Virgin Media has bought Smallworld Fibre, a fibre optic network operator that serves 40,000 homes in north-west England and western Scotland. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Smallworld’s network currently delivers top broadband speeds of 100Mb, cable TV including over a hundred channels, and landline phone services to customers in Irvine, Dreghorn, Troon and Kilmarnock as well as Carlisle, Lancaster and Morecambe.
Homes passed by the Smallworld network will be connected up to Virgin Media’s broadband network, which already passes half of all UK homes.
At present, Virgin Media offers broadband speeds of up to 120Mbps, eight times faster than the national average. It aims to increase this to 152Mbps in the future.
Smallworld customers will be able to take advantage of the firm’s TiVo box, a next-generation digital entertainment service combining more than 200 TV channels, 3D and HD content, and thousands of hours of catch-up and on-demand programming.
Paul Buttery, Virgin Media’s chief customer, technology and networks officer, said: “Even better broadband can open up fantastic possibilities for people as well as support the economic growth of an area.”
“Smallworld will help us bring Virgin Media’s advanced services to thousands of homes, businesses and organisations for the very first time. Their great network is a perfect fit for us as we continue to invest and look for the right opportunities to grow. We’re excited about what the region has to offer and what we can offer the region.”