Virgin Media has announced it is investing £3 billion in expanding its fibre optic broadband network – in a move that will create 6,000 UK jobs.
The company, which is owned by US firm Liberty Global, has said the five-year plan will be the biggest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade.
Virgin said it was able to offer broadband speeds of up to 152Mb, which is twice as fast as the best speeds available from BT, TalkTalk and Sky.
Data usage on its network is currently growing at a rate of around 60 per cent a year which - if this trend continues this figure will be 10,000 per cent higher in ten years.
The company will extend its network to around four million additional premises, meaning that it will offer services to nearly 17 million homes and businesses by 2020.
The network expansion will be prioritised according to demand from households and companies, with a focus on areas closest to Virgin's existing network.
In addition to the 6,000 jobs, the expansion will also increase the number of apprenticeships created by the company to 1,000 over the next five years.
Prime Minister David Cameron backed the plans, which he said were helping to build "a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure".
He added: "Together with the Government's rollout of superfast broadband which has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain."
Additional reporting by Press Association