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Virgin Media UK Hunts for Customers to Trial New Broadband Tech

Friday, November 10th, 2017 (1:42 pm) - Score 17,552

Cable operator Virgin Media, which delivers ultrafast broadband and TV services to over half of UK premises (mostly urban areas), has put out a fresh call for existing customers in Andover, Baguley, Middlesbrough, Reading, Stockton-on-Tees and Swansea to help trial some of their future internet technologies.

As you’d expect the Liberty Global sibling is being characteristically coy with the details and a survey attached to their invite gives little away, although improvements to broadband speeds, TV and mobile services etc. are all hinted at in various ways.

We know that the operator is preparing their IPv6 rollout plan for 2018 and they’re always considering the next speed boost, as well as the possibility of DOCSIS 3.1 tests, future routers.. and the list goes on. Customers can sign-up over here and will need to fill out a short survey.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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20 Responses
  1. CarlT says:

    Meh.

    A couple of those at least are places where Liberty have bothered to upgrade the upstream bonding so that’s not impossible.

    IPv6 isn’t far away though that would be extremely disappointing for most and best delivered to nerds.

    New CPE isn’t impossible. DOCSIS 3.1 is doubtful.

    Nothing more interesting than a new value added product such as public WiFi feasible.

    It’s no coincidence I don’t think that VM have concentrations of staff in the Reading, Andover, Swansea and Baguley areas.

    1. Simon says:

      Maybe they cann fix the 300 areas that can no longer get it?

      Or is that not of interest to them now? They send me mailshots for 300mbps but the website says no.

    2. Ultraspeedy says:

      “DOCSIS 3.1 is doubtful.”

      I would not be so sure Liberty Global have started deployment in the states and Germany is due to start upgrades early 2018. So a trial is possible.

    3. CarlT says:

      Liberty don’t operate in the States.

      3.1 isn’t impossible but it’s not high on VM’s list. The UK operation is presently focused around sitting on its laurel cushioned arse and hoping no-one else makes a serious investment.

      They have extended their 3.0 plans to allow them to sweat it for longer and continue to put off 3.1 upgrades.

      Germany are early to the game because they’re bringing in the Euros. VM UK are burning cash on Lightning and having their arse kicked by Sky and others with deep pockets to fund loss leading promotions in Pay TV.

    4. Ultraspeedy says:

      Yep sorry dunno why i said the States, i actually think what i read sometime ago may have been more on about one of their divisions in Latin/South America. (would have to go googling to find out which).

      Their German division Unitymedia from memory is the brand they are rolling out Docsis 3.1 in Germany.

  2. William Holbrook says:

    It would be much better if Virgin Media consentrated on giving the speeds and connection stability that their customer’s already pay for but do not get in very many cases.

    Their customer service is also total rubish as we have had a Broadband “dropout” problem for several months now. However, after numerous calls to them, on threat of transfering my custom to another supplier I was promised a technical supervisor would call me back. Three days later no one has.

    So we are leaving Virgin as they have no appreciation of the custom given to them although in our case we have been customers of them and their predecessors for over thirty years

    1. Anthony YOUNG says:

      I totally agree with you. Like yourselves my family have been with cable since NYNEX Through to Virgin Media. When I moved to a small block of flats. I was told by customer services that Virgin Media wasn’t in my area. Yet my neighbours each side of our flats are hooked up to to Virgin? 30yrs of loyal customers means nothing. Very Sad

    2. Simon says:

      NYNEX was a US cable operator – no?

    3. CarlT says:

      A number of US cable companies built networks in the UK when the telecoms market was liberalised.

    4. comnut says:

      Are your neighbors each side in houses??

  3. jason morgan says:

    I’d try it got hub 3 at moment

  4. Dam says:

    Why not some in Scotland I’ve been with virgin since they took over telewest all those years ago

  5. C. McCormick says:

    Love how they’re selecting testing grounds.

    Meanwhile existing infrastructure sits rotting away, just about getting by.

    I’m glad I use 4G instead of Virgin now, my neighbours locally are starting to complain of the dreaded Virgin issues which has only come due to lack of investment.

  6. Dr Carrington says:

    Virgin media keep promising that the super fast speed is coming and they keep putting back the date this has been going on for about 5 or 6 years now suddenly now that they have the speeds you don’t get them unless you upgrade and pay more.

    You’re lucky if they even deliver the speed you pay for.
    There is a disgusting Monopoly in broadband services with only BT and Virgin offering anywhere near the full speeds that should be available to all as a right.
    Its way past time this market was regulated and became more competitive and it’s time that suppliers were forced to deliver what customers pay for and if not to refund.

    1. CarlT says:

      What a bizarre post. Hope you feel better having gotten that off your chest, Doctor.

    2. Ultraspeedy says:

      Lets hope he and the aliases are not practising Brain Surgery. 😉

    3. comnut says:

      I am in SE London on VM 150 Mbps(upgraded for free from 50M), but I know that ‘speedtest’ results or only that.. The real speed depends on how ‘bad’ your area is, and the average speed of many websites!!

      use Fast.com to check your ^real* speed – mine is about 80 – 10 years ago this would have been 20 on a GOOD day! 🙂

    4. comnut says:

      My mate across the river has lower speed, and *refused* when he was offered 200! – he knows it is fantasy… : ) : )

    5. Carl T says:

      Yep. Fantasy.

      From the site you reckon shows ‘real’ speed:

      https://s18.postimg.org/hyc3b0guh/Fantasy.png

      From a real service – Steam:

      https://s18.postimg.org/o6ipwjzix/Voom_Steam.png

    6. Carl T says:

      I should probably add some colour.

      The site you consider to show real speed opens a series of downloads to CDNs.

      In my case, these connections opened sequentially and were all simultaneous at the end I might add, first connection was to an Amazon AWS node in Dublin, next three to VM’s hosted Netflix cache, and a final one to AWS Dublin. Time between first connection being opened and last was a little under 10 seconds.

      I can’t say my normal usage pattern involves 5 simultaneous threads, 3 to my ISP’s own hosted caches and 2 to AWS though your mileage may vary.

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