Virgin Media to create 6,000 new jobs in £3bn upgrade of its fibre optic network
In what it describes as the biggest investment in broadband infrastructure in the UK for a decade Virgin Media said it plans to create 6,000 jobss.
The investment will improve its broadband network to more homes and businesses. Of the 6,000 jobs the company said 1,000 would be apprenticeships over the next five years.
The jobs also include those that will be created by companies working on the investment project.
Virgin Media has five million customers.
The company, which is owned by US firm Liberty Global, has described the five year plan as the single biggest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade.
It will extend its fibre network to around four million additional premises, taking the number of homes and business to which the company can offer services to nearly 17 million by 2020.
The expansion is expected to create 6,000 jobs in the UK at Virgin Media and its construction partners. It will also increase the number of apprenticeships created by the company to 1,000 over the next five years.
The company said its network expansion will be prioritised according to demand from households and companies, with a focus on areas closest to Virgin Media’s existing network.
Virgin said it was able to offer broadband speeds of up to 152Mb, which is twice as fast as the best speeds available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky.
Data usage on its network is currently growing at a rate of around 60% a year which, if this trend continues, will be 10,000% higher in ten years.
Prime Minister David Cameron backed the plans, which he said were helping to build “a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure”.
He added: “Together with the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband which has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.”