Virgin Media has begun a £3bn initiative called ‘Project Lightening’ designed to increase the number of customers the company can serve its fibre rich network to by a third by 2020.
With the move, the broadband giant will make the largest contribution to the UK broadband network for over a decade, bringing into the fold over four million new homes and businesses in the next five years. The firm predicts it will be capable of serving 152Mb broadband to 17 million homes and businesses by 2020
The investment is predicted to 6,000 new jobs across the company and its construction partners, with the additional digital infrastructure to stimulate a combined £8bn of economic activity and consumer benefit, according to research from economic consultancy Oxera.
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.
“This additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.”
Tom Mockridge, chief executive officer of Virgin Media, added: “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’.”
The announcement comes after the firm last month appointed Kerris Bright to the role of chief marketing officer, upon which she was tasked with running the department with a new focus on data, insight and analytics.