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Virgin Media to accelerate broadband rollout

Virgin Media Inc.said that it will accelerate the U.K.'s fiber optic broadband rollout direct tobusinesses and residences.

The company said April 27 that by 2019, with the backing of itsparent company, it will connect 17 million premises to the network. As part of itsProject Lightning expansion plans, Virgin will connect fiber to the premise, FTTP,to at least 1 million of the additional homes and businesses being added to thecompany's network.

Virgin uses a hybrid fiber coaxial network in the U.K., withfiber optic that provides broadband to the street cabinet. Broadband is later deliveredto the majority of premises using Virgin's coaxial cable powered by DOCSIS3 technology.The company is already extending its network to more areas of the U.K. as an alternativeto British Telecom's copper telephony-based network.

Virgin has already rolled out FTTP in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire,with expected expansion to occur soon in Devon, East Sussex and West Yorkshire.

Virgin is a unit of LibertyGlobal plc.