Virgin Media to bring ultra-fast broadband services to rural Hampshire

UK to grant over £95m to support first wave of full-fibre broadband projects

A dozen villages in Hampshire will soon be able to enjoy ultra-fast broadband thanks to a community-backed initiative coming under Virgin Media’s Project Lightning programme.

The £3bn project will benefit up to 4,000 residents and small businesses in the rural communities of Test Valley and Dun Valley, giving them access to internet speeds of up to 350Mbps. This will be nearly 200 times faster than what the communities are experiencing as of now.

Virgin Media said that work is already in progress to boost the broadband experience in the villages. The project is slated to be completed by the end of next year. Rob Evans, Managing Director of the Programme, said: “We are extremely excited about our ultra-fast broadband expansion in the Test and Dun Valleys – this is a new way of delivering our gigabit-ready network. This has been a brilliant example of us working hand in hand with the local community to deliver a solution which works for us both.  We look forward to doing more of these in the future.”

Virgin Media said that the current internet speeds available to the residents and businesses in Test and Dun Valleys are simply not good enough for downloading, streaming or uploading files.

The company claims that the project, upon completion, will allow users to download a 5GB HD movie in just three minutes, which otherwise would take nearly six hours on the average local connection. Furthermore, a 25GB console game can be downloaded in 12 minutes once the ultrafast broadband is rolled out. On an average local connection, the same would take about 30 hours, said Virgin Media.

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Hampshire County Council Economic Development Executive Member Councillor Mel Kendal, said: “Access to superfast broadband for Hampshire homes and businesses is an important contributor to economic prosperity. Reaching more remote areas is a challenge, which is why we have specifically invested £1 million in initiatives like the Community Match funding scheme to ensure this happens.”