At the end of June 2023, UK communications firm Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) started selling services powered by XGS-PON technology through the nexfibre next-generation fibre joint venture it is part of, and in the latest part of the company’s trajectory, the first phase of nexfibre’s work to bring full-fibre broadband connectivity to Stirling in Scotland has been completed.
Nexfibre is the result of a £4.5bn investment from VMO2 shareholders Liberty Global and Telefónica, alongside investment firm InfraVia Capital Partners. Its launch is designed to create the UK’s first national-scale challenger to BT Openreach, boosting choice and competition in the market. Nexfibre will initially roll out fibre to five million homes not currently served by Virgin Media O2’s network by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an additional two million homes. VMO2 aims to have a fibre footprint reaching 80% of the UK when coupled with its own fibre upgrade plans, which complete in 2028.
The operator is using this next-generation network to deliver its broadband and TV streaming services to homes and businesses in the Stirling area, offering top speeds of 1,130Mbps, which are up to 25 times faster than the local average.
VMO2 cited UK comms regulator Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2022 report, which shows the average (median) broadband speed in Stirling was 43.8Mbps on 15 December 2022. The new connections are described as “perfect” for busy households working remotely, streaming Ultra HD TV shows and films, video calling and playing games online.
“I welcome the latest investment in Stirling that will ensure my constituents have access to some of the UK’s fastest broadband speeds,” said Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling. “It was great to meet with representatives from both Virgin Media O2 and nexfibre to discuss the progress they have made so far, as well as the plans they have to make gigabit broadband available to even more residents in the area.”
Fernando Molina, nexfibre chief technology and information officer, added: “By investing in the city of Stirling, nexfibre will enable thousands of households and businesses to access the benefits of ultrafast broadband, including being able to participate in the local economy and connect with their communities. We are on a mission to build and expand our network in suburban and semi-rural areas, and look forward to continuing to do so in the areas surrounding Stirling, helping to close the digital divide and boost opportunities for thousands of people.”