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Virgin Media announce latest Project Lightning expansion plans
Tuesday 12 July 2016 12:14:20 by John Hunt

Virgin Media have announced the next 30 communities which will receive ultrafast broadband and access to Virgin Media tv services. This is part of the £3bn 'Project Lightning' network expansion which will see the company expand to an extra 4 million premises by the end of 2019.

The latest 30 communities listed are to be connected with fibre direct to the home, which will take advantage of RFOG (radio frequency over glass), allowing the continued use of DOCSIS to be totally interoperable with the existing network and services, whilst offering the ability to provide future upgrades to pure fibre solutions. Existing Virgin Media products will therefore be available, and the areas listed are expected to be ready for service by Spring 2017.

The areas listed below are in order of number of votes cast.

  • Windlesham (Surrey)
  • Sutton Courtenay (Oxfordshire)
  • Balsall Common (West Midlands)
  • Old Basing (Hampshire)
  • Oakley (Hampshire)
  • Farnham Common (Buckinghamshire)
  • Wargrave (Berkshire)
  • Lickey, Catshill, Marlbrook & Barnt Green (Worcestershire)
  • Cullingworth (West Yorkshire)
  • Shrivenham (Oxfordshire)
  • Baddesley Ensor (Warwickshire)
  • Harden (West Yorkshire)
  • Broughton Astley (Leicestershire)
  • Grimethorpe (South Yorkshire)
  • Wigginton & Haxby (North Yorkshire)
  • Copmanthorpe (North Yorkshire)
  • Grassmoor (Derbyshire)
  • Pontyclun (Rhondda)
  • Darfield (South Yorkshire)
  • Talke & Talke Pits (Staffordshire)
  • Cudworth (South Yorkshire)
  • Duffield (Derbyshire)
  • Shafton (South Yorkshire)
  • Denham (Buckinghamshire)
  • Llanharry (Rhondda)
  • Marcham (Oxfordshire)
  • North Leigh (Oxfordshire)
  • Repton (Derbyshire)
  • North Cornelly (Bridgend)
  • Watchfield (Oxfordshire)

If you are hoping to get an upgrade to your broadband speed, and would like to see Virgin Media cable your street, check out their website and vote for your area.


Posted by zyborg47 10 months ago
I wish they would come here, could get off the bloated toad network then
Posted by mlmclaren 10 months ago
Are you with Virgin already... I don't think this new network is really going to change anything... its just extending the fibre to the home, the networks working will be the same it seems... so stupid ration of customer to capacity unfortunately.
Posted by DougM 10 months ago
I'm in one of these areas. I just hope they use the empty CATV ducting installed when the street was built back in 1997: I already have a tube that pops-up next to my house
Posted by roughbeast 10 months ago
Already on 200mb/12mb , but would appreciate something more symmetrical.
Posted by CarlThomas 10 months ago
If the ducting can be used they'll use it, DougM.

They did so in some areas here. There was some need for digging to get at the ducts, building chambers and bring them up to scratch but they used what they could.
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
there is more tech talk on ispreview, here is the full VM details..
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
more *comments* about WHY VM is struggling to provide more upload speed...

ONLY for tech heads!
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
Posted by comnut 10 months ago
empty CATV ducting? I will bet someone still owns it and have forgotten??

also you need digging permission, and a lot of others...

Also would you use a trunk, only to find most has been removed to make way for new stuff??

Its expensive enough, only to find low quality and waste lots of cash...
Posted by cks22 9 months ago
My daughter moved into a new build about 10 years ago with all the mod cons and VM still ran the cables along the boundary walls from the pavement to the house.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
:( 10 years ago, BT did all the fibre in new builds, BUT they used TPON, incompatible with newer tech...
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
VM is totally separate from BT - the VM line can be put in without disturbance, so you get TWO telephone lines! :)
I had to explain that to a friend recently... :O
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
@comnut Which post am I looking at for these tech head details from ISP Review?

The one from the guy who thinks there are broadband line cards in the cabinets (there aren't)?
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
As far as empty ducting goes Virgin Media own it where they own the franchises, and it won't have been forgotten, it's logged on databases and worst case is found when the planner is surveying.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
ONLY for tech heads! READ THE COMMENTS! :) :)

Posted by comnut 9 months ago
the empty CATV ducting could have been any OTHER failed cabletv service...
Posted by ZenUser27 9 months ago
This is the up to 300mbps service people

Wouldn't even bother if I was you.
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
@comnut Virgin Media own nearly all the 'other' failed cable TV services. There are very few they don't.

Big consolidation late 90s / early 00s.

Per my earlier post that guy doesn't seem to know that much. For a start, pretty fundamental, the CATV cabinets do not contain line cards, only the telco and transmission cabinets.
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
There were a few issues preventing bigger bonded groups, a major one being a firmware issue with the Arris E6k, another power, HVAC and space issues slowing deployment of both Arris E6k and Cisco cBR-8.

Some of the access network has upstream limitations. Lack of bandwdith, RF bandwidth, inadequate signal quality and upstream lasers unable to take the extra load being just some possibilities.

However, this is being sorted and 4 upstreams are running on the CMTS in the Reading headend :)
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
The 70% utilisation the guy mentioned is outdated information that applied to the legacy DOCSIS 1 kit. The schedulers on the newer CMTS can handle higher than this before showing latency issues on the upstream, and they can run very close to 100% before showing any loss of quality symptoms on downstream.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
CarlThomas. what part of the country are you in?? do you remember back to 1990??
there were many different 'cable TV' services back then.. and I do hope you are not following the 'bastardization' of the name... SKY is NOT one, it does not use cable to transmit TV!!!

BT and TalkTalk are others still im business, but what about NTL?? (bought out by VM)
is another

more about @low quality ducts'
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
enough chat, how are you going to get VM to DO SOMETHING??
are are you just another 'all talk, nothing else' teen??? >:(
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
ZenUser27: DO remember it is ONLY trialing ATM...
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
PLEASE complain at the RIGHT place!!!
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
@Comnut: VM didn't buy ntl. ntl merged with Telewest and ntl:Telewest acquired Virgin Mobile. As part of that deal they pay for the rights to the Virgin Media name.

I'm aware Sky aren't a cable company.

Diamond Cable was actually purchased by ntl in 1999.

I've not been a teen for a long time.

Ducts built by a variety of companies have issues and are repaired.

There are no cable companies operating in the UK besides Virgin Media and WightFibre who deliver to the Isle of Wight only.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
huh, whatever... they are now liberty global... :/

missing the point again!!!!! I am NOT talking about NOW, but 30 YEARS AGO..

stop repeating what I say, it is not good for your image...

how do you 'repair' wet cardboard?
Posted by ZenUser27 9 months ago
@comnut. is that right?

No one told me that when they were signing up my at £60 a month..

Interesting. And I will thanks :)
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
The ducts themselves aren't cardboard, Comnut, they are plastic tubing. Even says that in your article. Ducts are repaired usually by digging up and replacing the broken part, you don't replace the entire duct length just the broken parts.

Homeworks+ is not a trial.

No idea why you're talking about 30 years ago. Those companies kept records of where they put stuff in the ground which VM acquired. as an example of orphan connection.
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
The above ducting was put in the ground by Yorkshire Cable in the early late 90s. No cabinets were built, few chambers, nothing put in the ducts. VM built/upgraded chambers and cabinets and connected the existing ducting per the above.

Demolition of existing Yorkshire Cable chamber, replacement with a shiny, new VM one.

Some of the records are actually wrong and show duct where there isn't any, but that's why VM do surveys.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
you still don't have a clue, do you???

what do you think was there BEFORE VM???
you go on..
"As far as empty ducting goes Virgin Media own it where they own the franchises"

and what if they do not own it? eg it is BT or sky, or forgotten??

Have you ever investigated a dig to install streetside service???
even if a whole lot of plans are used, there are still badly mapped or even missing areas!

I KNOW my history, so I know what came first, even though there are many LIES about various things....

Are you mature enough to talk properly about it???
Posted by ZenUser27 9 months ago
Depends if it's the dude who was an NTL Engineer back in that day - I suppose?
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
ZenUser27: check your homepage - I think it only advertises 'vivid' if it is not on a VM line..

and yep, I remember NTHELL... :P
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
I have *actually* seen the 300M Hub, my IT boss got a trial! (heavy user...)
Posted by ZenUser27 9 months ago
Not bothered if it's vivid or not - just want it to work.

And do you mean the white SH3? yes I have one - or do you mean the business version? yes I have one of those too.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
Yes, my boss has the SH3 grey hub, but only at home, work is 'out of area' for testing...

Tell me more about the business version?? we are using SH2 , Cisco router to do our company VPN, had to book a HO tech to set their routing tables so we can get domain going..

only trouble is, the Cisco kept 'blowing' the SH in modem mode!! (VM guy was great and helpful, full thumbs up!!! :) )

So we are stuck using 'not fully secure' router mode..

Any Idea of Cisco compatibility in SH3 ??

HO will will let us use our own VPN next year (not at their S L O W office up north) but its a long wait..
Posted by NetGuy 9 months ago
Wish they'd extend service where 70% is served (postcode area L20)... we get their promotion leaflets but no go with an actual service, despite 350-400 properties (325 flats plus a few streets with bunches of semi-detatched).
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
netguy: you need to VOTE!! :)
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
netguy: at least you are one of the VERY FEW that actually say where you are!!!
and do note the 'promotions' dept is almost nothing to do with the 'new installations' dept!!
I have been in TW since before CW, and still get offers..
Posted by ZenUser27 9 months ago
What annoys me more is when you get offers as a new customer when you are not a new customer. Like 300 for £20 a month + 17,99 phone line - which I got yesterday. Bad enough i'm getting 9mbps right now on their 300 service

The residential homepage shows vivid so you are wrong there.

I'm cancelling tomorrow anyway - 3 days in could it be the shortest connection they have had?
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
Could you point me to where Homeworks+ is £20 a month for new customers please Mr Coventry?

Even the 200 costs more than that on the introductory deal. Thanks.

Netguy: You're a trickier one due to the quantity of flats. :(
Posted by FlappySocks 9 months ago
VM dug up the road outside my house last week. It's not an area on the list above. Will it be fibre or coax? The rest of the housing estate has had cable for 20 years.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
ZenUser27: yup, it seem *all* admen are just desperate to 'claim territory' and not bother about the actual situation!
Just like TV ads will interrupt a 'tv compere' before he has finished his sentence! >:(
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
FlappySocks 11:
As most say 'it is not an exhaustive list'.. and it may just be the result of your neighbor's problems being solved...

put your postcode in here!!! :)!/cablemystreet
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
It'll be coax, or more accurately HFC, FlappySocks. Only entirely new builds are FTTP, infill is HFC.

However it is going to be very good HFC, plenty of bandwidth available and ready for DOCSIS 3.1.
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
Just to clarify for the home audience the Cable My Street website does not indicate whether a build is FTTP or HFC.

At the moment the FTTP trials do not have a phone service available, however that should be there soon, and once it is the same packages will be available on both HFC and FTTP.

FTTP is still in trial phase. First commercial deployments will be Leeds and, I think, Manchester areas.

No plans at this time to differentiate between them in terms of the offerings.
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
If you want a proper answer, their number is on the Homeworks website...
Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
I'll repeat that VM are not building FTTP to infill gaps in coverage, only for entirely new builds, which is why the vast majority of the Lightning build is HFC.

Regarding empty ducts, streetworks, etc, yes I'm familiar with them. Had some homework to do regarding the build here, and have access to database of where cable assets were believed to be (VM database, not 100% accurate due to bad info from predecessor companies).

Unsure what your problem is with me Mr Comnut but whatever makes you happy :)

Posted by CarlThomas 9 months ago
Actually for the curious the entire thread might be interesting reading.
Posted by cpomd 9 months ago
My postcode is M18 7LJ and its a Sea Cadet Unit on the edge of Debdale Park. Across the street is a McDonalds (broadband provider unknown) whose WIFI signal extends into our building yet we have no broadband access and have only a telephone line connection which is barely adequate. I have registered my interest with VM how long must I wait and does anyone recommend SKY?
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
how many time must we say ASK *THEM*, not this pace.....
Posted by comnut 9 months ago
and 'my problem' is people keep accusing me of thing I DID NOT SAY...

people can you see where I said FT** or H*** ???

and as for those asking about a service, having previously said they knew about it...

to say nothing about 'ignoring history'.... :P
Posted by DougM 9 months ago
Wow, my little question about existing ducts really kicked off a debate!

In my case the ducts were installed by the builder; they also installed the BT ducts, drains, etc. Each was handed over to the respective authority, with the road itself only adopted by the council 2 years ago after the water company finally agreed to take ownership of the drains.

I wonder if the adoption process saw the builder hand over the ducts to Virgin Media, since the council would not have wanted to be responsible.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 9 months ago
What you describe would be the usual course of things, but it possible that the cable ducting did not pass inspection by Virgin Media and was not adopted - and builder was not going to fix the issue so they are left dormant.

Plus 20 year old used ducting will invariably be blocked unless well sealed, and even if Project Lightning does arrive may need blockages/breakages fixing.
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