Grahame Morris MP has toured one of Virgin Media O2’s build sites in Peterlee to celebrate the telecoms company’s network expansion across County Durham.
As part of the tour the Easington MP had the chance to meet engineers and teams laying the new fibreoptic connections bringing gigabit broadband service – with average top speeds of 1,130Mbps – to tens of thousands of additional people in the area.
The build is taking place as part of the business’ network expansion programme, where it is expanding its network to bring ultrafast broadband, TV and phone services to more residents and small businesses across Country Durham and beyond.
Prior to 2015, Virgin Media O2 had no presence in County Durham, however in the space of just six years the business has invested more than £24 million to connect 42,000 premises to the UK’s fastest widely available broadband network – offering gigabit speeds 27 times faster than the local average*.
In addition to connecting homes and businesses in Peterlee, Virgin Media O2 has further expansion planned in County Durham for 2022.
Grahame Morris MP for Member of Parliament for Easington, said: ““Access to ultrafast broadband is an essential utility for life and work. I welcome Virgin Media O2’s significant investment in Peterlee, providing reliable and in-demand broadband, TV, and phone services.
Thank you to the engineers and team on the ground for meeting with me and for their work in all weathers to deliver new infrastructure in our area. I hope in the months and years ahead, this next generation broadband will be rolled-out across the constituency and become the standard.”
Bex Appleton, Head of Build in the North East at Virgin Media O2, said: “After a whirlwind few years delivering at pace in County Durham, we’ve once again hit the ground running in 2022, connecting thousands more homes to our ultrafast gigabit network – including in Peterlee.
“Whether for work, school or fun, ultrafast connectivity has never been more key, which is why we’re on a mission to upgrade the UK and bringing our next generation services to more and more people across the North East.”
Virgin Media O2 is leading Britain’s gigabit charge and became the only major broadband provider to have rolled out next-generation gigabit services to its entire network of more than 15 million premises in December 2021. Alongside this, company has committed to invest at least £10bn over the next 5 years in the UK and, building on the success of its existing fibre network expansion activity, is exploring options to go further and faster by deploying fibre to millions of additional homes across the country.
Last year, the company announced it will upgrade its entire fixed network to full fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology with completion in 2028, capable of delivering symmetrical 10Gbps download and upload speeds and beyond. This will take place alongside its expansion programme that is bringing greater choice and competition to many areas that need it most.
In addition to its ultrafast broadband network, Virgin Media O2’s mobile network covers 99% of the nation’s population with 4G, with the business continuing to upgrade its 4G and 5G services to boost mobile connectivity around the country. It recently announced that it would be the only mobile network operator not to reintroduce roaming fees in Europe and committed to reaching 50% of the UK’s population with 5G coverage in 2023.