MORE than 800,000 homes across Scotland can now access gigabit broadband speeds after Virgin Media switched on its next-generation broadband.

The internet provider today rolled out its Gig1 service to homes across Glasgow, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire.

This follows on from the switch-on of Gig1 broadband to almost 300,000 homes in Edinburgh and surrounding areas last month.

Virgin Media says customers can expect average download speeds of 1140Mbps which should be a huge leap forward in current fibre optic speeds.

The move makes Virgin Media the largest provider of gigabit internet in the UK with more than one million premises connected already.

The UK Government has set a target for all UK premises to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025.

Jeff Dodds, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “Through continued investment, we’re making Scotland even faster by offering our next-generation Gig1 broadband to more than half a million homes across Glasgow and the surrounding areas – just weeks after switching on these speeds in Edinburgh.”

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Commenting on the development, Scottish Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “It is terrific news that Glasgow is now receiving Virgin Media’s broadband services with speeds of just over one gigabit per second, thanks to this upgrade in service to delivery of their new ‘Gig1’ product. The value of access to digital connectivity has been highlighted by the role it has played in supporting the many jobs, services and sectors during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as home learning.

“It will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in plans for our strategic economic recovery from the pandemic and in stimulating wider investment to Scotland’s largest city.

“The Scottish Government places a very high priority on enabling access to superfast broadband services across all of Scotland and this commercial development is one of many projects that are underway to ensure this happens.

“[These developments] complement our own investment programmes to secure broadband and mobile infrastructure that benefits all of Scotland.”