Peeking into a Virgin Media broadband distribution box

Residents will know of the works to install Virgin media optical fibre superfast broadband connections to homes in Lightwater. I dare say, almost everyone has experienced some dislocation, some more than others. Some home owners are waiting for remedial work as the installation has been of variable quality.

Never mind, it’s the promise is 300 Mbps connection to the internet that attracts, which is quite an increase on our average speed of 17 Mbps.

We’ve all seen the grey boxes being installed in our streets. I peeked inside some as they were being installed and saw green piping – not very exciting.

Yesterday I stopped by a grey box that had an engineer working on it. Here’s the photo I took. Pleasingly the fibre optic cable was being attached to house connection points. The upshot is that the Virgin Media service will soon become available. Haven’t yet looked at the Virgin packages, will do when the service is operational. [click on images to expand]

Can’t resist checking on the quality of Virgin Media trenching

My ‘nerdish’ activity used to be monitoring potholes. My latest similar activity is monitoring the trenching work of Virgin Media’s contractors installing fibre optic cables.

Apart from the residents of Ullswater Close who suffered from shockingly poor work of the initial contractors before they were sacked by Virgin Media, the work has generally been to a reasonable standard. Road and pavement works cause dislocation, and that inevitably affects some people more than others.

I’m not sure why that some of the trenching is laudably narrow, and other times not. As we’re in a block paved cul-de-sac I’m always been concerned that utility contractors re-lay the block paving carefully, and that’s been the case with electricity, gas and water companies. [See extent of electricity works below]

Learning from a commenter on this blog of concerns on trenching through block paving I went on a circular tour to check on the work. In Blackthorn Drive trenching through block paving was replaced well. In Briar Avenue the trenching is neat and narrow and in Burdock Close I had to look hard to find where the block paving had been uplifted and relaid.

However, I also visited Alsford Close and found tarmac laid in place of block paving. I image it’s a temporary fix, well, I hope it is. Uplifting such a large area of block paving looks as though it might present a problem to re-lay. Perhaps not, but I think I’ll be a busybody and contact Virgin Media’s Community Liaison Officer – daniel.ward@virginmedia.co.uk, to ensure that they use experienced paviours to re-lay the blocks.

Virgin Media requests permission to lay fibre optic cable to our house. Answer is yes, yes, yes.

In the post this morning, a letter from Virgin Media. A couple of adjacent houses have a shared private driveway, hence the Virgin Media request for permission to lay fibre optic cable and a network access point.

Our house is in a cul-de-sac, where the road is block-paved. In the many digging’s up for electricity and gas the contractors have always replaced the block paving. We’ll make sure that the Virgin Media contractors do the same.

Update on Virgin Media ultrafast optical fibre broadband in Lightwater

At Lightwater’s recent Fayre in the Square I stopped by the Virgin Media tent. Staffed by their local Community Liaison Officer – daniel.ward@virginmedia.co.uk – and Regional Manager. They answered my questions.

I learned that they fired their initial installation contractor for poor performance. It was the residents of Ullswater Close who suffered shoddy trench digging.

Their regional manager said available broadband speeds from Virgin Media will be up to 300mbps. That’s some improvement on our tardy BT service. Also, they’re planning to complete the fibre installation by October and begin supplying the service to homes in January 2018.

Can’t wait – though expect I’ll end up paying more.

Virgin Media exaggerates its cable network expansion

Well, well, well. The Daily Telegraph reports that Virgin Media launches investigation and suspends staff over exaggeration of cable network expansion.

The Telegraph report says,

The company discovered evidence that 142,000 homes and businesses in line to be connected to its network required more work than it had previously reported.

Liberty Global [owners of Virgin Media] had believed construction work to lay new cables was substantially complete and that the new lines only required power and plugging into its street cabinets, work it told investors would be complete in the first quarter of this year.

All this Virgin Media works is awfully slow

Why am I apparently complaining about something I’ve said I want – faster broadband. Well, it’s taking a jolly long time to get to our part of Lightwater. As a nation, I believe, we never throw enough assets at an infrastructure issue. I’m sure you can think of examples, without me needing to list them here.

Anyway, some parts of Lightwater have had the fibre optic cable laid to the perimeter of their properties. Me, envious, goodness me no. I will definitely be when they get their connection and we’re still waiting. Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos of the work and the mess by Virgin Media on Lightwater Road. Although I think their work has advanced beyond that of my photos.

Virgin Media installation team at work in Lightwater

I know the installation contractors for Virgin Media in Lightwater are at work, because I’ve seen them at work in Ambleside Road.

I’ve checked with a good source of information – our Postmaster Surinder Gandhum – who reports that he’s received many  a complaint of the contractors work, especially in Ullswater Close. I’ve seen it, and it’s a mess.

I’ll need to find out more about what went on to cause the rumour/fact about the suspension of work. I’ll report back to you when I do.

virgin-media-broadband-trench