Cable TV and ultrafast broadband ISP Virgin Media looks set to extend their network coverage to several thousand more homes in Hampshire (England) by the end of 2019. A big chunk of the new work appears to be taking place in the large village of Bishopstoke, which sits just outside of Eastleigh.
A number of residents from Bishopstoke (including a few from bordering areas of Fair Oak), which is home to around 10,000 people, have informed ISPreview.co.uk that the operator’s engineers appeared to be doing a lot of work in the area. This was easily confirmed by conducting a quick survey of the village via Roadworks.org (a significant build along almost every street looks set to take place over the next few months).
The work forms part of Virgin’s Project Lightning network expansion, which since 2015/16 has been working to grow their 500Mbps+ capable Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / RFoG) based EuroDOCSIS network to reach an additional 3-4 million UK homes and businesses (so far they’ve completed over 1.7 million premises).
Sadly Virgin Media aren’t particularly good at publishing their forward rollout plans in public and as a result we often only become aware of major builds when locals inform us about them.
A Spokesperson for Virgin Media told ISPreview.co.uk:
“We can confirm we’re building in Bishopstoke and the plans have been shared with Council. We’re unable to give more details on other areas and how many extra premises at the moment.”
Previously the operator has also extended their network to cover thousands of premises around several business parks in Andover (here) and they’re also still working to cover 12 villages in the Test and Dun Valleys of Hampshire (here). The latter formed part of a unique community driven effort (i.e. Houghton, Broughton, West Tytherley, Winterslow and Firsdown should be done by the end of September).
One other interesting aspect of the Bishopstoke rollout is that so far as we can tell they seem to be predominantly deploying FTTP, although it’s a little too early to be 100% sure but that would be in keeping with their other recent builds.