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Dickson Welcomes Much Needed Faster Broadband for 8,000 Homes in Larne Area



Alliance East Antrim MLA, Stewart Dickson, has played a hugely influential role in bringing ultrafast fibre-optic broadband to East Antrim, and welcomes the further investment from Virgin Media 02 in the Larne area, where enhanced broadband will be made available to over 8,000 homes and businesses.


Mr Dickson said: “It was back in 2017 when I first complained to OFCOM regarding slow and inadequate broadband in East Antrim in general, and subsequently began talks with Virgin Media, who expressed their desire to set up an ultrafast broadband network and give citizens the opportunity to switch providers. This further development in Larne is an exciting opportunity for Larne residents and will allow them to experience faster broadband speeds that many households across the UK are currently enjoying.


“Virgin Media can now service over 25,000 premises in Mid and East Antrim, providing service to over 42% of the region. With average download speeds of 1,140Mbps, residents can stream 4K box sets, download video games, join video calls and upload files.


“I am particularly pleased that there will be assistance for residents struggling financially, with the new ‘Essential Broadband’ service which will make broadband more accessible for people who are struggling and for those on Universal Credit. It offers a speed of 15 Mbps and a fixed price of £15 per month. It also has no fixed term contract length and no price changes while benefit payments are being received. I urge anyone in this situation to consider engaging with Virgin Media 02 and explore this possibility.


“I have been informed by representatives of Virgin Media that there will be minimal disruption during this process and have received guarantees that the interests of residents will be first and foremost. Construction work near busy schools will be completed with minimal disruption, and all work will be done as quickly and safely as possible so that there will be no major disruption to any one property.”


Mr Dickson concluded: “This should go a long way to eradicate the current broadband problems in the Larne area, and I would hope that Virgin Media 02 will be able to continue to move northward up the East Antrim Coast and then into more rural areas of my East Antrim constituency in the future.


“Virgin Media has a dedicated helpdesk number should residents face any issues and this can be reached on 0333 000 5925 (Option 1) or by emailing expansionworks@virginmedia.co.uk however, often, the quickest way to deal with an issue is to speak with the build crews, who will do everything they can to help.

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