Martin Whitfield MSP has visited a Virgin Media O2 build site in Port Seton to see the telecom company’s gigabit broadband network expansion in action.

The MSP for the South Scotland region had the opportunity to tour the site with engineers and the team delivering fibre-optic connections – with average top speeds of 1,130Mbps – to more than 6,500 additional homes and businesses across East Lothian.

In addition to touring the site, Mr Whitfield heard from the Virgin Media O2 team about wider network initiatives and major upgrades across Scotland. Since 2015, it has invested around £180m to expand its network and bring ultrafast broadband to more than 330,000 Scottish homes and businesses and, following upgrade works completed last year, all 1.2 million premises on its network – covering half of the population – are now able to access gigabit broadband.

Alongside fixed network expansion, the business has continued to supercharge its mobile network. 58 towns and cities in Scotland now have access to its 5G network – each with over 50% population coverage – and it has boosted 4G capacity in over 33,000 postcodes.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“This was a very interesting and informative visit and I’m grateful to Colin and his Virgin Media O2 team for facilitating it. Access to ultrafast, reliable broadband and mobile networks is more important than ever for households and businesses and companies like Virgin Media O2 are vital to delivering it.

“I was pleased to see firsthand the work the company’s engineers are undertaking on the expansion of their network and look forward to more local people being able to benefit from it. It was also good to learn more about their long-term responsibility for maintaining the path and road infrastructure.”

Colin Rae, Head of Build for Scotland at Virgin Media O2, said:

“We’re thrilled to have Martin visit us on site – where we’re able to show him what it takes to deliver next generation connectivity to thousands of additional people in East Lothian at a time when it’s never mattered more.

“Whether it’s through expanding our gigabit network or our 4G and 5G upgrades, we’re committed to helping the country achieve its ambition of becoming a world-class digital nation by giving consumers access to networks fit for the future.”