HOOK, UK – Virgin Media unveiled 10 communities, chosen by local residents and businesses, that will benefit from an ultra-fast broadband and entertainment boost this year. Four of the 10 communities are located in Scotland where demand for faster connectivity soared among local communities.

The 10 communities, which will see fiber broadband delivered directly to premises, received the most votes as part of Virgin Media’s “Supercharging Local Communities” initiative.

Launched earlier this year and run across 18 UK counties, the initiative is part of Virgin Media’s $4.3 billion Project Lightning network expansion. Local residents and businesses were urged to vote for their community to be one of the first to benefit from the scheme and bring the fastest widely available broadband speeds to their area.

Homes and businesses across the country have been campaigning locally for Virgin Media to connect their street, with over 7,000 votes cast between 29 February to 29 April via the Cable My Street website.

The top 10 communities are confirmed as follows:

  • Kirknewton (West Lothian)
  • Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Brookfield (Renfrewshire)
  • Bridge of Weir (Renfrewshire)
  • Ratby (Leicestershire)
  • Wilsden (West Yorkshire)
  • Kilmacolm (Inverclyde)
  • Stoke Poges (Buckinghamshire)
  • Lightwater (Surrey)
  • Hartley Wintney and Phoenix Green (Hampshire)
  • Oakley (Dorset)

Residents and businesses who take our service in these 10 communities will be connected with fiber broadband run directly to their property offering ultrafast, future-proof connectivity. Virgin Media recently committed to connecting fiber to the premise (FTTP) to at least a quarter of the 4 million additional homes and businesses being added to the Virgin Media network as part of its ‘Project Lightning’ expansion plans. These communities will be some of the first to benefit from this pledge.

“This is truly people-powered connectivity,” said Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media said. “The collective support and demand from across the UK has exceeded our expectations and we’re delighted to be supercharging these 10 areas with ultra-fast fiber broadband and top notch entertainment. Investing and delivering better connectivity in these communities shows that ultra-fast broadband isn’t just for the big cities – we urge more communities to come together and register their interest. You could be next.”

Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey said: “This is fantastic news for the communities who will now be able to benefit from all that ultra-fast broadband offers. I’m particularly pleased to see almost half of them are in Scotland. Continued commercial investment like Virgin Media’s “Project Lightning”, together with the rollout being delivered by the UK Government and local authorities, means more UK homes and businesses will benefit from faster speeds, whether they’re in the remote countryside or in city centers.”

Ultra-fast Broadband Up to 300 Mbps
For residents, Virgin Media’s Vivid 200 broadband offers the fastest widely available broadband – with download speeds of up to 200 Mbps. This is more than two and a half times faster than the top widely available speeds from BT, TalkTalk and Sky meaning that a whole household can stream movies, music and more all at the same time.

For businesses, Virgin Media Business now offers ultra-fast connectivity, with speeds of up to 300 Mbps – almost four times faster than its main competitors’ widely available top speeds. This enables businesses to reach their potential by delivering better services and greater capacity.

Faster Build Method
This FTTP expansion uses an innovative way of bringing ultra-fast broadband to people’s homes with minimal disruption. The approach, called narrow-trenching, reduces the width of the trench used to lay optical fiber cables enabling engineers to cover up to 330 feet in a day, making it more than twice as fast as current methods. A similar technique has been used recently in Leicester where Virgin Media is connecting six villages.

As network expansion continues across the country, voting for the Supercharging Local Communities initiative has now reopened across 18 UK counties with more communities to be announced later this year.

The 18 counties are: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Renfrewshire, Rhondda, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Lothian, West Yorkshire, Worcestershire.