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Virgin Media is believed to be considering the development of a public wireless broadband network for urban areas of the UK.

According to the Telegraph, the internet service provider is "actively exploring" a multi-million pound investment in public Wi-Fi, which would see tens of thousands of web access points established across the UK.

The network would be modelled on Cablevision's new public Wi-Fi project, which has recently been rolled out in New York alongside TimeWarner.

In areas where 3G mobile broadband access is lacking, public Wi-Fi could enable laptop and other web-enabled device users to get online.

Kevin Baughan, Virgin's Director of Advanced Technology, said public Wi-Fi could help broadband providers cope with increased demand for mobile data.

"We have been inspired by what Cablevision has been able to do in New York and are actively exploring the possibility of creating a similar network here," he noted.

"It takes the sheer power of the cable broadband network and puts it where people need it."

Virgin Media recently announced final plans to launch its 100Mb fibre-optic broadband service in the UK. Super-fast broadband deals will be available to UK households and businesses from December 2010. 

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