Virgin Media Ireland has confirmed that its HFC network now passes 900,000 premises in the Republic, having added some 100,000 new homes and businesses to its footprint over the last two years. The cableco reached what it called the ‘landmark’ coverage figure after connecting more than 9,000 new premises in the towns of Arklow and Wicklow, noting that the expansion in these areas involved a EUR10 million (USD12.7 million) investment, the laying of some 75 kilometres of fibre and the establishment of free public Wi-Fi services in each town. Looking ahead, Virgin Media has said it remains on target to reach the one million premises covered milestone over the next two years.
The network development has been undertaken as part of Virgin Media’s ‘Project Lightning’, which it claims is ‘the single biggest private investment in digital infrastructure in Ireland and the UK in more than a decade’. Project Lightning aims to deliver ultra-fast fibre broadband to an additional four million premises across both countries, to reach a total of 17 million homes and businesses, and the total investment being made by Virgin Media is said to be ‘the equivalent of approximately EUR3.42 billion over the term of the programme’.