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Virgin Media has confirmed that ultrafast fibre optic broadband is to be installed in thousands of extra premises across Scotland.

The company is currently spending £3 billion on its Project Lightning initiative, which will lead to 17 million homes and businesses in the UK having access to its ultrafast network by 2019.

It has now confirmed that an additional 360,000 homes and businesses in Scotland will benefit from the network expansion.

Some 55,000 premises in Ayrshire (specifically Kilmarnock, Ayr, Prestwick and Irvine) will be connected, along with 70,000 premises in Fife (specifically Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay, Rosyth and Inverkeithing).

The upgrades will also focus on rural areas, in particular the villages of Kirknewton (West Lothian), Kilmacolm, Houston, Crosslee, Craigends and Bridge of Weir (Renfrewshire).

Martin McFadyen, Director for Scotland at Virgin Media, commented: "We are delighted to be expanding our network to bring better broadband, faster connectivity and top-notch TV to more premises across Scotland. 

"Our ambition is to give more people in Scotland the broadband boost they deserve. We urge local councils and landlords to work with us to ensure this expansion happens as quickly as possible."

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity and Member of the Scottish Parliament, added that the Scottish government has placed digital connectivity "at the heart of its agenda".

He insisted that broadband is "vital to the sustainability of our economy and communities".

This, he said, is why it has made the commitment to ensure that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland will have access to superfast broadband by 2021.

"Commercial investment will play a huge part in delivering that commitment and I am delighted to welcome the substantial investment that Virgin Media are making in Scotland," Mr Ewing stated.

This latest announcement comes after Virgin Media confirmed that the Project Lightning initiative is on course to reach more than 500,000 new UK premises this year.

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