Virgin Media has announced plans to use electricity poles to extend its ultra-fast network into rural areas, stringing fibre-optic cables overground between the wooden poles, instead of burying them underground.

Virgin has teamed up with Welsh company Surf Telecoms , a division of electricity firm Western Power Distribution , to extend its ultra-fast broadband to Crumlin, a rural village near Pontypool in Wales, currently unserved by Virgin’s fibre-optic network. Innovative solution?

“Virgin Media today announced that residents of the Welsh village of Crumlin, Caerphilly, will be the first in the UK to trial ultrafast broadband delivered over existing electricity poles,” reads Virgin Media’s press release.

“Following a landmark agreement with Surf Telecoms… homes in the village of Crumlin will be connected directly to Virgin Media’s fibre optic network, effectively increasing local broadband speeds ten-fold in a community that has previously relied on BT’s copper infrastructure.”

The partnership marks “the first use of existing commercial infrastructure to aerially deliver ultrafast broadband to a community currently beyond the reach of a fibre optic network.”

In addition to the access to Virgin Media’s super speedy 50Mb broadband, villagers will be offered Virgin Media’s TV service, including around 5,000 hours of catch up TV and on demand content.

e5d5e6a2be00 200.jpg Virgin Media uses electricity masts to extend rural broadband

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Virgin Media uses electricity masts to extend rural broadband