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  • FIRST POST
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 11th Jul 17, 3:58 PM
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    EachPenny
    Short 'extension' to Virgin Media network
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 17, 3:58 PM
    Short 'extension' to Virgin Media network 11th Jul 17 at 3:58 PM
    I've just been looking into the Virgin Media refer-a-friend scheme for a friend who is moving house.

    The new house doesn't already have a connection and Virgin's postcode checker shows that services are unavailable.

    However, the village is connected and a property about 20 metres away is shown on the checker as having full cable services available. There is a large 'CATV' inspection chamber about 10 meters from the house, but no sign of a smaller (approx 100mm square) duct cover that individual properties normally have. The footway between the large inspection chamber and the house has been resurfaced, so there is no evidence whether or not a duct has been installed. The house is the last one in the street.

    When the cabling was done in this area all houses had ducting installed in the street, whether or not the householder actually wanted the service, so it seems a bit odd to me that both Virgin's records and the lack of a duct cover suggest there is no ducting/connection to this house. As above, it is only 10 metres from a chamber, so it isn't like they needed to run a single property's duct for miles.

    Virgin say that they can send an engineer to do a survey (at no cost) but it will take 3 to 7 weeks to get it done. I'm surprised they don't have records of their ducts to know whether or not it is possible to 'extend' the network (if necessary) without it taking so long... do they not have access to streetview either?

    I wondered if anyone else has experience of getting a small extension to the Virgin network (or has a house which originally was recorded as not having any services available in error) and roughly how long it takes to get connected?

    The friend is moving in less than a fortnight, so waiting 3 to 7 weeks just to find out if a Virgin service can be provided is likely to mean they just take their existing copper-based service with them.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
Page 1
    • macman
    • By macman 11th Jul 17, 5:46 PM
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    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:46 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:46 PM
    Virgin didn't build it's cable network, they inherited it from Telewest and NTL, who originally created the network and then went bust as a result of the debts they racked up in doing so.
    Most of the build was done more than 25 years ago now, so I'm not surprised that the archive has some gaps in it.
    VM , in contrast, has added very little to it since it took over: Mr Branson rarely risks his own money in such ventures.
    Last edited by macman; 11-07-2017 at 5:49 PM.
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    • phillw
    • By phillw 12th Jul 17, 12:08 AM
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    phillw
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:08 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:08 AM
    Virgin didn't build it's cable network, they inherited it from Telewest and NTL, who originally created the network and then went bust as a result of the debts they racked up in doing so.
    Originally posted by macman
    NTL & Telewest merged and bought virgin.net & Virgin mobile & did a deal to license the Virgin name from Richard Branson, for which they gave him cash and 10% of the business.

    NTL or Telewest don't appear to have gone bust, although NTL were under Chapter 11 protection for a while. They bought up a lot of small cable networks, which may have gone bust. NTL & Telewest still exist as holding companies. You can see filing on companies house.
    Last edited by phillw; 12-07-2017 at 12:24 AM.
    • bengalknights
    • By bengalknights 12th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
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    • #4
    • 12th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
    It will depend on who the cable franchisor was at the time it was built and whether it was logged on the networks.

    Virgins reply suggests its not in there records as one that was commissioned by any of there predecessors
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 12th Jul 17, 10:26 AM
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    EachPenny
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 17, 10:26 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 17, 10:26 AM
    It will depend on who the cable franchisor was at the time it was built and whether it was logged on the networks.

    Virgins reply suggests its not in there records as one that was commissioned by any of there predecessors
    Originally posted by bengalknights
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Another possibility which I've thought of is that it could be a postcode related problem. There are only two properties using the postcode, one is the house, the other a commercial building constructed around 2005. It seems a bit unlikely that a unique postcode would have been allocated to a single house at the end of a street, so I wonder whether a new postcode was generated and assigned to both the commercial building and house around 2005.

    Virgin would have received the new postcode as part of their address database updates, but would have no record of what services were available at that postcode location, unless someone manually checked to see if ducting had already been installed to serve the properties. Given the number and frequency of postcode updates I have some doubts whether they would invest the time in doing these manual checks - until a potential customer actually asks for a connection.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 12th Jul 17, 12:15 PM
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    • #6
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:15 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:15 PM
    They are unlikely to do infill work for this.

    They generally have one tap point per property, and if a property is not serviced, servicing it would require rendering another property serviceable.
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    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 12th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
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    • #7
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    I have had some experience in the past.


    If there is no cable in the duct/house the house will not be on the postcode list.


    Yes, you need to get them to come out and survey and follow it up.


    It can take ~2 months for them to put the cable in. (with nagging)
    and as I didn't have a duct, pay £xxx towards the install costs.
    • Buzby
    • By Buzby 13th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
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    • #8
    • 13th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    Is any neighbour actively connected? The ducts you refer to may have been put in by the developers with the expectation of a cable company providing the infrastructure, but it didn't eventually happen. I've been receiving services ever since CableTel dug up the street almost 22 years ago. Sadly, they never came back to serve the other side of my street, so only the even numbers got it - piecemeal additions are too costly for VM to contemplate, they're now looking at providing full fibre services to new areas, not infilling.
    • iniltous
    • By iniltous 13th Jul 17, 1:33 PM
    • 1,427 Posts
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    iniltous
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 17, 1:33 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 17, 1:33 PM
    I've just been looking into the Virgin Media refer-a-friend scheme for a friend who is moving house.

    The new house doesn't already have a connection and Virgin's postcode checker shows that services are unavailable.

    However, the village is connected and a property about 20 metres away is shown on the checker as having full cable services available. There is a large 'CATV' inspection chamber about 10 meters from the house, but no sign of a smaller (approx 100mm square) duct cover that individual properties normally have. The footway between the large inspection chamber and the house has been resurfaced, so there is no evidence whether or not a duct has been installed. The house is the last one in the street.

    When the cabling was done in this area all houses had ducting installed in the street, whether or not the householder actually wanted the service, so it seems a bit odd to me that both Virgin's records and the lack of a duct cover suggest there is no ducting/connection to this house. As above, it is only 10 metres from a chamber, so it isn't like they needed to run a single property's duct for miles.

    Virgin say that they can send an engineer to do a survey (at no cost) but it will take 3 to 7 weeks to get it done. I'm surprised they don't have records of their ducts to know whether or not it is possible to 'extend' the network (if necessary) without it taking so long... do they not have access to streetview either?

    I wondered if anyone else has experience of getting a small extension to the Virgin network (or has a house which originally was recorded as not having any services available in error) and roughly how long it takes to get connected?

    The friend is moving in less than a fortnight, so waiting 3 to 7 weeks just to find out if a Virgin service can be provided is likely to mean they just take their existing copper-based service with them.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    If it's 3 to 7 weeks to get a survey, then who knows how many weeks for the build phase and possibly an extra delay if costs need to be quoted and accepted, ( construction done for free ? ) it's going to be potentially months before VM (if ever) will be available, and with the potential cost unknown, I would imagine your friend will be looking at a service delivered over Openreach's network
    It may have been decades ago, when the local cable company's contractor was busy destroying footpaths and leaving scars in the road, why was this property missed ?, is it relatively newly constructed ? or a rebuild on a cleared plot ?, as you say, normally the contractor would leave a service point , usually in the footpath outside every property, the work done within the scope of the NRSWA, so it's odd that this property doesn't have an access point, if it existed when the infrastructure was installed.
    At the time of construction of the cable network, even if a householder said they didn't want 'cable',and told the contractor to 'go away' they would still provide an access point in the public footpath .
    Last edited by iniltous; 13-07-2017 at 1:39 PM.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 15th Jul 17, 9:20 AM
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    pmduk
    VM , in contrast, has added very little to it since it took over: Mr Branson rarely risks his own money in such ventures.
    Originally posted by macman
    Branson has had very little to do with it since selling out to Liberty Global. It's only their investment that means there has been any new build at all in the network this century.
    Last edited by pmduk; 15-07-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 19th Aug 17, 11:53 AM
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    EachPenny
    Thanks for all the responses and apologies for not doing so before now.

    The result from speaking to the village 'elders' is that the property was more or less derelict (not in residential use) at the time the village was cabled. Presumably the network planners at the time didn't think it worth installing the infrastructure to a property which was unlikely to ever house a paying customer.

    The nearest chamber (about 10m from the house) was installed when the adjoining large commercial property was built next door about 10 years ago - presumably the building developers contributed substantially to the cost of that work, and extending the network to an adjoining (still unoccupied) residential building was not on the agenda.

    The timescales to get the work done by Virgin were not realistic, so an Openreach solution was the only way forward.

    Many thanks again for the responses and help.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
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