Liberty Global and its subsidiary Virgin Media have announced a £3 billion investment to improve its UK’s broadband network. This is the largest investment in the country’s broadband coverage for more than a decade.
It could also be a shot in the arm for the UK economy with a predicted benefit of £8 billion. Called Project Lightning, the initiative will create posts for 1,000 apprentices, and 5,000 other new jobs over a five-year period.
When the work is finished, up to four million additional business and domestic properties will be able to access broadband speeds of 152mb via Virgin Media's fibre optic network, increasing the company's service availability by about a third to almost 17 million properties.
Increasing broadband coverage is vital for the UK economy - Prime Minister David Cameron says increasing broadband availability is vital for the country's future economic growth.
He 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."
Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert here at broadbandchoices.co.uk commented:
"Giving millions more households increased choice of broadband provider is always a good thing, particularly as Virgin Media can also offer a realistic alternative to Sky TV. However this still doesn't address the 'digital divide' as the provider has clearly indicated that investment will focus on areas that are close to its existing infrastructure.
"This means that already well-connected areas will get a wider selection of services to choose from, while rural dwellers are left in the cold again."