Virgin Media plans UK FTTP deployment

UK mobile and broadband services provider Virgin Media said that at least 25% of the 4 million homes and businesses it plans to add to its network will be connected via fiber to the premises (FTTP).

UK mobile, cable TV, and broadband services provider Virgin Media said that at least 25% of the 4 million homes and businesses it plans to add to its network as part of its Project Lightning initiative will see a fiber to the premises (FTTP) connection.

Virgin hopes to connect a total of 17 million premises 2019 via what it describes as "the single largest investment in the UK's broadband infrastructure in more than a decade" (see "Virgin Media plans UK broadband access roll out"). The company asserts that the additional FTTP connections will enable it to boast the largest wholly fiber-optic broadband network in the UK.

The company also took a shot its biggest rival, saying that its FTTP assets will represent "an alternative to the aging copper telephony-based network offered by incumbent BT."

That said, most of Virgin's wireline network will remain hybrid fiber/coax (HFC). It uses DOCSIS 3.0 technology on that infrastructure.

Between the two network types, Virgin offers a top data rate of 200 Mbps for residences and 300 Mbps for businesses.

Virgin says it has started work on the new FTTP connections in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire. Additional deployments in West Yorkshire, Devon, and East Sussex should follow soon, the company added. Network installers will leverage what Virgin called a "narrow trenching" technique to speed fiber cable deployment.

For related articles, visit the FTTx Topic Center.

For more information on FTTx equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

More in FTTH/B