The increase in tax is decided by the Valuation Office Agency, which sets rates for all businesses accessing land.

It is understood the rates were reviewed a couple of months ago and all those who had to pay were notified individually.

Virgin Media recently pledged to invest £3bn in expanding its superfast network to serve four million premises.

Brigitte Trafford, chief corporate affairs officer at Virgin Media said: The Valuation Office Agency s proposed quadrupling of the rates Virgin Media pays on its network assets is a real kick in the cabinets at a time when ministers are calling for more investment in broadband – a call we are answering to the tune of £3bn.

The Secretary General of the Internet Services Providers' Association ISPA also criticised the plans: ISPA members are investing heavily in rolling out networks and delivering the connectivity UK homes and businesses need, and the VOA needs to recognise that increasing charges makes this more difficult .

It is clear that reforms to the rating system must be implemented urgently."

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