Virgin Media adds 2,500 Northern Ireland homes to FTTP network

UK ISP Virgin Media has completed an extension of its network, connecting 2,500 homes in the County Down, Northern Ireland villages of Moira and Magheralin to its 516 Mbps Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) broadband network.

The extension is a part of Virgin Media’s ongoing Project Lightning initiative. This £3 billion effort aims to add a further 4 million premises to Virgin Media’s UK network, through a combination of FTTP via Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFoG) and Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) technology. Both make use of the DOCSIS standard in order to utilise the same consumer hardware.

So far, the provider has completed the connection of around 2 million premises across the UK. The Moira and Magheralin builds are reported to form part of its 2017 pledge to connect a further 50,000 premises in Northern Ireland in a possible £65 million investment.

This effort has, so far, seen Virgin complete developments in locations including Bangor, Ballyclare and Carrickfergus. Since 2015, Virgin has connected around 100,000 Northern Ireland premises and its overall network covers roughly 330,000 premises in the country and covers 98 per cent of Belfast.

Discussing the latest build, Virgin Media Regional Director for Northern Ireland Seamus McCorry said: “We’re delighted to have finished our network expansion in the villages of Moira and Magheralin in County Down.”

McCorry added that those in the local areas “will now have access to our ultrafast broadband services, making it easier and quicker to do all the things they love and need to do.”

Alderman Allan Ewart, MBE, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, said that the extension was “great news” for the town of Moira.

Alderman Ewart added that “Improving connectivity throughout our area is a key focus for the council and we are driving forward a number of major initiatives looking at the digital infrastructure and skills that will help us deliver the ambition of becoming a digital-first organisation and council area.”