Virgin Media names winners of £500m civil engineering works

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Virgin Media has awarded new five-year regional build contracts, worth up to £500m per year, to six national partners

The national partners will manage the delivery and maintenance of Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable network.

The winners are:

  • Kier – Scotland, South London, the South Coast & South East
  • Actavo – Northern Ireland
  • Avonline – North East, South West & South Wales
  • NMCN – North West & North Wales + Yorkshire & East Midlands
  • Comex – West Midlands
  • Kelly – North London, Homes Counties & East Anglia

Virgin Media has reformed its partnership model to provide a one-stop-shop for the planning, expansion and maintenance of its next-generation gigabit network across the UK.

All visits to homes and businesses will now be carried out by a Virgin Media employed engineer. Previously some in-home visits were carried out by contracted partners.

The new model is designed to provide more integrated relationships with national partners and deliver a host of benefits for both parties.

This includes improved productivity and longer-term certainty of work over larger geographic areas allowing partners to more successfully build and maintain Virgin Media’s expanding fibre network.

National partners have also been urged to make better use of innovative methods and techniques and ensure there is a collaborative approach with local authorities and communities. Incentives and rewards have been put in place depending on the timely delivery and quality of work completed.

Drive further network expansion and gigabit rollout

These changes come as Virgin Media continues to invest and expand its fibre-rich network to more parts of the UK through its Project Lightning programme and upgrades its entire footprint to gigabit speeds by the end of 2021.

This will see next-generation connectivity delivered to more than 15 million UK homes in less than 24 months at a time when the government has called for nationwide gigabit connectivity by 2025.

Virgin Media has already passed more than 2 million new premises through Project Lightning and these six partners will continue to build to homes and businesses, including new developments and apartment blocks, as well as exploring innovative ways to accelerate expansion such as narrow trenching and the use of Openreach’s ducts.

Build efficiently and effectively

Rob Evans, MD network expansion at Virgin Media, said: “These changes are great news for our customers, great news for partners and ultimately fantastic news for the UK as we really focus on building out our gigabit network to more locations.

“This new regional model gives our partners the certainty, scale and transparency they need and provides Virgin Media with the teams equipped to deliver high-quality build efficiently and effectively with the support of local authorities and communities.”

The new structure will be implemented from April 2020 with six national partners delivering a variety of civil engineering tasks across nine key regions in the UK over the next five years.

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