Virgin Media will supply Bloor Homes developments with ultrafast broadband as part of a deal announced today. The agreement will provide more than 2,000 homes across eight sites with access to fast broadband, many of them using fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology. Earlier this year, Virgin started working with the Home Builders Federation to improve broadband provision in new-build homes.
It has since announced an agreement with Redrow Homes that will see an initial 13,000 homes given access to ultrafast speeds. The new partnership with Bloor Homes will take Virgin’s broadband, TV and phone services to developments in Manchester, Exeter, Coventry, Leicestershire, Nottingham and Malmesbury as part of the provider’s ?3bn Project Lightning expansion. Chris Burton, group commercial director at Bloor Homes, said: “Ultrafast broadband access and engaging entertainment sit at the heart of any leading-edge household today.
“We build every home with its future owners in mind so I’m delighted to be working with Virgin Media. “Together we will ensure our customers can get the best home technology and are able to make the most of a connected digital home first hand.” Paul Buttery, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “We’re delighted to have signed a nationwide agreement with Bloor, proving that Virgin Media has the backing and the people to create the connected homes people deserve.
“Bloor is among the first homebuilders to benefit from working with Virgin Media at scale and we look forward to our future together.”
‘The penny will drop’
In January, an investigation by Cable.co.uk revealed the shocking state of broadband provision in new-build homes, with many homeowners stuck for months with poor or non-existent connections. Since then, Openreach has offered free FTTP to all large developments and from next month will make the service available for all new estates of at least 30 homes. Openreach CEO Clive Selley told Cable.co.uk that developers are being educated in the advantages of an all-fibre infrastructure as opposed to one that uses traditional copper telephone wires.
“The penny will drop increasingly with the developers, they’ll realise that it’s a way of adding value to the housing that they’re building, they will increasingly get that point,” he said. “What we see is increasing appetite for FTTP and we’ll just keep driving the adoption curve up.” The new Bloor Homes developments being connected by Virgin Media are Seabrook Orchards, Exeter; Cropston Road, Anstey; Oak Tree Gardens, Donington le Heath; Charnwood Grange, Shepshed; Old Holly Lane, Atherstone; Worsley Fold, Walkden; Spring Park, Mapperley; and Filands View, Malmesbury.
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17:00 Tuesday 17 May 2016
Residents in Holwell who campaigned for superfast broadband say their lives have been transformed now it s available there. The county council-led Superfast Leicestershire partnership with BT has delivered download speeds of up to 80 Mbps to Holwell 20 times faster than what was previously available. Local resident and digital champion Simon Wilkinson-Blake, who led the campaign, said: Using the Internet was often difficult, with households having to limit themselves to one application at a time.
Now we have fibre broadband, some residents who ve upgraded have seen over a twenty-fold increase in speeds.
This is game-changing because it means we can at last use different connected devices simultaneously and also enjoy many Internet applications previously inaccessible to us.
Home-based travel counsellor Sally Willars, who has seen her average broadband speed increase from 1Mbps to 50Mbps, added: Before we had fibre broadband it would sometimes take me hours to source the perfect holiday or travel solution but I can now do most in about half an hour depending upon the type of request.
Discounted satellite dishes which boost sluggish rural broadband are being offered to homes and businesses in Leicestershire. Some 3,000 properties are being targeted with the new campaign which is aimed at helping anyone unable to get at least a 2mbps download speed. The joint Government and county council2 initiative will help remote and hard to reach areas of Leicestershire and is part of a wider national promise to get every home and business in the UK faster internet connections.
Councillor Blake Pain, Leicestershire County Council3‘s cabinet member for rural broadband, said the scheme had already helped 62,500 properties in Leicestershire. He said: “The Superfast Leicestershire partnership with BT continues to provide access to superfast broadband to residents and businesses across the county, but we know there will be small pockets of the county unable to access high-speed broadband through the project.
“We’re currently working on how to support the final five per cent of homes and businesses who struggle with the slowest speeds, so this scheme will help to ensure a minimum and reliable connection for those living and working in our most rural communities.”
The scheme will support the cost of equipment and installation of a satellite broadband connection so that a basic broadband service can be purchased for a first year cost of no more than 400. The subsidised installation can also be used for access to higher costs packages with higher speeds or greater monthly data caps.
Digital economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Around nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now access superfast speeds.
We are making great progress rolling out new infrastructure, but it’s a massive engineering project and won’t happen overnight.
“The satellite scheme offers immediate assistance to those homes and businesses in Leicestershire with the slowest speeds, all part of our plan to make the UK one of the most digitally connected place in the world.”
For details on the operation of the scheme in Leicestershire, visit: www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk/satellitescheme5
- ^ Comments (4) (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ county council (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Leicestershire County Council (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ http://basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk (basicbroadbandchecker.culture.gov.uk)
- ^ www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk/satellitescheme (www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk)