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100,000 broadbandless in Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 October 2008 14:14:26 by John Hunt

The Edinburgh Evening News is reporting that data released by Ofcom and the General Office of Statistics Scotland has indicated that more than 100,000 households in Edinburgh still do not have broadband Internet. Whether this is due to a lack of demand as most people have access at work or school/college, or due to it being too costly, particularly in the current financial market, is not known. Following this news, Virgin Media have announced that they will connect up 1,000 people in the city to their fastest broadband service for free for a month.

Users can register to receive the free broadband by calling 0800 052 3003, and more information can be found on the Virgin website. It is unclear whether the free places are available on a first-come first-served basis or if they will be given first to those that can benefit more from the free install. The offer is due to end on the 20th November.

Some might wonder if the capital city of Scotland is really the best place to be receiving this investment particularly as other areas around the UK have no option to get broadband at all. Perhaps the money Virgin are throwing at this could be better spent at helping to fill in some of the 'broadband not-spots'.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Some might wonder if the capital city of Scotland is really the best place to be receiving this investment particularly as other areas around the UK have no option to get broadband at all."

Nope not really Edinburgh is a continually expanding city. The amount of people moving there and even choosing a home there over previous locations like London continues to also grow. It makes sense to cash in on this new potential broadband market.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
articles like this should be raising some questions, is broadband a luxury commercial product or is it something that is a utility that should be available to everyone? if the latter it justifies taxpayers money. If the former we should stop worrying about takeup.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
When/where were the numbers released?
Andrew - it's not an investment, this is simply a marketing scheme for VM.
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
I cannot see much point in investing in Scotland, just give them independance and let them get on with it. Now we've had most of the oil whats the point in hanging on to it.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
On Topic: This is just a PR gimmick on VM's part as Ofcom raise the problem that 100,000 people don't have access to broadband and what's the first thing VM say:
"Simple. We're offering you a 30 day, no strings attached free trial. We'll do all the set up so it's hassle free, and you can keep your current broadband up and running so you can see the difference for yourself."

So they are not interested in helping any of the 100k, they just want to poach other ISP's customer's! Farcical!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
I would admire Virgin more if they helped a few notspots rather than a city where there will be plenty of broadband available if people want it. I agree with the others, it is a marketing ploy.
Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
They would be better off without broadband than have VM they will spend endless hassle wondering whether its broken or they have fallen foul of the capping.Just a PR gimmick on VM's part .Another 1000 customers on VM's network will do nothing to help those already on it.
Posted by jumpmum over 8 years ago
This is just spinning the stats; 100000 without BB means (using samknows stats) that 130000 have BB or 57-60% of homes have BB. Didn't sound as newsworthy to the journalist that way round!
Maybe the other 40% don't want it!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Good point i suspect many people that live in my street and your street dont want broadband, but they have the option available if they did.

The way i read this its no reason to bash Virgin, people are moaning all the time about not spots on here, the moment a company says they are going to hook up 100,000 homes people still whinge..... Oh and then they have the nerve to say i dont care about them and their long lines LOL
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - I don't read this as 'they are going to hook up 100,000 homes'. What does that mean?

It's not clear if this is definatly free connection plus the first month's rental. Worth how much?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Appologies should had read twice its only 1000 people they are going to connect... Still better than nothing though.

I imagine connection is free (atleast if you order on the web) virgin always seem to have free or half price connection offers on for new customers. I also assume its 1 months free service as it says "broadband service for free for a month" Have no idea what their current pricing is for their fastest service per month though
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Free standard installation (usually £30). No minimum term contract. Offer limited to the first 1,000 new customers or, if earlier, offer ends 20/11/08. Free Broadband size: XL (up to 20Mb) for 30 days (subject to status and credit checks).
£29 a month for the first 12 months, then just £36 a month after that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Not too bad an offer then, especially if the 1000 they are going to wire up cant have any other type of broadband... I personally wouldnt touch virgin but if there is no other alternative its better than nothing.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Unlikely that those 1000 won't have access to DSL at decent speeds - The cable companies cherry picked the same areas that the DSL companies have done, so there's always overlap. More than likely those 100k can't afford it or don't want it. My Nan can get broadband, but seen as she doesn't have a PC, doesn't want one, she has no need for it, yet she'd be counted in the sensationalist statistics.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Unlikely that those 1000 won't have access to DSL at decent speeds"
I would agree as its inner city, but i do know plenty of areas in scotland have poor access or none at all.
quote"More than likely those 100k can't afford it or don't want it."
Again possible but as i said previous you can guarantee someone in your road and mine doesnt want it either but they still have the option
Posted by jumpmum over 8 years ago
Again according to Samknows, all bar 1 area has LLU (only 2900 homes no Virgin either) and an average of over 4 LLU operators per area, most are unregulated as over 3 operators. Virgin doesn't cover the whole area in any case so those that want a choice may not get it from Virgin!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I still fail to see how or why this should be a bash at virgin, choice surely is a good thing, whether they are giving that additional choice to a single home, 100, 1000 or more. Being able to choose between BT, Virgin or a LLU provider is good isnt it? Sure virgin are a company i wouldnt want my broadband with but that doesnt mean others wouldnt. As to those that dont want broadband if BT provide to most of Edinburgh already, i dont even see how dont want it factors in to things
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
quote: "100,000 households in Edinburgh still do not have broadband Internet."

The trouble with gov offices, is they only see the numbers, and leave others to wonder why they dont add up....
Most people that have a brain, realise that a lot of people 'have a life' - usually a very hard one!! some must look at this 'give the poor internet' thing and say they would rather have food & warmth instead...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
- and I do also mean those struggling to feed a family house on meagre wages or benefit...
Posted by NetGuy over 8 years ago
To Carpetburn - VM seem to have jumped on a report, made a marketing decision (may be quite cheap for the company) to grab +ve headlines, be seen as "the good guys" etc. If users cannot afford it, then they're unlikely to even bother to apply. As someone else said, VM look to be wanting to poach.

Seems pretty foolish to report the 100,000 without the "bigger picture". Maybe someone in the Statistics office in Scotland could put into context how Edinburgh compares with other Scottish towns/cities for broadband use, if they think this is "newsworthy".
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Rubbish if they were wanting to poach they would be connecting up far more than just 1000 people. If they are wanting to poach customers we may as well say BT who introduce ADSL2+ to any LLU area that already has it are also looking to poach. I dont like Virgin but to anyone with a brain choice is a good thing, like them or not.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
100,000 households out of maybe 220,000 (215k in 2001) suggests a broadband takeup of 55% which isn't a mile off the UK average. Makes you wonder what the issue is here.

As for notspots, VM can't fill in cable notspots in streets they already serve, let alone anything that requires effort or expenditure.
Posted by painintheneck over 8 years ago
With Virgin Media I sat for many a long day trying to keep a connection with them. Connected speed never reached even 1.0Mbps. Contact with their ‘Support’ only produced the same words, none of them helpful. They still took my money (£14.99 a month). Eventually I moved to Plus Net – same telephone line, same equipment/computer, same person and I have been with them now for almost 10 months. No disconnections, reasonable speed for the distance away from Exchange and excellent customer service. Even a free service from VM would not interest me at all.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
Herdwick got it - "Makes you wonder what the issue is here"
the issue is statistics, of which you can make of them what you will, and free publicity.
Like I said earlier, I would admire virgin more if they attempted something bordering on difficult, like helping a notspot get a connection instead of grabbing revenue from a city which already has a service available.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Ah i see, just virgin hate rather than looking at things in an objective manner. None of us know if those 1000 homes they are going to hook up are in a NOTspot. You are assuming the people they are going to offer the connections to can already get broadband from say BT, which may not be the case.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
It's very unlikely they will dig up the road to connect new customers for this.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"It's very unlikely they will dig up the road to connect new customers for this."

How will they connect them than?? Even if say they are just going to connect up 1 person how are they going to do that without having the cable in place?
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
I meant I suspect this will only be available in already cabled streets. If you are not in VM land then it's a no.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"How will they connect them than"

by digging across the pavement and/or heeling the coax into the lawn. They won't be doing any roadworks for free, they won't do 50m to connect a business up on a premium tariff.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
@painintheneck: of course the reason for the problems would be the BT line.. Plusnet is mainly owned by BT, so less problems, less timewasting 'misunderstandings' with other ISPs... I am sure others have had the same problem..
I sure did, when Plusnet was being bought, sold, etc - BT came too late for me...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
So nobody knows for sure if the areas concerned are already cabled up, and are just assuming they are
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Reasonable assumption considering VM's record on cabling new areas.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
"How will they connect them than??"

stop carping on, and read the link!
"if you live in a *Virgin Media cabled area* in Edinburgh (postcodes EH1-17, EH21, EH47-55, FK1-6)"

and also:
"The Legal Stuff
SERVICES AVAILABLE IN VIRGIN MEDIA CABLED STREETS ONLY. Subject to network capacity."

so no, only a cable from the cab to your house...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Not bad than a legit free connection install and 1 months free service just as it states.
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