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TG4SKU 20-11-2020 17:58

Help getting Virgin Media service
Hi folks,

I had been a VM customer from 2003 (NTL before VM took over) until November 2019 when I moved to my current address in Sandy in Bedfordshire.

Before moving I checked to see if VM provided their service to my new post code which is DG19 1BJ.

Fortunately, they do, but, apparently, not to my actual address, so I had to terminate my account and look for another provider.

Let me explain. I live in a sheltered housing scheme in Bunyan Road in Sandy.

Bunyan road is a Cul-de-sac comprising four semi detached houses and Handley Court, (the sheltered housing scheme).

According to VM's website, numbers 1,2,3 & 4 Bunyan Road can be connected to VM's full range of services. However, Handley Court can not?

I have asked VM's sales team of this odd situation, but all they tell me is what they have on their screens, that VM services are not available in my area, even though the 4 houses in my street can get them.

The street cabinet is 53 metres from the front of my property. The nearest house that CAN receive VM's services is right next door, so the underground conduits are within 10 metres of Handley Court.

There are 40 dwellings in Handley Court, all of them potential VM customers.

I spoke to a VM technician who was working on the street cabinet at the end of my street, and he could not think of a valid reason why VM would not provide me with their services.

I checked with my landlord, and they have no objection to VM supplying their services to me, not have they ever refused VM or their predecessors NTL permission to install the necessary cabling into any of their premises.

My living room is on the ground floor, at the front of the building, and is easily accessable from the underground conduit.

I have tried writing directly to VM in order to get an explanation for this situation but all I have been told is that I should register my interest with VM on their website, and wait for something to happen?

I have been in this situation for over a year now, and have heard NOTHING!

Having been a loyal customer of VM for 16 continuous years, I think that it is unacceptable for them to treat me in this way, and not offer an explanation as to why they can't/won't provide me with their services?

Is there anyone on this forum who can help me, or shed some light on why I find myself in this predicament?

I am currently having to use wireless internet via my mobile phone provider which is slow and intermittent at best. I require a faster and more reliable Internet service which is why I would like VM's service.

Thanks in advance.

RichardCoulter 20-11-2020 19:25

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
Is City Fibre not there yet?

VM customer service has taken a real nosedive since you last used them. Check out Twitter, facebook, review sites and even their own Ciommunity Forum.

Mr K 20-11-2020 19:57

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
You're best trying the VM support forum, if you haven't already.. I believe VM can send out someone to check if you can get connected if you get a computer says no to a connection from their site and you think different.

Hugh 20-11-2020 20:25

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
Here’s a link to the Community Support Forum - post a message there, and one of the VM staff should respond.

Sephiroth 21-11-2020 15:36

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
Just to say - the scar along the pavement ends at #4. You can see that on Google Earth Streetview. VM would have to dig the pavement up to your building and then the soft dig to your wall. If it's a single contract, the 2,000 or 3,000 cost may put them off. For a larger contract, say 15 or 20 flats they would presumably have to dig up the pavement towards the main entrance and that's where it gets complicated. Presumably the Court would be unable to internally distribute Internet to individual flats; so it would have to be done by drop points and for the 1st floor flats, ladder work which will put VM off.

Do please provide a link to your VM forum post.

Skie 21-11-2020 15:51

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
VM will know what they are doing with multi-tennancy buildings, and unless it was built by cowboys there will be service ducts that VM could use to distribute their services around the building to individual accommodations.

Local network capacity and digging are the only real barriers.

weesteev 24-11-2020 18:18

Re: Help getting Virgin Media service
Hopefully I can shed some light on this one for you....

The sheltered housing scheme was either built after the local NTL network build or the owners at the time refused permission for NTL to dig on site during the main build (some 25 years ago!). The VM network database has a cabinet ID referenced to this building but was never deployed for whatever reason, so this was either planned from the start and wasn't deployed or has been looked at since and not deployed.

The first issue here is wayleave, the permission to dig around the building and drop infrastructure to provide service. There are no heights issues here so the majority of the network build would just be duct in the ground. If the building/landowners sign off on any wayleave documents required then that would tick the first box.

The second issue is capacity, your comment about being in range of the cabinet is the perfect example of why not to judge your serviceability based on how close you are to existing network elements. In this case, the cabinet you refer has no capacity, it already serves more homes than it has physical tap ports, network build now is done on a 100% penetration rule so if there are 40 homes then there would need to be at least 40 available tap ports. In the case of Handley Court, a new distribution cabinet and amplifier would need to be built as well as upgrading the previous amplifier chain to support it. Worst case scenario, a new coax feed from the fibre node would be needed if there was an available output.

As for the building itself, internal wiring would not be considered here. We have so much experience of internal wiring that we avoid it unless its a new build. Buildings like this wouldn't be wired at all, drop cables would be installed to each customer as and when they signed up for service.

Now the bad news...

This building complex is an example of another 100,000 examples that are identical to this situation that VM investigates every year. Currently there wouldn't be the desire to provide service here due to the focus on existing large scale projects. The fact this network area is an existing HFC build type would make it less appealing to expand currently, compared to the area being FTTP. There is the chance to provide FTTP to this complex but the cost would come in the expensive inverse fibre node and long cable run back to the main fibre node location which would really add to the cost.

I hate to say this but this doesn't look like a project that would get picked up anytime soon for infill. Its not a substantial size, the average cost per home would be questionable due to the amount of hand digging in private land as well as the cost of deploying a new amplifier cabinet wouldn't make this economical.

I know this isn't a great response but sometimes its better ripping off the band aid. Drop me a line if you need anymore information or support.

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