THOUSANDS of Test Valley homes and businesses will be treated to a broadband boost by Virgin Media, it has been revealed.

The telephone services company announced they will bring gigabit (1,000Mbps) broadband speeds to 4,000 homes by the end of 2021.

It is part of the company’s ongoing investment to make the UK's fastest home broadband service, called Gig1, available to everyone on its network.

The network speed is already available in Southampton, Manchester, Reading and surrounding areas.

This comes as residents in 12 villages were treated to an upgrade with broadband speeds of 516Mbps - 516 times faster than their previous 1Mbps speed.

Some of the villages which benefitted from the scheme include Timsbury, West Tytherley, Kings Somborne, Michelmarsh and Stockbridge.

They will all benefit from the upgrade set to arrive next year, where residents will be able to load HD videos at will, download phone updates in seconds and much more.

MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, said: "I am absolutely delighted with the works carried out in the Test and Dun Valleys over the last two years by Virgin Media.

"The community vision to bring this project together deserves the utmost praise and I know that it would not have been possible without the community champions, the generosity of local landowners and Virgin Media.

"We had some of the slowest internet connection speeds in the country, but now we have some of the fastest."

She added: "Rural connectivity is key to our economic growth and I am so pleased to hear that Virgin Media are looking at options to mirror the success in the area to other parts of the country.”

MD network expansion at Virgin Media, Rob Evans, said: “Our network investment and expansion in Test and Dun Valley has brought life-changing connectivity to an area forgotten by other providers.

"This was a completely new concept for us which required a unique approach in what was one of our most rural broadband builds to date. "It has been a real collaborative effort from the start and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support from residents and landowners.

"We’re proud to give this community the broadband boost it deserves.”

Residents received the network boost in December 2019 after the campaign group, Need4Speed, asked the company to bring its network to the area, following a "string of broken promises from other providers", according to a spokesperson from Virgin Media.