News

Sunderland to get further ultrafast broadband boost

Virgin Media bringing ultrafast broadband to more than 7,000 properties

Offering speeds nearly 10 times faster than the local average

Virgin Media announces that more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Sunderland will be next to benefit from an ultrafast broadband and entertainment boost. 

As part of its ‘Project Lightning’ network expansion programme, Virgin Media is expanding its ultrafast broadband network across the UK bringing speeds of up to 362Mbps for residents and small businesses.

The expansion will take place in Shiney Row, Penshaw and Silksworth and will help transform the quality of broadband in the town where the average (median) download speed is currently 36.6Mbps*. Work is underway already with completion expected by the end of 2019.

With a 362Mbps connection, files, films and games become unbelievably quick to stream, download and upload**:

  • Download a standard HD movie file (5GB) in under two minutes, compared to more than 40 minutes on the average local connection;
  • Download a 25GB console game in less than 10 minutes, compared to around three and a half hours on the average local connection.

Hugh Woolford, Regional Director for Yorkshire & North East, Virgin Media, said: “More families and small businesses across Sunderland will soon be benefiting from our brilliant broadband service. Giving them greater speeds will enable them to do the things they need to do and love doing more quickly and more easily. Laying new fibre means we will have to dig up roads and pavements, but we will do our best to minimise any disruption to the community.”

The investment will provide a major boost to the city’s businesses, in particular those working in the technology sector. A recent report by TechNation*** revealed that Sunderland is now home to one of the fastest-growing digital technology sectors in the UK, with the number of people working in the sector growing by 26% over the past four years.

 Sunderland City Council Leader, Cllr Graeme Miller, said: “We’re delighted that Virgin Media is continuing to invest in the city. This is fantastic news for Sunderland and will provide a major boost to residents and businesses. This investment fits perfectly with our ambitions to establish the city as a digital pioneer and we are working closely with Virgin Media, who are a major employer in the region, to ensure disruption to residents is kept to a minimum and the process is as smooth as possible.”

Virgin Media will be using narrow trenching techniques where suitable conditions allow to ensure its build is as efficient as possible. This helps create minimal levels of waste and reduces the disruption to the community.

Virgin Media will post information leaflets to premises which might be affected at least a week before work starts on their street. Its Local Community Liaison Officers will also be available to discuss the community’s concerns.  Virgin Media will be hosting community information events which will give residents and businesses the opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns they may have; the first of these events will take place on Monday 20 August 6–8pm at Penshaw Community Centre, DH4 7PD.

Virgin Media’s gigabit-ready lines will mean residents can also sign up to Virgin TV and benefit from the latest entertainment on its new smallest, smartest, fastest, 4k-ready V6 set-top box. 

This is on top of great programming with up to 260 TV channels (including up to 50 HD channels) and all the football from Sky Sports and BT Sports. Virgin Media also offers Sky Movies and Netflix, as well as an extensive on demand library of TV box sets and movies; giving customers seamless access to the TV they want, all in one place.

Residents can also benefit from Virgin Mobile’s fast 4G connectivity, which for pay monthly customers includes data free Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter, as well as the ability to rollover unused data each month and have truly unlimited data packages.

For any questions about Virgin Media engineering works, residents can do the following:

E mail: ExpansionWorks@virginmedia.co.uk

Phone: 0333 000 5925 (option 1)

For further information, visit: www.virginmedia.com/lightning/network-expansion