Gigabit, Ultrafast Broadband For One Million Households In The West Midlands

Virgin Media has announced that in the UK’s largest gigabit switch-on to date, it is launching its next-generation Gig1 Fibre Broadband services for 1 million+ homes in Birmingham, Coventry and surrounding areas across the West Midlands.

Speed

Virgin Media says that its Gig1 Fibre Broadband offers broadband speeds up to 20 times faster than the regional average with an average peak-time download speed of 1,104Mbps.

Also, the Hub 4 gigabit-capable router is Virgin’s fastest to date and can manage multiple devices at the same time around the home, thereby sharing the hyper-fast speed.  This could mean that ultra-high-definition 4K films and TV programmes, large files and 360-degree videos could be downloaded almost instantaneously, even with multiple devices using the connection at the same time.

Virgin Media says that it now has the largest gigabit-capable network in the UK which currently passes nearly 15 million UK premises. 

Government

The government’s Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden, has said that Virgin Media’s gigabit switch-on for households in the Midlands puts them “a million homes closer in delivering our plans to deliver gigabit broadband to everyone in the UK” and stresses that his government are investing £5 billion to make sure that “even the hardest to reach areas aren’t left behind”.

Electronic Communications Code Changes

In October 2019, the UK’s Electronic Communications Code was amended to help speed up fast broadband rollout across the UK. The change to the law gave broadband operators compulsory rights to install their apparatus on another person’s property, thereby getting around the problem of landlords not responding to requests for access to blocks of flats and apartments.

Full Fibre By 2025?

Back in June last year, while on the campaign to become the next Conservative party leader, Boris Johnson proposed a target of full-fibre broadband for the UK by 2025.  This target has since been seen by many not realistic because ‘full-fibre’ would mean digging up land and laying down cables, even in the most remote of homes.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For those in the Midlands who actually need these kinds of speeds, this service could be advantageous, and it could benefit small (home) businesses with large data requirements.

Although it is the beginning of ultra-fast broadband rollout in an area where there is a large population and is, therefore, a step in the right direction, critics say that many users may not need a connection that fast and may simply not know the speed of the connection that they already have. 

Broadband and Wi-Fi are now essential services for business, and businesses would obviously welcome any improvement in broadband speeds in the UK as soon as possible as it would undoubtedly help UK companies to become more competitive and would boost the economy.