Virgin Media O2 brings gigabit broadband to more than 10m homes

Virgin Media O2
(Image credit: Virgin Media O2)

Two thirds of homes and businesses connected to Virgin Media O2’s fixed line broadband network can now receive gigabit speeds.

The company has upgraded another 1.7 million properties, providing access to average download rates of 1.13Gbps – 14 times the national average.

New gigabit locations include Blackpool, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford, Swindon as the company continues its drive to cover its entire footprint of 15.5 million premises by the end if the year.

Virgin Media O2 gigabit

The company says the speeds will help customers who have become more reliant on their connection for work, education, and everyday life, and will support bandwidth-intensive services like video streaming, online gaming and videoconferencing.

“We’re rapidly expanding our gigabit broadband network and more than 10 million homes across the UK can now access these next-generation speeds,” declared Lutz Schüler, Virgin Media O2 CEO.

“As the UK’s largest gigabit provider today, committed to connecting our entire network to these speeds by the end of the year, our investment is helping the UK meet its broadband targets and providing consumers with connectivity fit for the future.”

Once this current upgrade is completed, Virgin Media O2 plans to go even further as part of a £10 billion, five-year investment. By 2028, the entirety of the Virgin Media O2 network will be powered by Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology that could support ‘symmetrical’ upload and download speeds of 10Gbps.

The fact that its network is fully ducted means the installation of fibre should be simpler and more cost-effective than similar rollouts and the company is looking into potentially expanding its footprint should the opportunity arise.

Virgin Media O2, which was formed following a merger earlier this year, hopes the rollout will help establish itself as a genuine challenger to BT in both the wholesale and converged communications markets.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.