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VMO2 highlights infrastructure improvements in Scotland

Telecom giants Virgin Media and O2 (VMO2) have jointly issued somewhat of a brief progress update on the work they’ve been doing to deploy both gigabit-capable fixed line broadband ISP connectivity and 4G and 5G mobile networks to consumers across Scotland.

At present, VMO2’s existing Project Lightning deployment has already covered a total of 15.86 million UK homes with their fixed line broadband network and their current goal is to reach 16m by the end of 2022. Some 14.3m of this is via their older Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) network, with the rest using full fibre (FTTP) via Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) technology.

Work is also underway to upgrade existing HFC areas to FTTP (XGS-PON) by 2028 (Project Mustang) and to deploy full fibre broadband to an additional 7 million UK premises – via a new Joint Venture (JV) – in greenfield areas by 2027.

VMO2’s Network Progress in Scotland

  • 5G coverage in Scotland now covers 58 towns and cities – each with over 50% population coverage – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Perth. As part of this expansion, 37,000 postcodes across Scotland now have 5G.
  • 4G capacity has been boosted in over 33,000 postcodes over the last year, including in Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Stirling, Perth, Inverness and Edinburgh.
  • Since 2015, VMO2 has invested over £180m connecting more than 330,000 additional homes and businesses in Scotland to its gigabit broadband network through ‘Project Lightning’ and, following upgrade works completed last year, all 1.2 million premises on its network in the country – covering half of the population – are now able to access such speeds.
  • The 4G upgrade under the £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) project is already benefitting rural locations in Scotland, including Pipers Scar, Tarbert, Braemar West, Loch Seaforth, Portachoillan, Kennacraig, Aline Lodge – Adrdovourlie and Benbecula – Market Stance.
  • To minimise the environmental impact of its fibre rollout, the company has successfully trialled the use of recycled aggregate while working with Glasgow City Council to expand its broadband network in Cranhill (here). The success of the trial, which saw the sustainably sourced materials undergo on-site testing and monitoring, paves the way for more expansive use of recycled materials in future.

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