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Virgin Media to invest £3 billion in broadband, employ 6,000

Staff writer |
Virgin Media is embarking on Project Lightning, the single largest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the country for more than a decade; creating thousands of new jobs in what will be a multi-billion pound boost to the national economy.

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With the support of parent company Liberty Global plc, Virgin Media will extend its fibre-rich network to approximately four million additional premises over the next five years. This will increase the number of homes and businesses to which Virgin Media can offer services by almost a third; from around half of the country today to nearly 17 million premises by 2020.

The announced £3 billion of additional private investment is essential for individuals and businesses to thrive in the global digital economy. This substantial investment will be financed mainly through incremental borrowings. Analysis undertaken by leading economic consultancy Oxera has found that this investment can be expected to stimulate a combined £8 billion of economic activity and consumer benefit.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I welcome this substantial investment from Virgin Media which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to support business and create jobs by building a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure. These 6,000 new jobs and apprenticeships will mean financial security and economic peace of mind for thousands more hardworking families across the country"

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media chief executive officer, said: "Millions of homes and businesses will soon be able to benefit for the first time from broadband speeds at least twice as fast as those available from the other major providers. Consumers and business owners who want to make the switch to better broadband speeds now have an alternative; you can call on Virgin Media to ‘Cable My Street’."

Mike Fries, Liberty Global chief executive officer, said: "Our next-generation fibre-rich networks reach 50 million households across Europe, enabling our customers to discover and experience the endless possibilities of the digital world. After a record operating performance, Project Lightning is a significant investment that demonstrates the confidence we have in Virgin Media and the UK as a place to do business."

Households connecting to Virgin Media for the first time will benefit from broadband speeds of 152Mb.


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