Thousands of homes and businesses in Scotland will soon have access to extremely fast broadband speeds, thanks to a new large-scale rollout by Virgin Media. The cable provider has expanded its plans and will connect an additional 360,000 premises.
Virgin Media's 'Project Lightning' is a £3 billion initiative to get the company's broadband available in more locations. In Scotland, one million homes and businesses can use the network, but the company has promised to increase that number dramatically.
More than a third of the 360,000 new premises will have access to Virgin Media broadband by the end of 2017, and at least two thirds will have fibre to the premises (FTTP) connections. That means the fibre cables will run into the house directly, allowing for ultrafast speeds of 200Mb and beyond.
The first areas to get connected are Kilmarnock, Ayr, Prestwick and Irvine in Ayrshire. 55,000 buildings in those areas will be connected.
Another 70,000 homes and businesses in Fife will also be worked on soon, including Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay, Rosyth and Inverkeithing.
Other areas getting early attention include the villages of Kirknewton, Kilmacolm, Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Bridge of Weir.
Virgin Media boss Tom Mockridge, said: "Virgin Media is building the only genuinely ultrafast fibre broadband network. Scotland will benefit first from our plans to accelerate the rollout of fibre broadband.
"This private investment will give people in Scotland the broadband boost they deserve and help to drive economic growth. We urge local councils and landlords to work with us to ensure this expansion happens as quickly as possible."
Fergus Ewing, cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, said: "We want Scotland to become a world class digital nation. A key part of this is future-proofed digital infrastructure that will boost connectivity. That is why we are committed to providing superfast broadband for 100% of premises in Scotland by 2021.
"Commercial investment has a role and responsibility to play in delivering that commitment. I welcome Virgin Media's announcement that two-thirds of their build in Scotland will be Fibre to the Premise, providing genuinely world class infrastructure capable of delivering ultrafast connectivity."