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Christchurch Residents Give Noisy Virgin Media Engineers the Boot

Monday, November 27th, 2017 (8:10 am) - Score 2,884
braemer drive

Virgin Media’s attempts to deploy ultrafast broadband and cable TV services around the Highcliff area of Christchurch in Dorset (UK) have been slowed a little after several residents of Braemer Drive complained that their engineering teams were causing too much noise and traffic disruption.

Apparently the cable operator had been allocated a patch of green space inside a small neighbourhood by the council, which acted as a central compound out of which Virgin Media’s teams were able to operate. Unfortunately this caused quite a bit of noise and traffic disruption in the area, with one lady also complaining that she couldn’t sleep because of Lorries moving in the area from 7am to 8pm (aka – normal working hours. We can only assume that for some reason this person was unable to sleep for the 11 hours between 8pm and 7am at night).

Kevin Cheleda, Dorset Highways Team, said (Bournemouth Echo):

“I am genuinely sorry for the disruption to your lives that these works and compound have caused. My team and I had previously only been defending Virgin Media’s right to use the compound as we had thought that full engagement had been done, but even if it had, the way they operated the site and broken all pledges to manage it better would have made its continued use for the next six weeks untenable, so the instruction was given to close it.”

Sadly noise and traffic disruption are generally somewhat par for the course with any major civil engineering work. Most people would probably view this as being a small price to pay in order to get access to broadband speeds of up to 350Mbps. On the other hand it does appear as if the operator may have failed to inform all of the locals beforehand, which probably contributed to some of the frustrations.

Nevertheless the council has apologised and a spokesperson for Virgin Media, which has been asked to setup smaller compounds closer to their work, said, “We are aware of this particular issue and have spoken to the residents in question and the situation has now been resolved.” Some locals have also praised the operator for acting so quickly to remedy the complaints.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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14 Responses
  1. Ray Woodward

    Typical Southerners …

  2. Kits

    just maybe the one lady who complained she couldn’t sleep during the day worked nights so unable to work through the night.

    • Fair point kits, although that does present a problem because civil engineering has to take place at some point and do you conduct it when the majority of people are sleeping, when the minority are sleeping or never?

  3. Joe

    While Engineers should try their best frankly people need to jump lump it and stop moaning. The works are for a limited duration and frankly stop/starts or more area work spread just makes it take longer/cost more.

  4. Phil

    I bet the same people are complaining about the slow broadband speeds too

  5. Phil

    Virgin, come and cable my street whenever you like! I’ll provide unlimited tea/coffee and bacon sarnies for the duration. Yours gratefully, a prisoner of openreach and no internet now for nearly 3 months!!!! Pleeease cable my street.

  6. D

    I think you’ll find normal working hours are 9am to 5:30 ish. Of course if you want to work from 7am till 8pm then go ahead.

    And once they’ve finished it would good to have pavements back to the way they found them.

  7. ChrisP

    There is some regulation about having 12 hours rest per day, I think it’s the working time directive.

    I also thought there is some regulation about not starting work before 8am, certainly builders and gardeners don’t start waking the neighbourhood before 8am.

    It’s great they are installing faster bb, but it’s pointless marching on if they can’t do the installation in a way that abides by the rules and regs. Yes it’ll take longer and cost more, but that’s the price you pay for doing things properly. The reward should be high uptake.

  8. Matthew

    Virgin media please come and install fibre on my street. We all would welcome faster broadband in our area. We are on a new build development and are somewhat baffled as to why it hasn’t gone in while the main house building was in progress. Cable my street and receive free tea and coffee all day long.

  9. Matt

    Don’t have the service then… ciao.

  10. John

    I’ve moved house and only had virgin for a week and a half trust me it’s VERY VERY GOOD!

    Paid for 300mb getting closer to 400…………..I can’t grumble at that can I!

  11. Jez

    Louts in hi viz is the problem and satutory nuisance is not exempt for non emergency works.

  12. Rabbit

    Virgin brands seem to think they own the country and can do whatever they like. Ever tried logging a complaint or reporting a fault – they tell you anything or promise someone will call you back. Never happens and you call them back there is never any trace of a previous call or a complaint. They promise the world and then deliver nothing. It is one fault after the next and Tivo was useless and they make you pay for another one with a faster computer, just to watch tv but it is still old fashioned and buggy. Someone needs to report on the new latest apps too as they are awful, even if you manage to login. Who cares what silly numbers they promise when it never works and no one needs that anyway just to use the internet.

    Think it is a bit rude to laugh about when someone needs to sleep, too.

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