• Gigabit broadband with average top speeds of 1,130Mbps now available to 6,100 additional homes in Bruton Park, Newcastle and Longbenton, North Tyneside
  • Residents can now sign up to Virgin Media’s services which provide broadband speeds up to 20 times faster than the local average, making it possible to download Ultra-HD TV shows and very large computer games in minutes
  • The company has invested more than £84 million in the North East to connect 140,000 additional homes since its expansion programme began in 2015

Virgin Media O2 has connected more than 6,100 homes in Bruton Park, Newcastle and Longbenton, North Tyneside to its ultrafast network, bringing the benefits of gigabit broadband to thousands more people.

As part of its ‘Project Lightning’ network expansion programme, Virgin Media O2 is expanding its network to bring ultrafast broadband, TV and phone services to more residents and small businesses.

The newly connected homes in Tyne and Wear are the latest locations now able to access Virgin Media’s gigabit broadband. The company’s Gig1 service offers average top speeds of 1,130Mbps, perfect for busy households working remotely, streaming TV shows and films, video calling friends and family and playing games online.

Since the network expansion programme began in 2015, the business has invested more than £84 million in the North East to connect 140,000 additional homes – meaning that more than 336,000 people throughout the region now have access to the UK’s fastest widely available speeds.

The 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 planning to go further and faster by deploying fibre to millions of additional homes across the country.

In July 2021, 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 was voted the UK’s best mobile network for reliability and coverage**. Its 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.

Gigabit broadband boost for Tyne and Wear residents – now 20 times faster than the local average

Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is 20 times faster than the local average*. Residents in Tyne and Wear will benefit from fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology which allows for smooth, reliable connectivity in the home. With a 1,130Mbps connection, large files, films and games become very quick to stream and download:

  • Download every Squid Game episode in UHD (56GB) in 7 minutes, compared to two hours 26 minutes on the average local connection; or
  • Download Call of Duty: Cold War (133GB) on PS5 in under 17 minutes, compared to more than four hours 47 minutes on the average local connection***

Rob Evans, Managing Director of Fixed Network Expansion at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re building further and faster to deliver ultrafast broadband for more people across the UK, with Tyne and Wear the latest area to benefit.

“With speeds 20 times faster than the local average, alongside brilliant TV and phone services, our connectivity is ensuring that residents in Newcastle and North Tyneside can do more of what they want online, quicker than ever before.”

Virgin Media O2 recently launched its first ever joint product, Volt, enabling customers to supercharge their services and reap extra rewards simply by being customers of both Virgin Media and O2. Alongside double mobile data, roaming in 75 countries and up to £150 off a connected device, new and existing customers who take a Virgin Media broadband service and an eligible O2 Pay Monthly plan will receive a broadband speed boost to the next tier available – meaning customers on a 500mbps Virgin Media package could be boosted to Gig1 at no extra charge.

Customers can find out more and buy a Volt bundle at https://www.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-o2


Notes to Editors

*The average (median) broadband speed in Newcastle Upon Tyne is 54.8 Mbps. Source: Ofcom, Connected Nations Report 2020, published 17 December 2020.

** O2 won Best Network Coverage in the uSwitch Broadband & Mobile Awards 4 years in a row from 2018 to 2021. Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) also awarded O2 the Best Network for Reliability for three years running: 2019, 2020 and now in 2021.

*** Download speeds calculated using www.download-time.com

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