Broadband News

Virgin Media starts network expansion again

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

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"

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 8 years ago

This is great news for those in streets that are half cabled.

  • tazz_uk
  • over 8 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.

  • bezuk
  • over 8 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.

  • cmfitzg
  • over 8 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>)

  • nathanjm
  • over 8 years ago

Thanks nathanjm - I'll try that !

  • cmfitzg
  • over 8 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!

  • timandhaylea
  • over 8 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.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 8 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.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 8 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.

  • bezuk
  • over 8 years ago

does this expansion include converting analogue areas to digital?

  • chrysalis
  • over 8 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.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 8 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.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 8 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...

  • btsoslow
  • over 8 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!

  • rickw
  • over 8 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!

  • Colin_London
  • over 8 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'!

  • bolbaine
  • over 8 years ago

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