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Virgin Media has worked with a local broadband campaign group to bring fibre technology to rural communities in Hampshire.

Need4Speed had pushed for better connectivity for 12 villages in Test Valley and Dun Valley as they were only able to receive download speeds of 2Mbps.

The organisation therefore approached Virgin Media and asked the provider to connect its ultrafast broadband network in the area.

Virgin Media determined that a rollout would only be commercially viable if at least 30 per cent of residents registered their interest in obtaining the service and more than 1,000 local residents committed to taking broadband services from the firm.

This was accomplished easily, with 38 per cent of people across the valley signing up, and some villages seeing sign-up rates of up to 78 per cent.

Work on the fibre deployment has now commenced and should be completed by the end of 2019.

This means around 4,000 residents and small businesses will benefit from speeds of up to 350Mbps - enough to download a standard HD movie file (5GB) in three minutes.

The gigabit-ready lines will also enable people in the area to sign up to Virgin TV and make use of its 4K-ready V6 set-top box.

Rob Evans, Managing Director of the Virgin Media Lightning Programme, commented: "We are extremely excited about our ultrafast broadband expansion in the Test and Dun Valleys.

"This has been a brilliant example of us working hand in hand with the local community to deliver a solution which works for us both. We look forward to doing more of these in the future."

Cate Bell, spokesperson for Need4speed, added that she is "thrilled" that Virgin Media has "recognised the opportunity presented by this rural build".

She said this initiative is "a brilliant example of how communities and private companies can work together to make great things happen".

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