides next-generation Gig 1 broadband to 1.3 million Scottish homes following continued network expansion works
  • Virgin Media O2’s 5G coverage reaches over 50% of Scotland’s population, with 28,000 postcodes added over the past year, while coverage in the most rural areas is being expanded through the Shared Rural Network programme
  • Continued investment in Scotland was welcomed by Ivan McKee MSP and Colin Beattie MSP at a Scottish Parliament reception on Wednesday evening (8 March)

10 March 2023: Virgin Media O2’s commitment to boosting broadband and mobile connectivity in Scotland was welcomed by ministers at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday evening, as the company announced it had further expanded its gigabit broadband network to pass 1.3 million homes in Scotland.

With next-generation Gig1 broadband enabled at all premises, millions of Scottish consumers and businesses can experience ultrafast speeds, with average download speeds of 1,140Mbps.

Since the company began investing to expand its broadband network in Scotland in 2015, it has grown to reach more than half of all Scottish homes, with ultrafast services becoming available to 800,000 additional people for the first time.

Virgin Media O2 also continues to invest heavily in its mobile networks. It now provides 5G coverage to more than half of Scotland’s population in almost 60 locations, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Perth. As part of its 5G rollout, more than 28,000 postcodes across Scotland have been added to the company’s 5G network over the past year.

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme – a £1bn joint initiative between mobile network operators and the government – is addressing the digital divide by improving the reliability of 4G coverage in rural areas. In Scotland specifically, just 44% of landmass currently gets 4G signal from all four mobile network operators (Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, EE and Three), but this will increase to 74% after the SRN programme has been fully delivered. Virgin Media O2 has announced connectivity improvements in Traquair (Peeblesshire), Balmacara (Ross-shire), and Denholm (Scottish Borders) in recent weeks.

Colin Brown, Director for Network Build in Scotland at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re investing huge sums to upgrade our gigabit network, improve 4G in rural areas and roll out 5G, bringing seamless connectivity to millions of customers, residents, businesses and visitors across Scotland. Working closely with the Scottish Government, we’re playing a leading part in delivering the fixed and mobile infrastructure that will underpin Scotland’s economic and digital growth for years to come.”

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government recognises how critical broadband and mobile networks are to Scotland’s national and international infrastructure.

“Virgin Media O2 is a Scottish Government Full Fibre Charter signatory and I welcome their continuing investment programme in Scotland – including through the Shared Rural

Network and collaboration with the Scottish 4G Infill programme.

“The delivery of future-proofed digital infrastructure will continue to underpin the economic prospects of communities across Scotland.”

Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said: “It was a pleasure to sponsor the first Virgin Media O2 Parliamentary reception in the Scottish Parliament and hear more about the work they have undertaken in our communities to boost broadband and mobile connectivity.

“It is vital that now more than ever we are able to stay connected wherever we are. I welcome the continued investment from both Virgin Media O2 and the Scottish Government to ensure this happens and ensure no one is left behind as we emerge into the digital world.”



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