Virgin Media has started work connecting customers to the fibre broadband infill it announced in February.
The £3bn programme significantly larger than anything planned by BT and represents a growing trend among companies to provide higher speed broadband than available with the UK incumbent.
TalkTalk and Sky are also working on a pilot project in York.
The first place to get the new connections will be Manchester, where 150,000 homes and businesses will be able to sign up. This represents a £75m investment in Manchester, creating 500 new jobs at Virgin Media and construction partners.
The roll-out is designed to fill in gaps in the urban parts of the network it bought from NTL, rather than improve rural broadband. The additional coverage in Manchester will bring Virgin Media services to 450,000 premises in total.
“Our message is simple: help us to cable your street. If you want to switch to broadband speeds twice as fast as you can get today, simply register with Virgin Media to ‘cablemystreet’," said Tom Mockridge, CEO, Virgin Media.
Virgin Media expects to connect more premises in neighbouring postal towns prioritised according to demand from consumers and businesses. ®