Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Virgin Media are trolling me - home office broadband and moving

Walk out of my street and onto the road that serves ours to find this:

Virgin Media are going right past the entrance to our street on their way to properties across the road.

It'll be interesting to see what impact VM passing an area served by cabinet 82, albeit maybe 20-25% of the properties served by cabinet 82, has on the extremely high FTTC uptake here.

Predictably this work has caused complaints. This is, perhaps, something that Virgin Media are getting quite used to by now. Digging pavements is slow, expensive and, albeit briefly, disruptive.

I have been having some issues with my home office service's reliability and performance that make my desire for a backup that uses a different network all the stronger.

Less than half usual performance

A quote for FTTP on Demand not only gave a huge price but I was also told they weren't willing to progress the order due to my road's status.

For many reasons we've been considering a possible house move. Unavailability of alternative broadband options for my home office goes onto the list. It's nowhere near the top but has to go on there.

Over half of the UK has the choice of BT and another fixed line operator.

The vast majority have a choice of BT FTTC and either a >8Mb Openreach ADSL line, cable, wireless or 3G/4G. Sadly we aren't, and have no prospect of being, in that cohort.

FTTC is good enough for most purposes, is far cheaper and faster to deploy so made economic and business sense - I have no complaints about that solution being here. It'd be fine as a primary line for us if we had a backup solution however no cable, no worthwhile ADSL, no wireless and no 3G or 4G puts us almost back to the position we were in during the Fibre for Middleton campaign that saw BT deliver superfast broadband to us.

Maybe we should move to an FTTP-enabled rural village or hamletmore FTTP serving houses in those than Leeds Central. In common with many other urban areas the fibre to premises in Leeds Central is all delivered to apartment buildings by Hyperoptic. FTTP is by far the most reliable broadband out there so if you can get it, do.

We're between rock and hard place, and while it seems as far as broadband goes the in thing is to complain relentlessly on forums and the comments section of ISP Review, the usual and more constructive solution is to get out from between that rock and hard place.

Update: I just had a local resident ask me when he could expect Virgin Media to cover his street. Had to tell him that if he was lucky it would be 2019. If unlucky never, and that it was extremely unlikely he would have better broadband options than the ones he has now, which are 1Mb if he's lucky or 40-60Mb depending on where in his street he is. 

This estate has a household income over 3 times that of the rest of the ward, and far more home businesses and home workers. Much of the estate will have broadband of at best 1/8th the performance of the rest of the ward and more likely 1/14th to 1/25th by 2019.

There's a digital divide.

1 comment:

  1. You have an idea why you have that low speed at dusk hours?, line issues, isp problems, exchange problems? The red spikes on your graph look like maybe bursts of noise on your line at a guess.

    Also am surprised you have no 3g/4g availability in a leeds suburb, seems very odd.