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Virgin Media Sorry for “inconvenience” After Street Works Encircle House

Friday, July 29th, 2016 (7:57 am) - Score 3,690
virgin_media_cable_street_works_botched_installation

Installing new fibre optic broadband cables is an important, but often disruptive, element of street works and sometimes it creates problems. Take Virgin Media for example, whose engineers managed for a short period to all but encircle one family home in Bolton (Greater Manchester, England).

In the picture you can make out a small gap where access has been left for the car and driveway, although earlier pictures taken by the property owner (47 year old Dave Henshall) show that no such access was initially provided when the incident first occurred. Virgin’s civil engineers simply left the house surrounded on the main walk and road access until the next day.

Usually it’s Openreach (BT) that takes the flack for positioning of their FTTC Street Cabinets, but this time Virgin Media seem to be in the firing line. The cable operator is currently in the process of expanding their network (Project Lightning) to reach another 4 million premises in predominantly urban areas by 2019 (roughly 60-65% UK coverage).

According to the Manchester Evening News, Mr Henshall wrote a letter of complaint to Virgin Media’s CEO, Tom Mockridge, which said: “When I came home from work today to find my whole house barricaded off from rest of street, I was disgusted. My wife informs me the last workmen left at 2pm with no thought to the fact she could not move her car from our drive, and it is stuck now till at least 8am tomorrow.”

A Virgin Media Spokesperson said:

Virgin Media expects the very highest standards of work from all its contractors. We apologise for the inconvenience we have caused during work to lay ultrafast broadband on this street and we will be discussing the matter with the contractors as a matter of urgency.”

Mercifully such disruption is usually short lived, although we have seen other cases around the United Kingdom where different network operators have left work in a poor state for several days or even weeks. However this is rare because operators tend to work quite quickly in order to keep costs low and so hopefully Mr Henshall’s problem has already been resolved.

On the other hand there will always be some disruption involved with deploying new infrastructure. In the battle for hearts and minds most operators will also try to minimise this as much as possible, but mistakes do still get made.

Leave a Comment
19 Responses
  1. Avatar Stephen

    Disgusted??? I would let Virgin dig a moat round my house and fill it with crocodiles if it meant that I got fibre broadband!!!!

  2. Avatar George

    A man’s home is his castle springs to mind!(ahem) πŸ™‚

  3. Avatar karl

    Similar happened when Virgin done my street but they were good IMO though, at least when the work men were on site they would put a metal plate down over the trench in the pavement to allow us to use our driveway as and when needed no fuss.

    Overnight yes they would put the barrier back, probably because we live in a world now full of stupid people who would probably try to walk between the barriers and end up twisting their ankle in the trench or worse in the night.

    This person is just making a fuss….
    “When I came home from work today to find my whole house barricaded off from rest of street, I was disgusted. My wife informs me the last workmen left at 2pm with no thought to the fact she could not move her car from our drive, and it is stuck now till at least 8am tomorrow”

    1. The barriers clearly run further than just his house.
    2. Why didnt your wife collar them when they were packing up at 2pm and ask about driveway access?
    3. The car is hardly stuck unless you are too stupid to move a piece of clipped together plastic barrier before moving the car.

    Anyone that complains about TEMPORARY WORK be it from Virgin, BT or anyone else is just a attention seeking cretin IMO. It would be a bit different if BT or Virgin shoved a cabinet in front of his driveway, but what is likely 1 day or so of work and moaning is ridiculous… I wouldnt even call it news, in fact why this even made the news apart from comedy value im not even sure.

  4. Avatar glenn Ackroyd

    From what I can see there is yellow slab on the floor next to drive where the guards stop so how the hell they struggle with car

    • Avatar karl

      Even if there was not the trenching from virgin at least in my road and others i saw done round here is typically no more deep then the height of a kerb (4-5 inches or so roughly) so you could with care still drive over it. Theres pot holes round here deeper lol

      If Virgin had stupidly shoved a cabinet in fornt of his drive i could understand this being news but having at best difficulty moving your car off your drive for a little while…. What the hell????

    • Avatar sentup.custard

      If you read the article…
      “earlier pictures taken by the property owner (47 year old Dave Henshall) show that no such access was initially provided when the incident first occurred. Virgin’s civil engineers simply left the house surrounded on the main walk and road access until the next day.”

    • Avatar karl

      Indeed and as i stated they would replace barriers across driveways around here, the main reason likely to be see nobody trips in the trench when its dark. If you really wanted to move your car then looking at the same picture you are its 10 seconds to separate one of the panel barriers and driving carefully off or on to the driveway.

    • Avatar Darren

      No karl, it’s just bad practice, lazyness, stupidity. Take your pick.

    • Avatar karl

      I rank you very good on all 3.

  5. Avatar Darren

    That is utterly indefensable.

    • Avatar karl

      Bad spelling is also utterly ‘indefensable’ πŸ˜€ whatever that means.

    • Avatar Darren

      I didn’t spel check it, get over it. Point stands and nit picking doesn’t change that. Desperation creeping in again. Quite sad but then you get paid for it right.*

      *There may be speling erors in ths post I didn’t chack.

      LOL

      I’m glad we are both in agrement πŸ™‚ About the street works, not my lack of spellchecking, bit desperate there on ur part πŸ˜€

    • Avatar karl

      The fact you feel the need to attack and accuse me of being “desperate” indicates i hit a nerve, opps!

  6. Avatar Ignition

    Oops!

    This happens with any big streetworks project. It was way worse with the initial cable builds in the 90s and very early 2000s.

    • Avatar karl

      I remember when telewest circa 93’ish did an area were i used to live and whole roads at times had to be closed including one which was an access point to an industrial estate.

      Although it was slightly humorous watching some workers panic they were going to be late for work and the odd one then start to rant at a workman, only for the workman to just point to a huge 15 foot high billboard warning of the work which had been there over 3 months.

      I suspect similar goes for this story, probable warnings of work via a flyer or similar through the letterbox or signs on lampposts (probably both) and this fool now moaning because hes not special and they did mean him also.

    • Avatar Darren

      Ignition, I can imagine. This was just plain lazy or stupid though.

      No amount of warnings, if there were any, I doubt it, can excuse the fact they couldn’t be bothered to leave a gap for the driveway. That much should be obvious to even the hardyest of fools.

    • Avatar karl

      There is only one “hardiest” fool that forgot his spell check again.

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