Virgin suspends four after 'overstating' Project Lightning broadband rollout

Kent broadband rollout: Virgin add 8,000 after Project Lightning debacle

Virgin Media has announced plans to speed up Kent broadband by adding 8,000 homes to its £3bn ultrafast Project Lightning rollout.

Work started in Ashford, a town around 60 miles from London, earlier this year to link premises to Virgin’s Project Lightning.

This tranche of engineering work is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.

The cable company is now offering 100Mbps in its cheapest packages, up to 300Mpbs speeds for the top-whack deals.

This is a vast improvement on speeds offered just six months ago, as Virgin ditched their 50Mbps deals for faster architecture.

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Research shows the average download speeds for Kent broadband reach just 18Mpbs. For some these broadband speeds would be amazing – which shows you what a state UK broadband is in – but Virgin’s fibre-optic network could still transform the quality of the county’s internet connections.

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Virgin not so pure

The company is racing to deliver as much broadband rollout in Kent as possible after an administrative cock-up saw them boost by 140,000 figures of homes added to the UK network.

Virgin’s own internal investigation found staff had exaggerated how quickly their engineers were installing fast broadband across the UK.

Four people were suspended and the company took a black eye in the PR stakes.

Kent broadband back on track

The MP for Ashford Damian Green – who is also Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – said: “Ultrafast broadband is a huge boon to businesses and domestic customers, and I am delighted that it will become more widely available in Ashford. This is what is needed to make our area even more successful in the future.”

Virgin’s Regional Director Neil Bartholomew said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our network to tens of thousands more homes and businesses to help to make Kent a world class digital hotspot. Local residents and businesses will soon be getting the high-speed connectivity they deserve.”

Over the course of the £3bn Project Lightning Virgin aim to rollout ultrafast broadband to 4 million premises – which should take their total coverage to 17 million by 2020.

By:

Tom is a tech journalist and Editor at BroadbandDeals.co.uk.
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