Comex 2000 enhances network for Virgin Media, enabling ultrafast broadband for the North of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland

Virgin Media offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.

Its dedicated ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses, as well as providing customers with live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.

Keeping pace with ever increasing demand from customers means Virgin Media is continually upgrading its infrastructure to meet the challenge of providing customers with increased internet speeds.

Which is where Comex 2000 comes in.

In 2015, Virgin Media commissioned Comex 2000 to upgrade its HFC (hybrid fibre coaxial) cable network throughout the northern part of the UK, so customers could continue to enjoy ultrafast downloads and seamless streaming.

The work began in Wigan in February 2015, with the goal of upgrading 600MHz downstream networks to 1GHz in the north-west and Yorkshire. After that, the upstream systems were upgraded from 42MHz to 65MHz. But that was only one part of the story, as Kieran Reidy, Comex 2000’s Network Director, explains.

“As well as upgrading the cable network, we’ve also replaced optical amplifiers, distribution amplifiers, and customer tap connections in the street cabinets,” he says. “Once the works were carried out, we then took on detailed commissioning of the kit to ensure the network met the required specification and performed to its maximum capability.”

Comex 2000’s skills were also vital in countering ‘network ingress’, where cable signals are disturbed by interference from outside influences.

As you’d expect, Virgin Media has been involved in monitoring the success of the project since its inception. After the initial work in the north-west, the new frequency bandwidth was checked by ‘polling’ the customer set-top boxes. It passed with flying colours.

Since then, the project has been expanded all over the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with Kieran and the 100+ strong staff bringing the state-of-the-art network to areas in need of superfast broadband.

Today, the programme continues, with Kieran and the team helping to improve the Virgin Media network, future-proofing it for the decades ahead.

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