Virgin Media O2 has today announced it has connected more than 1,200 additional homes in Wigan, Greater Manchester to its ultrafast network, bringing the benefits of gigabit broadband to tens of thousands more people for the first time.
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 homes in Wigan are now able to benefit from Virgin Media’s services, including Gig1 which offers top speeds of 1,130Mbps – 16 times faster than local average – which is perfect for busy households working remotely, streaming TV shows and films, video calling friends and family and playing games online.
The network expansion in Wigan is just the latest in a long line of investments in Greater Manchester. Virgin Media Business, the fixed wholesale connectivity arm of Virgin Media O2 Business, has since 2020 connected more than 1,500 public sites to full fibre in Greater Manchester as part of the UK’s largest Local Full Fibre Networks Programme (LFFN), delivering economic benefits worth £11.8m in the first year alone.
This is alongside supporting the Greater Manchester Technology Fund through donating digital kit bundles to support 567 school children at risk of digital exclusion when schools were closed, and donating £100,000 to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s “A Bed Every Night” programme, to fund emergency bed spaces and additional assistance for those who are currently experiencing homelessness.
Christopher Matthews, Director of Construction & Delivery at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re delivering on our commitment to upgrade the UK right here in Wigan, having connected thousands more people to our next generation services through our latest expansion build.
“At speeds 16 times faster than the local average, be it home learning, flexible working or boxset binging, Wigan residents can spend more time online without the worry of whether their broadband service can keep up.”
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.
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’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.
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 Wigan is 70.2Mbps. Source: Ofcom, Connected Nations Report 2021, published 16 December 2021.