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Virgin Media is looking to extend its broadband coverage to a further 500,000 households during the next few years.

The vow comes from the company on the back of an announcement that it is to begin trialling a new 200Mb connection among 100 Kent-based employees.

Virgin Media intends to widen its network coverage to more than 50,000 homes before the end of 2009.

The group said it had identified about half a million homes which were close enough to its present network to make them a "commercially attractive opportunity" to extend its customer base.

The provider currently has about 3.7 million broadband customers in the UK, while around 12.5 million households have access to its cable network.

In its financial results published this week, Virgin Media revealed that it had signed up 47,300 new customers to its high-speed broadband packages in the last quarter.

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