Virgin Media 02 pledges full fibre upgrade by 2028

Recently merged Virgin Media O2 has announced plans to upgrade its entire network to full fibre by 2028

The company, which became the UK’s largest telecoms provider following a £31 billion merger in June, said the upgrade covering more than 15.5 million premises would “make it even stronger for the decades ahead”.

Chief executive Lutz Schuler claimed that Virgin Media was “stepping up” from plans to deliver speeds of 1.1 Gbps by the end of this year, pledging to deliver a full fibre ultrafast network within seven years.

The total planned investment, not including customer migration costs, is expected to be around £1.5bn, given that 1.2 million homes are already on Virgin Media 02’s fibre network. The company said its estimate is based on costs of £100 per premises, which it claims is “much lower than competing fibre build” because it will use its existing Virgin Media infrastructure.

Alongside plans to extend its full fibre offering, Schuler said the company was “looking at opportunities to enter the fixed wholesale market”. A single wholesale network (SWN) or a wholesale open access network (WOAN) can provide an alternative to competing mobile networks offering mobile broadband services in different areas and can often provide better signal, especially in rural areas.

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