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Virgin Media starts network expansion again
Wednesday 13 May 2009 10:27:10 by Andrew Ferguson

Digital Spy is carrying an announcement from Virgin Media that the cable broadband/TV/phone firm is to expand its network to cover an additional 50,000 homes this year.

Apparently the firm has found around half a million homes which are close enough to their existing network to make connecting them commercially attractive. This comes after a number of years where the coverage of the cable network has remained static in the UK.

Now the UK essentially has a triopoly with BT, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media holding some 75% of the broadband market, it is perhaps no surprise to see Virgin Media stepping up its game. While BT and Carphone Warehouse have never really tried to hold the crown of the fastest broadband, Carphone Warehouse started the 'free' broadband wars with the number of customers they have suggesting that the average broadband user is more worried about price than speed.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Carphone Warehouse started the 'free' broadband wars with the number of customers they have suggesting that the average broadband user is more worried about price than speed."

Key word in all that "AVERAGE"
Posted by tazz_uk over 6 years ago
This is great news for those in streets that are half cabled.
Posted by bezuk over 6 years ago
Shame they probably can't expand to cover big blocks of flats on already cabled streets - there's a cable box on my street only 10 metres from the block entrance, but according to the website no availability in the block itself.
Posted by cmfitzg over 6 years ago
How do you find out existing coverage and what areas are proposed ?
Virgin Media site just tells you you aren't in a cabled area if you aren't, which I already know !
Interested to know how close cabled areas are to me and when/if they might actually extend this far.
Posted by nathanjm over 6 years ago
One thing you could do is let Virgin Media know that you want your area upgraded my posting it on their Get Satisfaction page. I did it for my area (<a href="http://getsatisfaction.com/virginmedia/topics/bring_cable_to_the_rothwell_area_bt_exchange_myrot">http://getsatisfaction.com/virginmedia/topics/bring_cable_to_the_rothwell_area_bt_exchange_myrot</a>).

You could also send them a message (<a href="https://help2.virginmedia.com/assets/customer_zone/complaintformCZ.html">https://help2.virginmedia.com/assets/customer_zone/complaintformCZ.html</a>)
Posted by cmfitzg over 6 years ago
Thanks nathanjm - I'll try that !
Posted by timandhaylea over 6 years ago
Thanks nathanjm - post for my vilage entered

http://getsatisfaction.com/virginmedia/topics/bring_cable_to_great_easton_exchange_emrocki

I'll not hold my breath though!
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Pretty unlikely to get them to go too far away from existing network but couldn't hurt to pose the question at least.

VM could connect another couple of million homes through getting agreements with tower block owners, etc, in London and other urban areas which might be relatively inexpensive.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 6 years ago
Again, that's because there is no major "quality" alternative, Andrew

I'd imagine they're looking mainly at filling in gaps in existing coverage.
Posted by bezuk over 6 years ago
Problem with the blocks of flats seems to be, as I understand it, that if the wiring isn't put into the wall as it's being built then it's difficult if not impossible to get it added later.

Real shame, since new builds seem to be going up every week, almost always with no cable in the walls.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
does this expansion include converting analogue areas to digital?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Problem with the blocks of flats seems to be, as I understand it, that if the wiring isn't put into the wall as it's being built then it's difficult if not impossible to get it added later."

No it isnt, it could be installed easily, even if just a single top floor flat wanted it.

The problem (as you put it) is tower block owners probably dont want virgin cable coming along, taking weeks to do the install, drilling holes in their walls and upsetting what is probably a majority of residents that dont want Virgin Broadband.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Its nothing to do with the "installation" If you live in a tower block in a virgin cabled street but your block doesnt get Virgin cable its more likely down to the tower block owner. Its certainly not an install issue as the job in basic terms is nothing more than screwin a box to a wall and running a length of coax cable. No more difficult than wiring an aerial or satelite dish.
Posted by btsoslow over 6 years ago
New house (built 2004) 50m from cabled road in North London, Virgin Media spotters showed up in August 2008 after numerous requests and said they simply wouldn't cable the 50m as the signal would degrade too much. Hope the regime has changed...
Posted by rickw over 6 years ago
And if you're REALLY unlucky you get charged mega bucks to get 700 odd user connected. This is what my estate did. Silly really!
Posted by Colin_London over 6 years ago
In my previous flat Telewest (as it was at that time) had installed cable up to a new manhole which was installed in the drive. They paid the management company a fee for the wayleave. However they then realised that they would have to negotiate with each flat leaseholder for wayleaves over their walls to access the flats, and therefore refused requests to cable up any flats because it would be too 'difficult' (i.e. legal work). Laughable!
Posted by bolbaine over 6 years ago
I have been trying to get Virgin Media (& previous owners of their cable network) to connect me for over 10 years.
The area I live in (Mapperley, Nottingham) was cabled up by Diamond Cable in the mid 90's but they completely missed my detached house.
Checking my postcode on their website says 'no broadband cable service'.
My drive is only 12 inches away from their cables in the pavement, and 20 ft away from a 'green box' but no matter what I say, they still say there is no service in my area!
With dsl speeds <1.5 Mbs for me, I guess I qualify as in a 'slowzone'!

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