Virgin Media used to operate a programme called Cable My Street, although this now runs as a simple 'keep me posted' request form for customers who aren't yet covered.
Through a new wholesale network called Nexfibre, Virgin Media is rolling out to an additional 5 million premises across the UK by the end of 2026.
While there are no guarantees, contacting Virgin in this way could help potential customers find out whether there are any plans to install Virgin cables in their area or if there are ways to improve the chances of installations.
Is Virgin broadband available in my area?
Virgin Media is now actively expanding their network, so availability is likely to change on a more frequent basis.
So, first checking to be sure that Virgin Media services aren't already available in a given postcode is the first step to take. You can do this by entering your postcode in the box below:
If Virgin Media shows availability in your area that means you'll be able to choose from any of Virgin Media's broadband deals, as well as any of their TV services and home phone options.
Due to the way Virgin Media have expanded their network in the past, it's also worth double checking availability with Virgin Media directly, as they can search on an exact address as availability within postcodes can vary.
We look at why Virgin Media is available to some homes and not others even within the same street in our guide to Virgin Media's postcode checker, and what alternatives people may want to consider if they can't get Virgin yet.
If it does turn out Virgin Media is not yet available in your area, there are a few options, which we look at below.
Are Virgin Media planning to expand to my area?
Virgin Media and Nexfibre published their rollout plans for the 2023/2024 period in November 2023. Planned build locations cover the breadth of the UK, and include locations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England.
There are already an additional 505,000 premises with Virgin Media availability thanks to the Nexfibre rollout, with initial connections going live in June 2023, and a total of 5 million expected to be reached by 2026.
As a result, it's worth entering your details on Virgin's Keep Me Posted page, so you can find out as soon as Virgin Media confirm they're coming to your area.
In addition to the Nexfibre rollout, Virgin Media also work with new build developers and have a dedicated form for developers to submit new site requests. However, it's worth stressing - this form isn't for ordinary householders who should use the Keep me posted form linked above.
While Virgin Media have a target to reach 23 million premises in the next few years, they generally focus on urban and suburban areas where investment into expanding their network will be financially viable.
Ultimately, while most households will just have to wait and see if Virgin Media comes to their area, it can still be worth registering interest and keeping up to date as this provides information to Virgin of where potential customers actually live.
What is Cable My Street?
Cable My Street was originally designed as Virgin's single point of contact to help customers register their interest at being connected to the cable network.
The theory was that customers could signal their interest to Virgin and the company would (eventually) consider putting that property into their expansion plans.
It seemed to work and there's anecdotal evidence over on the official Virgin Media forums of customers requesting connections and later being told they will be connected or confirming they have been connected.
Now, however, the official Cable My Street concept seems to be limited - even though the Cable My Street page on the Virgin website is still available on search engines, it directs to a more generic page about their expansion processes.
Yet the functions of Cable My Street live on in the way Virgin encourages customers to request services in their area and, presumably, the way they sort through the requests they receive.
Since Virgin customers on the official forum still refer to the Cable My Street concept, we'll continue talking about it in those terms, even though it doesn't seem to run as an official programme anymore.
How to request Virgin Media services
When you visit Virgin's expansion page to explore whether Virgin Media services are available in your area and whether they could be in future, the first thing they ask is that you enter your postcode.
This shows whether Virgin Media services are already available. It may possibly tell you if the services are scheduled to be installed anyway, but it's more likely they'll encourage customers to fill in the request form instead.
Virgin ask for the following information on the request form:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Contact number
Virgin say they'll use these details to keep customers informed of when their home is added to the provider's rollout plans, and when Virgin Media is likely to become available to them and when they can sign up.
It's possible to unsubscribe from the service if potential customers decide they no longer want to receive updates or they move home.
Understanding your case
Those hoping for Virgin Media to cable their area should also consider their chances and understand as much as they can about the Virgin Media situation in their local area.
For example, it's possible Virgin Media may look to fill in gaps in their network, so if Virgin Media is available nearby, but just not at your property, that could improve your chances. Equally, if you live in a very remote area, it may be that another full fibre provider is actively working in your area and they may offer a better chance of a connection.
So, think about the following questions:
- Can people living in the local area get Virgin? If asking the question is awkward, look out for Virgin-branded street cabinets.
- Is Virgin Media active in the town or village, or in nearby areas at all?
If you're on good terms with neighbours or business owners in the area, asking whether they would also put in a request or agree to strengthen your case could be useful.
Keeping an eye on updates to the Nexfibre rollout is also worthwhile, with build plans for the upcoming 12-month period published in advance.
What role can local authorities play?
As we mentioned above, Virgin are keen to work with willing local authorities to install services to areas.
They usually frame this as a way of cutting red tape to get cables installed more easily, and it's certainly true that local authority willingness could be the tipping point if Virgin have a decent number of requests for a particular area.
So, writing to a local councillor asking whether they are aware of any plans to expand into a given area could result in a strengthened case.
We've seen a recent example of a local authority working effectively with Virgin Media O2 in the form of their agreement with Telford and Wrekin Council.
While the Shropshire area already has good Virgin Media connections, an agreement to upgrade public buildings such as schools and libraries could lead to 12,000 more premises being connected in the areas surrounding Telford.
We have to concede that the chances of receiving a call from Virgin saying a request has been granted and cable will be installed shortly are slim.
It's more likely Virgin will request to keep your details on file and promise to let you know if services do expand to your area. They may also suggest steps you can take to get other people in your area interested in Virgin cable.
Yet even when there are numerous properties asking to be connected, other factors can make it too expensive to provide cable to certain areas - and Virgin wouldn't be able to offer an affordable service.
There is one other way to tip the balance, however: paying to get a connection.
Paying to have Virgin Media connected
Cable My Street were always quick to stress they definitely did not actively seek contributions from customers. No information on Virgin's website suggests this stance has changed.
However, when people specifically request to pay to have cable installed, there can sometimes be options available.
Virgin Media wouldn't tell us how much it would cost for installation ("each instance is unique and there are no hard and fast rules on this," they said). But as BT's ultrafast fibre on demand service costs anywhere from £1,625 to £2,650, we think that a few thousand pounds would be a fair guess.
But it's important to remember that Virgin Media aren't the only provider offering ultrafast broadband speeds anymore. We look at this in more detail below.
Why should Virgin Media cable my street?
The slowest package offered by Virgin is their M50 superfast broadband which offers average speeds of 54Mb. They also offer packages of 132Mb, 264Mb, 362Mb, 516Mb, and 1130Mb, as well as various broadband and TV bundles:
Signing up to cable broadband from Virgin Media, then, guarantees high broadband speeds that can be coupled with home phone and TV services to create personalised bundles.
Thanks to their merger with O2, these can now include Volt benefits too.
Read our review of Virgin TV deals or browse the latest special offers to tempt eligible customers to take Virgin services:
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Alternatives to Virgin Media
As we've already pointed out, Virgin are no longer the only fibre broadband provider around, even if their footprint is bigger than most.
Openreach have moved from expanding their superfast network to rolling out full fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband at pace.
At the time of writing, this has covered more than 12.5 million premises and is scheduled to reach 25 million premises by the end of 2026 - including up to 6.2 million in rural and semi-rural areas that Virgin Media may not venture to.
Thanks to the way Virgin and Openreach expand, it doesn't mean the premises that can get Virgin are able to get Openreach services automatically too - so, the chances of being able to access fibre broadband are increased slightly.
Summary: It's worth asking
We would always recommend that anyone wondering whether Virgin is available in their area get in contact with the company via their website to find out if there are expansion plans already in place and to register their interest for the future.
While Cable My Street as a definite programme seems to have fallen by the wayside, the ability to register interest and be kept informed remains and it can be an important step towards finding out whether Virgin are likely to expand to a given area.
Just remember that there are other ultrafast options on the market now, meaning that while it's worth asking whether Virgin are coming to your street, their engineers may not be the only ones digging up your area in the near future.
So, customers may want to:
- Check your postcode and register interest with Virgin Media
- Check whether any other ultrafast builds are active in the area through local news websites or searches
- Consider registering interest with other providers too
Thanks to the rapid spread of FTTP broadband, more customers will get the opportunity to sign up to these deals in the future - and it may or may not be with Virgin.