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More Virgin Media customers can look forward to broadband speeds of up to 200Mbps, after the provider announced its largest ever fibre rollout in the UK.

The company has confirmed it will connect fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to at least a quarter of the four million extra homes and businesses that are being added to its ultrafast network.

The move forms part of its Project Lightning network expansion plans, which will see 17 million premises connected to the network by 2019.

Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive of Virgin Media, commented: "Our £3 billion investment to bring ultrafast connectivity to more parts of the UK is not just about better broadband - it’s about future-proofing the country’s network infrastructure with the best and most modern technology.

"While some companies talk a good game, Virgin Media is putting its money where its mouth is and laying fibre to the premise alongside our superior HFC network - delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds."

Mr Mockridge pointed out that in just over a year, Virgin Media has laid enough new cable to stretch all the way from Land's End to John O'Groats, with a quarter of a million more homes and businesses being connected in the process.

However, he said there is still "much more to come". Indeed, Virgin Media said this latest announcement means it has become the largest wholly fibre broadband network in the UK, which is a "significant boost" to the country's ambitions of becoming a "fibre nation".

Virgin Media added that it is already extending its "always faster" network to more parts of Britain, as it offers a viable alternative to the "ageing" copper-based systems offered by BT.

The announcement comes shortly after the Telegraph revealed Virgin Media is planning to respond to the launch of Sky's next-generation home entertainment system Sky Q by launching a new set-top box early next year.

The company also intends to reinvigorate its pay-TV offering by rolling out updates to its existing set-top boxes, as it is currently lagging behind Sky and BT when it comes to its subscription TV service

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