Virgin Media Sues Durham County Council
Virgin Media sues Durham County Council for obstructing the rollout of ultrafast broadband technology.
18:29 13 June 2018
Virgin Media has taken legal action against Durham County Council for imposing levy for land access, which obstructs the rollout of ultrafast broadband technology. The company is working towards bringing broadband speeds of up to 350Mbps to around 16,000 premises in the area.
The company hopes to obtain the council’s permission to install new fibre-optic cables alongside grass verges without having to pay expensive fees per metre for land access. Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge said that the council had no basis for imposing any kind of levy for land access and demand payment. He also accused the council of ‘holding the fibre roll-out to ransom’ and blocking thousands of homes and businesses across the county of Durham from getting faster broadband.
The case is currently being heard in the Upper Tribunals in a test of reforms introduced in 2017 to the Electronic Communications Code. The code is meant to accelerate the deployment of broadband and mobile networks in the country.