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Liberty Global Investigating ‘Project Lightning’ Rollout Figures

Virgin Media, the U.K.-based MSO owned by Liberty Media, has launched an investigation over concerns that a handful of staffers may have overstated the deployment progress of Project Lightning, the operator’s ambitious network expansion project.

In an amended 8-K filing, Liberty Global noted that it originally reported that its European operations had added 1.4 million premises to its networks during 2016, including 465,000 premises added by Virgin Media.

Those added premises included 323,000 premises connected to networks in the U.K. and Ireland and 142,000 premises in many U.K. locations where the operator “understood construction to be essentially complete” but still required elements such as power, headend capacity upgrades and other physical connection activities.

Those “inactive premises” were expected to become “connected premises” during Q1 2017. But in late February 2017, Liberty Global said it discovered that the construction work to connect a “substantial number of the Inactive Premises had not progressed as originally understood” and was ultimately misrepresented.

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