Up to 11,000 Carrickfergus premises will be able to access increased digital connectivity in an investment deal announced this week.
Residents and business owners will enjoy ultrafast broadband through the link up between Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Virgin Media.
The roll-out is part of the council’s ongoing strategic investment agenda that aims to support the growth of the local economy and deliver excellent services.
Virgin Media’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology will help improve the quality of broadband in the area, bringing average speeds of 362Mbps on Virgin Media’s fastest package. This is, council states, more than 10 times faster* than the local average and will provide residents with smooth, reliable connectivity in the home and the ability to download films, music and games in minutes.
Businesses will also benefit from high speeds enabling them to download large files, upload to the cloud and helping them to grow.
The Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, said: “Following extensive engagement with stakeholders, we have pursued the need to build upon our existing broadband capabilities and help improve the digital connectivity throughout the area. This is a great economic and social boost for those living and working in and around Carrickfergus.”
Installation work by the company will commence shortly, to align with Department of Infrastructure works on the Marshallstown Road and the forthcoming public realm works on Lancasterian Street. This will keep any possible disruption to a minimum and help save on costs. It is expected the installation works will be completed in time for summer.
Cllr Millar added: “We can assure our local residents and business owners that we will be working closely with Virgin Media to help mitigate any concerns or issues leading up to and during the roll out.”
Conor Harrison, regional director at Virgin Media, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our ultrafast broadband network to Carrickfergus and will be working closely with the local council to ensure our expansion in the area has a limited impact on residents.
“The installation of our services will transform the quality of broadband in the area and will give local families and businesses access to faster more reliable speeds.”
An information evening will be held on Wednesday, December 12, from 7pm to 8.30pm in the Conference suite, Carrickfergus Marina. This will be an opportunity for residents to meet representatives from Virgin Media to find out more about the works and ask any questions.
*The average (median) broadband speed in Antrim and Newtownabbey is 34.9Mbps. Source: Ofcom, Connected Nations Report 2017, published 15 December 2017.