Virgin has invested £65m to connect 300,000 premises in Northern Ireland

8 Mar 2019385 Views

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Belfast City Hall. Image: © spumador/Stock.adobe.com

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Project Lightning strikes at the heart of Northern Ireland’s digital economy.

Virgin Media revealed today (8 March) that it has invested more than £65m in infrastructure in Northern Ireland since 2015 and today connects 300,000 homes and businesses across the region to its fibre network.

Since Virgin Media launched its Project Lightning expansion programme in 2015, more than 100,000 premises in Northern Ireland have been connected to Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable network, and more than 300,000 homes and business can benefit from speeds of up to 362Mbps. This ultra-fast top speed is set to increase yet again in spring after Virgin Media announced it will soon introduce 500Mbps services in Northern Ireland.

Earlier today Silliconrepublic.com reported that Virgin Media has informed existing customers that it is offering a new 500Mbps service to almost 1m homes across its network in towns and cities across the Republic of Ireland.

‘Virgin Media remains committed to making a big difference for society and the economy’
– TONY HANWAY

The company revealed the increases for Northern Ireland at the opening of a new state-of-the-art office at Heron Avenue Business Park in Belfast.

Virgin Media’s new Belfast HQ will be home to the majority of the company’s 350-strong Belfast staff, many of whom are overseeing the company’s multimillion-pound network expansion and investment programme.

Up to speed

“Virgin Media is Northern Ireland’s fastest widely available broadband provider, and our new office signals our continuing and unstinting commitment to the province,” said Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland.

“We’ve big plans to continue rolling out our gigabit-capable network to more citizens and businesses to support economic growth and underpin Northern Ireland’s long-term success. We’re building connections that really matter so citizens in Northern Ireland can be assured that Virgin Media remains committed to making a big difference for society and the economy.”

Virgin Media has been quietly working away on the £3bn Project Lightning to bring 17m premises in the UK and Ireland into the 1Gbps sphere and beyond – or GigaWorld, as it calls it.

Last June, the company revealed it had passed 900,000 premises across Ireland with its fibre broadband network and was aiming at passing 1m premises.

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com