PRESS RELEASE

8 January 2015

FASTER, CHEAPER, MORE RELIABLE FOR LONDON'S TECH CITY

Thousands of firms in Tech City, the start-up hotspot in east London, will be able to grow more quickly and unlock their true potential after Virgin Media Business vowed to transform internet connectivity in the area

Offering dedicated connections with upload and download speeds that are six times faster yet for half the cost of what is currently available from other providers; Virgin Media Business is investing in a new solution which will see managed internet access installed into buildings with shared occupancy. Once the fibre is installed, each of the small businesses in the building will get their own dedicated connection.

Connectivity in Tech City has previously been criticised for being slow and expensive. The limited broadband options for firms in the area have either been to each pay for expensive dedicated lines or to use slow and unreliable ADSL copper telephone lines.

Each of the qualifying small businesses in a building connected with fibre by Virgin Media Business in this new way would be able to apply for subsidy from the Government’s SuperConnected Cities scheme, which was recently extended to March 2016.

The project is expected to be available to at least 2,000 businesses, with additional development in the coming months bringing it within the reach of a further 6,000 businesses.

This new initiative from Virgin Media Business follows its nationwide launch last autumn of a suite of tailored products aimed at helping small and medium-sized firms to flourish through the opportunities that digital technology provides.

The project covers Tech City and will be available to new premises that house two or more businesses, with one to 249 employees, initially until 31st March 2015.

Virgin Media Business is working closely with landlords and local authorities to drastically cut the time it takes to deliver new connections caused by the multiple permissions needed for interruptions to parking, road access, footpaths and more.

For more information, or to register your interest, go to www.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/techcity.

Quotes

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business, said: “Small businesses are the powerhouse of our economy yet poor connectivity exacerbates the challenges they face.

We are transforming the prospects of thousands of companies by offering them faster, cheaper, more reliable broadband. These businesses will be able to work quicker, smarter and seize greater opportunities to grow with our better internet connections. Virgin Media Business is proud to be boosting the tech in Tech City.”

Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said: "The Government's Connection Vouchers have already provided thousands of businesses across the UK with a faster and more reliable internet connection.

Virgin Media Business's new offer to Tech City businesses is a brilliant example of the many innovative products available to SMEs and will play an important role in removing barriers to better connectivity."

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, said: “Fast broadband connections are vitally important for small businesses – for many it is just as crucial as gas, electricity and water. Initiatives such as this will help our thriving tech community to stay ahead of the game and continue to play a key role in London’s economic success.”

Notes

Virgin Media Business will be offering Tech City small businesses:

  • Dedicated fibre connectivity
  • Costs up to 50% lower than existing dedicated connections
  • Synchronous speeds over six times faster, increasing from around 8Mb to at least 50Mb, both up and downstream
  • Unlimited usage
  • Enhanced, business-grade reliability
  • 24-month contracts with flexibility after 12 months

- ENDS -

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About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company. Together we serve 27 million customers across 14 countries.

We support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and a complete digital platform packed with next-generation products, applications and services.

With our £3bn Project Lightning programme we aim to reach 17 million premises by 2019, including the UK’s most under-served areas.