Business

Virgin Media reaffirms commitment to Northern Ireland with new Belfast office

Ulster and Ireland's rugby players Ilse van Staden and Stephen Ferris with Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland opening the new offices in Belfast.
Gareth McKeown

THE CEO of Virgin Media Ireland has pledged to extend the brand's ultrafast broadband network in the north and create further jobs after opening its new Belfast office.

Speaking at the official launch of the company's Belfast headquarters on Heron Avenue, Tony Hanway said Northern Ireland is an area of "great potential" and confirmed there are plans to add to the 370-strong workforce here.

Virgin Media has invested £65 million in the north since launching the Project Lightning expansion programme in 2015, adding 100,000 new premises in that time. The telecommunications firm now provides speeds of up to 362Mbps to more than 300,000 domestic and business customers in the north, while its network covers 98 per cent of Belfast.

"We continue to look for new locations to bring ultrafast broadband to, because we think there is an insatiable demand in the province for faster broadband, given the fact it has been poorly connected for quite a long time," Mr Hanway told The Irish News.

"We'll be looking for developments both in consumer and business. We don't have a target, but you can take for granted the network will continue to grow."

"In Virgin Media terms we have disproportionately sent more investment into the province than any other area. We see great potential here, we're getting a great return and we're attracting great customers. As long as that continues companies like us are always going to want to invest."

"If we're building more networks we need more people to put it in, to service it and to sell it.

The more network we're putting in the more jobs we plan to create," he added.

More than 10 million metres of cable has been laid by Virgin Media build crews across Northern Ireland as part of the network expansion programme, with work currently underway in Carrickfergus.

It has also been confirmed that the ultrafast broadband top speed is set to increase yet again in the spring after to 500Mbps.

Former Ireland International rugby stars, Stephen Ferris and Ilse van Staden, joined Mr Hanway and the local Virgin Media team yesterday to officially open the new Belfast office.

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