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100,000 East End homes get access to superfast broadband in Virgin Media expansion

PUBLISHED: 08:01 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 08:01 08 August 2014

Laying new superfast broadband cable in Brick Lane

Laying new superfast broadband cable in Brick Lane

Virgin Media

Another 100,000 properties across east London are getting access to new superfast broadband connections as the government pushes its programme to expand the fibre optics network.

Connecting Bethnal Green to superfast broadbandConnecting Bethnal Green to superfast broadband

Virgin Media has announced the largest single expansion of its service since the company launched in 2007, using 152Mb fibre optic broadband.

Work is now underway to extend the network across Spitalfields, Bethnal Green, the Isle of Dogs and West Ham.

Other areas of Poplar, Stepney, Bow, Stratford and East Ham are to follow shortly.

Under watchful eye of Peter Roa’s crane bird street artwork... engineer gets Brick Lane ready for superfast broadbandUnder watchful eye of Peter Roa’s crane bird street artwork... engineer gets Brick Lane ready for superfast broadband

The properties have been identified as being close to the company’s existing network, which offer a chance to expand with 152Mb capacity cabling that is claimed to be “far ahead of BT” or any other major provider.

“Extending our network into East London means 100,000 more homes can get into the UK’s fastest broadband for the first time,” Virgin Media’s chief Tom Mockridge said. “This is a significant investment and our largest, single network expansion project to date.”

The project has government backing as part of a nationwide programme to spread superfast broadband across the whole country.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Adding another 100,000 homes in East London is tremendous, with the UK already having one of the most competitive broadband markets in Europe.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson sees superfast broadband as essential for every home in the capital.

He said: “London is the Tech capital of Europe—so we need to make sure every household has access superfast broadband. It has become a utility that every Londoner expects and this latest expansion is a welcome step towards making that a reality.”

Virgin Media claims its 152Mb broadband is twice as fast as its rival providers using BT’s network. It already covers over half of all homes in London.

The company also powers the WiFi on the London Underground used by a million commuters every day.

The WiFi service has been extended to Shoreditch and Dalston in a Virgin deal with Hackney Council. The deal makes free WiFi available in Hoxton Square and Gillett Square, as well as Hackney’s Town Hall Square in Mare Street.

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