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'Henna' van man gives makeover to 100,000 East End homes for faster broadband

PUBLISHED: 12:28 05 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:53 05 March 2015

Henna artist Ash Kumar's handywork on a broadband van

Henna artist Ash Kumar's handywork on a broadband van

Virgin Media

An ambitious programme to hook up 100,000 properties across east London to ultra-fast broadband has reached its half-way point.

Talay Ibrahim’s 'henna' van in Brick LaneTalay Ibrahim’s 'henna' van in Brick Lane

Virgin Media has marked the hurdle by hiring international henna artist Ash Kumar to swap his A-list clients like Madonna and Amzir Khan to decorate one of its vans instead.

Ash’s handywork is on apprentice engineer Talay Ibrahim’s van now touring London’s East End.

Virgin Media engineers getting Brick Lane cabled upVirgin Media engineers getting Brick Lane cabled up

“Henna has never been used like this before,” Ash admitted. “So I was glad to get involved when they asked me if I could create a bespoke henna design for Talay’s van.”

Ash—recognised by Guinness as the world’s fastest henna artist—was commissioned to celebrate reaching 50 per cent of the company’s sales drive target to expand its network into east London, including the lucrative Canary Wharf business district.

The promotion eventually aims to connect 100,000 more business and domestic properties to “lightning-fast” internet speeds by the end of the year.

Virgin Media’s Neil Bartholomew said: “Thousands more homes across east London are now able to connect to the ultra-fast broadband for the first time.”

The expansion has made broadband up to 152Mb available in the East End, which the company says is six times faster than the national average, while also offering an option to add TV channels from around the world.

Virgin Media is investing £3 billion over the next five years to connect four million more UK businesses and households to its network, part of Liberty Global cable group’s worldwide 27 million customer base.

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