Scotland's Full Fibre Charter: Virgin Media 02 case study

Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter signatory Virgin Media 02’s case study on trialling recycled aggregate.

Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter consists of a series of pledges to help extend full fibre broadband across Scotland. The publication of Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter in December 2020 marked a significant milestone in the development of our relationship with key commercial communications providers as they work together to extend full fibre broadband access across Scotland.

Virgin Media O2 delivers both mobile and broadband networks. Since 2015, Virgin Media O2 indicates it has invested over £207 million connecting more than 350,000 premises in Scotland to its gigabit broadband network through ‘Project Lightning’. Similarly, 4G network capacity has been boosted in a reported further 33,000 Scottish postcodes over the last year, with its 5G network now available in 58 towns and cities across Scotland.

Virgin Media O2 is one of the more recent signatories to the charter having signed up in April 2022 along with Borderlink, Cloudnet, Hyperoptic and Lothian Broadband Group. Axione, CityFibre and Openreach signed in December 2020.

Case study: trialling recycled aggregate

In 2021, Virgin Media O2 trialled the use of recycled aggregate – recycled stone and sand – to reinstate roads and pavements following build of their new network in Glasgow. Its on-site testing and monitoring of sustainably sourced materials has paved the way for more expansive use, helping to reduce the environmental impact of network deployment and supporting sustainable construction as it expands its services across Scotland.

Future-proofed digital infrastructure is key to inclusive growth and the development of a low carbon economy in Scotland. Through this activity, Virgin Media O2 has delivered on the ambitions of our Full Fibre Charter as well as a key pledge to support our Digital Strategy through trialling new technologies in Scotland. Virgin Media 02 evolved its approach to bring a next generation ultrafast fibre service to more homes and businesses in Scotland, while also taking positive steps against climate change, supporting a circular economy where resources are kept in high value use.

Following the success of Virgin Media O2’s trial, it has used this sustainably sourced material when connecting 3,000 homes across Scotland this year. In doing so, Virgin Media O2 assesses it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from reinstatement by 56% - the equivalent of stopping more than 12,000 kgs of carbon from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Through Scotland’s Full Fibre Charter, and the work of signatories such as Virgin Media O2 to deliver on its pledges, we are boosting digital infrastructure in a way that will benefit Scotland economically, socially and environmentally.

Rob Evans, Managing Director for Network Expansion at Virgin Media O2 said, 'From a two-street trial to a 3,000-home build, we’re driving forward change at pace in our network expansion to turn our net zero ambition into a reality.

'One of our most sustainable builds to date – we’ve cut carbon not quality when connecting thousands more homes in Shotts to our next generation speeds and ultra-reliable service at a time when it’s never mattered more.'

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