Virgin celebrates 10 years of broadband in the UK

A decade ago this week, NTL hooked up its very first broadband line.

Virgin Media Logo

Virgin Media is celebrating 10 years since it first hooked up a broadband connection, back when it was still called NTL.

The very first broadband customer, Mark Bush, asked to be hooked up during the testing phase of a cable roll out. "It was pretty impressive in the early days, with having the whole pipe to myself," he told the BBC.

That connection - made on 31 March 2000, in Gillingham, Kent - will be marked next month with a fibre-based art project on the South Bank in London.

Created by United Visual Artists, the "Speed of Light" installation features 148 lasers across five rooms, celebrating "the wonderful world of broadband". It will be free to check out from 9 to 19 of April.

"We wanted to inject a bit of magic into something that's easy to take for granted, and we think the Speed of Light installation is a fitting tribute to the amazing power of fibre optics," said Jon James, executive director of broadband at Virgin Media, in a statement.

"By using the same materials we use to deliver broadband to millions of homes in the UK, the display has a real sense of excitement and connection, and we hope people will enjoy being a part of this historical moment," he added.

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