Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored Links

Virgin Media UK’s XGS-PON Full Fibre Upgrade to Go Live Later in 2023

Thursday, Apr 20th, 2023 (10:35 am) - Score 23,464
Virgin Media O2 Engineers Holding Optical Fibre Cable

The Director of Fixed Infrastructure, Engineering and Delivery at broadband ISP Virgin Media UK (VMO2), Matt Tully, has revealed that their upgrade from legacy Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) infrastructure to 10Gbps capable XGS-PON based Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) lines will start to go live for homes “later this year“.

Just to recap. Around 14.3 million out of Virgin Media’s 16 million premises passed are currently still reached via their older HFC network using DOCSIS 3.1 technology, while well over 1 million of their premises are also being served by “full fibre” (FTTP) using the older Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) approach to ensure compatibility.

The operator’s existing FTTP and HFC deployments are already capable of gigabit speeds, but in order to stay competitive into the future, VMO2 needed to go beyond this. The solution they chose, as announced in 2021 (here and here), was to upgrade all of their existing HFC areas – at a cost of c.£100 per home (i.e. using their existing ducts to avoid digging new trenches) – to support the latest 10Gbps XGS-PON powered FTTP technology by 2028 (aka – Project Mustang).

The first closed trial users went live last year as part of an initial pilot build for 50,000 premises around Stoke, Salisbury and Wakefield (here), and they’ve since been ramping up this upgrade programme across the UK. But VMO2 weren’t expected to announce new products until they’ve completed a big enough portion of the rollout.

Progress Update – Project Mustang

Sadly, it’s very difficult to get any useful progress updates out of Virgin Media’s PR team, and so we usually have to rely on our own sources. But luckily, Matt Tully has helped to provide an excellent summary of their progress as part of his recent presentation to the SCTE – Society for Broadband Professionals. Naturally, we’ve watched it all and pulled out some of the details, so you don’t have to.

The presentation explains a lot about how the XGS-PON upgrade is being conducted, the challenges they faced and what customers can expect. The operator currently expects the ramp-up of their XGS-PON upgrade programme to add another 1 million homes passed in 2023, and it appears as if they’ve already done around 700,000. They’re currently dropping in 5 new Optical Line Terminals (OLT) every single day.

Virgin-Media-UK-XGSPON-2023-Progress

Virgin-Media-UK-XGSPON-2023-Locations

Matt Tully added: “Later this year we’ll be going to that ready for sale stage, we’ll be doing trials all summer on this brownfield network and then, at some point later this year, this network will be going live and ready for sale. And then from that point on, every home we build will be fully active day-by-day as we grow this network.”

However, in a perhaps unsurprising admission, Matt also states that “we’re not going to be offering 10Gbps for many.. many years yet. We’re still at 1Gbps today, and our initial offerings are not going to be anywhere near 10Gbps.”

Matt didn’t specify precisely what consumers can expect when the new products go live later in 2023, but we do know that Virgin Media have already conducted several 2Gbps trials. The Engineering Director confirmed that 2Gbps was planned for the future, although he also added that “customers don’t need it yet“, which is odd since the provider’s desire for faster speeds has always seemed to be led more by marketing than “need“.

On the subject of upload speeds, Matt noted that “upstream is so much more important for consumers these days” and he confirmed that the ISP would be launching 100Mbps upstream speeds “later this year“, at least on their older HFC network (we might still see symmetric speeds when XGS-PON goes live, but it’s unclear). Indeed, we’ve seen evidence that this is already being softly deployed for their 1Gbps customers (here).

Virgin Media is also home to around 2 million premises inside big residential buildings (MDUs / flats), which Matt acknowledged was the next challenge they had to tackle for the XGS-PON upgrade. Apparently, Virgin Media’s historic records of past wayleaves (legal land/property access agreements) aren’t perfect and could be an issue, thus they’re working out which ones can be re-purposed and how many might need to be re-negotiated. The latter would be tedious, as a lot of the rules and regulations around MDUs have changed – not to mention the impact of competition from rival networks.

As we’ve said before, the reason why Virgin Media’s XGS-PON upgrade is so cheap is because they can harness their existing fully ducted network to run the new fibre. But rather than try to replace all of their old street cabinets and adapt them, they instead found it easier to simply build new cabinets alongside the old.

A programme is also being developed to help retire the legacy network and cables, but that will occur gradually (some cables will be removed as customers gradually migrate across) and won’t be one massive programme. The long-term plan is of course to remove all that dead cable, thus creating room for more fibre cables in the future.

Virgin-Media-UK-XGSPON-2023-Cabinets

Finally, we got a useful overview of Virgin Media’s network traffic growth over the years, which uses their Peak Traffic figure (Terabits per second). The figures here are actually substantially higher than those they’ve released to us before (e.g. in Feb 2023 we were told 24.7Tbps), which makes it difficult to know precisely what this reflects without more context for the data.

Virgin-Media-UK-2023-Tbps-Peak-Traffic-Over-Time

If you have the time, then we highly recommend watching Matt’s full presentation, as there’s a lot of little details that we haven’t fully covered above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQkifgBZ-jw

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , ,
Mark-Jackson
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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
Search ISP News
Search ISP Listings
Search ISP Reviews
Comments
77 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Josh says:

    Would people get moved automatically once it’s live in your area across to the fiber network or is it only if you pay for a fibre speciifc product?

    1. Avatar photo Jonny says:

      I would expect migrations to align with contract renewals and/or something like a 2Gbps product – even though they think they can get existing customers upgraded for around £100 they will still want some sort of contract guaranteeing revenue before doing the work.

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      From what I’ve been told. XGS-PON will have its own products, though naturally I think some of those will be aligned to their regular packages for simplicity. So at first if you want to get on the XGS-PON side then it seems like you’d need to order a product in an upgraded area, but the exact details of all this are yet to be confirmed. However, I don’t expect a mass automated migration campaign in the short-term.

    3. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      They’ve no plans to force people to move. They will do this when there are relatively few people left on a cabinet but that’s a long way away.

      They’ll stop selling HFC when a cabinet is covered by XGSPON and offer people who are already customers the option to move as and when contracts expire if installation resources are available.

    4. Avatar photo Martin says:

      I wonder if with the plans to extend wholesale operations could this switchover end up happening more quickly than expected

    5. Avatar photo Tom says:

      Don’t see how it could happen automatically. Once they pass your property with fibre, you’ll need to request to be switched over to the PON network, which means they’ll have to send an engineer to pull the fibre to your house or junction box, and then you’ll need a new PON Hub. I expect them to launch a Hub 6 or an upgraded Hub 5 that has an ONT built in.

      So my guess is they’ll have separate DOCSIS and PON plans and that will have to be the case for many years going forward until coax is phased out. They can’t really merge the plans since the technologies are different and can deliver different upload speeds.

      But I’m really curious how they’ll market them. The DOCSIS ones will probably continue to be referred to as “fibre” and the PON plans as “full fibre” or something.

  2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    Its VM. More expensive tier is my opinion, else HFC customers will create a flood of new install/upgrades to get a cheaper product or if same price one and symmetric speeds that may also create demand to switch.

    1. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      It’s very much in VM’s best interests to get as many people as possible on the new platform.

      There won’t be a massive rush for symmetric. VM can guide demand through local offers to try and prevent install times getting too excessive.

  3. Avatar photo Steven Brown says:

    I can’t see them offering it as a different product, it’s too confusing for Joe public.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Sadly, that logic hasn’t stopped similar approaches being adopted industry-wide. Heck, VM could already be said to have some personalised pricing going on.

    2. Avatar photo Jacob says:

      You could say the same thing about Openreach and the move from FTTC to FTTP

  4. Avatar photo MilesT says:

    No plans to do migrations (even pilots) in some of Virgin’s unreliable areas like North London.

    Altnets will continue to make hay while that sun shines.

    1. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      London is heavy on MDUs. They need to crack that nut and sort a lot of wayleave issues out before it’s worthwhile working on London else it gets costly and inefficient fast.

    2. Avatar photo MilesT says:

      For London (at least in some areas) Could they not start with blowing fibre through existing CATV ducting to existing customers as a pilot? or is the cabinetry too full/completely wrong or ducting too poorly implemented?

    3. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      It depends on the installation. If RG6 was sent via ducting (RG6 can’t be air blown) then its a fairly easy retrofit for micro ducts. If its buried in walls then it isn’t. Virgin will also need access to do upgrade works so its not a surprise they are prioritising easy street deployments where they have there own ducting (though it may need unblocking) rather than deal with landlords.

    4. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      They’re using existing ducting everywhere.

      The pilots of this are done. Salisbury, Stoke, Wakefield.

      If you can have a watch of the entire video. MDUs are specifically mentioned as a problem alongside areas with lots of underground infrastructure and London tick both of those boxes. MDU pilot upcoming in Coventry, no idea about underground one.

      No point in touching London until these are done. No particular reason to do either of them in London when areas already being worked on can have these pilots done there.

      FWIW the list of locations in the presentation wasn’t exhaustive and mentions their hubsites not necessarily individual cities or towns. There is plenty of work going on in areas not mentioned in the slide deck. When they go in they go in massively and it’s easy enough to see from streetworks.

    5. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      Seems VM are fine with the amount of MDUs in at least some areas of London. Tons of work going on, including the north of the city. New cabinets, cabling, duct repairs.

  5. Avatar photo Brass monkey says:

    I have to ask even though I can hear the sighs through my computer, but what will the upload be? I’m leaving VM for an altnet that does symmetrical speeds. I’ve been reasonably happy with virgin I’m not one of those “virgin sucks” types but the altnet is cheaper and symmetric so VM is losing out to them for my case. If VM offer symmetrical speeds with xgs pon I might consider moving back provided the cost is right too.

    1. Avatar photo reality@bytes.com says:

      Last I heard symmetrical but of course no-one either inside or outside of VM is sure until it’s released. They can and have changed products at the last moment.

    2. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      From what I understand it will be symmetrical. The tiers themselves are to be decided (or have been) by the product team and are treated as separate products to legacy HFC.

  6. Avatar photo Alex A says:

    Lines up with what I’ve seen so far.
    The OLT cabinets are Nokia, the ones I’ve seen are FX4 though with additional space so I’d expect to see some higher capacity cabinets with FX8 OLTs at some point though with 2500 homes per OLT they are going pretty low. I’ve seen a cabinet around Warwick which lines up with their map.

    From what I understand the packages on XGS PON are different and will be symmetrical. You can have a good idea of what’s coming by what’s promoted the most which for me is 250mbps and Gig1.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      They installed the cabinets for their OLTs as part of the RFoG build for us, so I’d suspect that we could be part of the Sheffield build listed for later this year.

      The question is, Openreach based from an exchange, CityFibre from their FEX or a cheap and nasty cabinet powered off the domestic/street light power supply with just limited batteries?

    2. Avatar photo Dassa says:

      I too am interested in the architecture. Surely VM are taking the opportunity to remove as much powered equipment from the street as possible and centralise thereby getting rid of the challenges involved in delivering reliable power at street level?

      Given the reach of XGS-PON, I doubt that there would be any need for any powered equipment at street level. Why are they doing it?

    3. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      @Anon the RFOG and OLT cabinets are very different inside. RFOG cabinets vary but generally they take in the same CCAP/CMTS feed as HFC cabinets with the equipment inside being responsible for repeating the signal and merging all the houses on the PON (each RFOG ONU transmits on its own wavelength to prevent OBI and 2 ONUs transmitting at the same time, these need to be merged into one frequency to be sent back to the headend). OLT cabinets take a standard ethernet connection and are otherwise fairly self sufficient.

      As for cabinets, providing reliable power isn’t that much of a problem. Its been fine for FTTC and HFC for years. Its an inconvenience but worth it to reduce the number of full buildings you need.

    4. Avatar photo Anon says:

      And there lies the issue with things not improving. It is OK for HFC (built for TV) and FTTC so let’s not try and improve.

      In most areas you don’t need powered cabinets with fibre so you can put the equipment in a nice environment not a street cabinet. Remote sites yes, for most areas it is just companies being cheap/short sighted.

      The bulk of the cabinets installed here (2022) for RFoG are empty, just the passive cabinet next door in use.

    5. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      @Anon “Remote sites yes, for most areas it is just companies being cheap/short sighted.” VM are a company and unsurprisingly they intend to make money. The FTTC cabs Openreach use have OLTs (well access nodes) but with VDSL2 line cards instead and they have lasted fine, any power cuts tend to knock out the end customer as well and the cabinets have plenty of batteries anyway.

      Ultimately the best method would be Openreach deploying P2P fibre from the house to an exchange like Switzerland where they found it costs only slightly more.

    6. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      There are a bunch of hubsites with no space in them. To upgrade them a few years ago with new CMTS for the cable modems to talk to required the old chassis to be removed and new ones installed overnight. Customers went offline as the old kit was disconnected and reconnected to the new.

      No mass of POTS kit to remove to make space for OLTs.

      No room for OLTs alongside all the existing kit let alone the edge routers for the CIN. Power and cooling can be fixed, space not so much.

      Should be fine, though. Few FTTC cabinets saw any outage. The CIN is resilient so would take a pretty big power outage to wipe out both uplinks.

  7. Avatar photo Mike says:

    Lot of new L4 cabinets being installed next to existing HFC infrastructure in roads around south Liverpool(L18).Openreach have also been installing their FTTP XGS-PON system ,but not yet live due to some ‘issues’in my location.

  8. Avatar photo Jonathan says:

    Can you tell me please when is virgin media going to put cable in Ipswich

    1. Avatar photo MilesT says:

      I suspect that if Virgin doesn’t already serve an area with existing service then it isn’t high priority to start serving (with any tech). Large newbuilds maybe excepted.

      The question is when Virgin will copy Sky and offer a streaming box over broadband to offer TV (and maybe landline) in areas which they don’t already serve or for new customers (even if there is a connection to the perimeter–and then upsell FTTP later).

    2. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      Highly unlikely, Miles. Sky make a chunk of money from TV, VM don’t.

    3. Avatar photo Anon says:

      East Coast cable in the 1990s covered Ipswich. That became NTL and then Virgin Media, so lots of the town has cable.

      CityFibre are busy rolling out fibre in Ipswich, not sure when VM might upgrade to XGS-PON there.

  9. Avatar photo Anon says:

    This sums up why Cityfibre would be an odd purchase for LG / VM02, except for trying to kill off competition.

    Why would they pay a high price for approx 2.5m homes, much of which overlaps with their existing duct? VM are clearly capable of rolling out cheaply and at scale, using their existing infrastructure.

    1. Avatar photo Iain says:

      Of course, killing off competition is “good”. For Virgin Media, anyhoo.

      (FWIW I think a CityFibre acquisition might make sense DEPENDING on how long it takes VM to actually roll out FTTP). CityFibre’s 2 million RFS properties are ready for service today, not a year or two from now.

    2. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      3 billion is a lot of money to reach a million new premises and another million a year or two early when you’ve existing duct and a £100 million expected build spend.

      CityFibre are pretty desperate for subscribers to their ISPs and the ISPs themselves are hardly busting a gut to sell in the areas.

      Hyperoptic is a quality transaction at the right price. I’m sure VM know this as well as anyone.

      Hyperoptic would give a million premises of MDUs cabled internally.

      CityFibre I know how much credit they had available: anyone know what they actually drew?

  10. Avatar photo Ryan A says:

    As usual VM have removed their video lol

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      The video was from Society of Broadband Proffessionals and is a recording from their event at the end of March. Everything shown would have gone through legal so either legal had second thoughts or the Q&A revealed more than the were meant to. I’d expect it to pop back up at some point perhaps with a bit edited out.

  11. Avatar photo Sam says:

    Video has been removed…

  12. Avatar photo Jay says:

    Virgins XGS-PON has recently been deployed around my village and I was told by one of their guys that is was due to go live in three weeks (that was 5 weeks ago….) Virgin previously weren’t in the village and the only circuits available are FTTC currently so I would expect a decent uptake in their new service.

    I have a site survey lined up so will be interesting to see what they saying about go lives dates and install times also whether speeds will be symmetrical or not, I’m hoping they are!

    1. Avatar photo Sam says:

      Will probably be when it is everywhere else my place is similar and ordered opened this week, only broadband is available and checker says this.

      “Great news! Virgin Media Broadband is here. As you’re in a new network area, Volt benefits and WiFi Guarantee aren’t ready just yet, we’re working hard to make them available as soon as we can.”

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      Same in my place (two L2.5 cabinets), what they do is massive plastic box installed on the wall doing RFoG.

  13. Avatar photo Jonathan says:

    Pretty sure it’s going to be a 10:1 ratio to start with not symmetric speed.
    I would think KCOM would be a better purchase as there’s no overlap and they’ve gone XGS PON already.

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      10:1? No chance. Their OLT cabinets have 4 cards with 16 ports each, for the 2500 number given 64:1 looks to be the ratio.

      KCOM are BT for Hull, buying them comes with the difficulties from being the incumbent.

    2. Avatar photo Iain says:

      You’re talking at cross purposes. Upload vs download ratio, vs PON split ratio.

  14. Avatar photo Fed up with Virgin lies says:

    It’s an open secret in the industry that VM can’t physically upgrade their cable network to fibre for £100. Maybe to the cabinet, but that is the cheap bit, they can’t then connect customers without digging up the streets and causing chaos, as always! I expect like lots of Virgin Media announcements, this will quietly be killed off in a couple of years and they’ll buy Cityfibre

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      Indeed. They have previously told investors that they will only connect individual properties to XGS-PON on a commercial basis – meaning the customer orders a new product that can’t be delivered by HFC or RFoG, and crucially is paying more for it. Can’t see they can charge more where there’s an FTTP alternative, whether they can move quickly enough to exploit the areas where OR and altnets have yet to reach, time will tell.

      Depending on how they do it, digging needs may be minimal, because they’ve got ducts in place. Threading fibre will still be a challenge because those ducts are often crowded with bulky coax cables, and that’s a common source of huge installation delays, judging by VM’s help forum. I’d guess that each droplink will cost an extra £200 to install, so that’s only an extra £2-3 a month, although if their promised approach is the case, that’s on top of the most expensive packages they currently offer.

    2. Avatar photo Fed up with Virgin lies says:

      There is no way they can reuse those ducts. Firstly they are in terrible shape (breaks etc) from being there so long. Openreach is always maintaining theirs in a way VM doesn’t. Secondly they don’t have multibore ducts so it’s just a load of copper in there, there won’t be space for delicate fibre to be blown in. I promise you they’ll have to dig to everyone who wants it, on demand. Then you’re talking about huge disruption and high hundreds of pounds for that connection, mostly on civils. The engineers I know at Virgin all know this already. I expect management do too, they’re just all too scared to tell the big bosses this won’t work, then they’ll either leave or it’ll be sloping shoulders everywhere!

    3. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      In the video above they claimed they were getting 1 blockage per 5km (or something like that) by using a very slippery microduct. When a customer gets FTTP installed the old HFC cable is fully removed and the cabinet removed once it is empty. VM are very aware of how crowded it is, its why they are installing new cabinets as they tried using existing ones and found they were often very packed with HFC cabling, so are the chambers so underground equipment can’t easily be fitted in there.

      Part of switching to FTTP is somewhat tidying the network. The L4 cabinets are designed with an access side and network side to try and reduce cable mess.

      Cost per premises doesn’t include the final install cost, the Hub 5X router they use has a sfp+ slot for the ONT so ONT cost isn’t part of the installation. The cost of conversion is someone to come out for a couple hours, the fibre cable and fibre hardware. VM also save on the cost of power.

    4. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      I reason cost of conversion (ie the droplink) will be a two man team for 1.5-2 hours as a single man can’t do a coax removal from consumer to cabinet nor the re-pull of fibre optic. That’d make it slightly more than the pull of my OR FTTP link where there’s no removal of the copper line, so those estimates are reasonably well founded. Allowing for fully loaded labour costs I’d make a very educated guess that we’re talking £50 per man hour, hence allowing further job setup costs such as travel time, blockages, failed appointments etc, and that’s how I arrive at £200 (or possibly 50% worse). My experience of smart meter installation programmes was that job setup issues had a massive impact on the total programme costs, because the combination of setup and productive time created a limit on the number of jobs a team could do each day, and then you add sizeable inefficiencies that overlay both the job cost and the setup costs. This will be the same – probably also true for OR and altnets.

      Worth remembering that VM have long outsourced HFC pulls and civils enablement (and ignored the howls of customer protest at the sometimes appalling outcomes of that), and usually using different teams for each element, and those teams are also separate to the actual connections done by VM field techs. Control, co-ordination and communication between VM and their subcontractors is non-existent. I’d expect the XGS-PON roll out to be done in the same way, according to VM’s motto of “know the price of everything and the value of nothing”. And like everything outsourced, that leads to delays, errors and inefficiency, and ultimately higher costs and lower standards of service.

      For many customers everything will run smoothly, and they’ll think the process works like clockwork, but as stated, I’ve been an insider for programmes of similar complexity, and there’s plenty of things here that will push average costs up.

    5. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      @Andrew G VM do seem to be communicating better with their contractors this time. In the presentation (now deleted) they made a big deal of giving their contractors a several year roadmap of jobs for them to do and having them finish a town/city before moving on (Meanwhile at Openreach…). As such they claimed to have most work done to an excellent standard and good feedback from councils etc. for the initial pilot.

      How they deal with installs will be interesting.

  15. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Dear VM

    Don’t care

    I don’t want you coming to Telford. Please removed all cable!

    Thanks

    Bye

    1. Avatar photo VM says:

      Dear Phil,

      No.

      VM x

  16. Avatar photo Martyn says:

    I’ve had Virgin FTTP installed from the Pole to my house, just over a week ago, my install date is the 28th, so hopefully all good to go then! I am actually trialling it for them in the area, my contract states its 1139/52 so not symmetrical, but can only know for sure whats its all live.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      Sounds like their FTTP which is RFoG with those speeds, not the XGS-PON in this article. They’ve been deploying that including from poles for a few years now.

      Expect to get a giant brown/grey box on the front of your house to convert the fibre back to Coax just like their older deployments.

    2. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      @Anon, might well be, but its a trial, area other trialists I’ve spoken to have a full fttp to the hub 5x, no ONT, no caox, so I assume I will be the same, the speeds on the contract I’ve been told is most likely a generic thing.

  17. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Would love them to come and upgrade my cab so I can get full fiber insed of waiting for bt to finish there bloody work hear they got to just outside my block then stoped now got to wait fro. Now to 2026! I’ll be 3 years older that I don’t want to wait that long it always seems to be something with these company’s lets do most of the area and then stop harf way through and have to wait stupid long for it to continue like what why finish area then move on its logic not this harf way just to pi** people off

  18. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Also to the guy that owns this page mark I like the info u provide even if it can make me unhappy sometimes but that’s not your fult haha its the fact we are behind in tech and should have court up by now also mark have you seen the new police robots in NYC lol digit dog robot XD very cool that were starting to see the things that we see in movies and video games

  19. Avatar photo Matthew warriner says:

    There fibre is a monstrosity when they go pia I work on the openreach network and climbing pole which has virgin fibre on it also is becoming unsafe. The boxes which contain the tubing are far to big and sometimes there are 2 of them 2 openreach CBT and the copper stuff why not use the same kind of kit as city fibre which works on the same principle and is a lot smaller network is becoming dangerous to work on up sticks now it’s a joke for us engineers.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      You mean like this?

      https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/202932iDCA752BB2D4DCF9A/image-size/large?v=v2&px=999

      https://imgur.com/a/YrTUxdd

      Certainly looks rather large and weighty, lets hope its secured well that lasts over time….

    2. Avatar photo Martyn Day says:

      its tiny when its up high https://i.imgur.com/7V0Y6vP.jpg

  20. Avatar photo Agent Smith says:

    Given the current stare of their trial, it won’t go live anytime soon.
    Source: I’m on the trial.

    1. Avatar photo Not Agent Smith says:

      And?

  21. Avatar photo Tom says:

    Finally. They’ve said they will pass all of their customers with XGS-PON by 2028. How they’re gonna go from 0 to 15 million in 5 years, I have no idea, but wishing them success.

    1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      By laying fibre to around 3 million premises per year, obviously 😉 The one million or so RFoG premises are already passed by fibre.

  22. Avatar photo Jimmy says:

    The chances of VM completing this 100% – ever – seem extremely slim to nil. When wayleaves bites for MDUs and other places where ducting isn’t in the shape it might be, are they going to make some premises unserviced or keep the HFC running? It’s going to be messy. I’m not surprised their agreements aren’t in good shape, but they wouldn’t be the only ones.

    Also what is a Programme Portfolio? That’s the wrong way round, no?!

    1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      They don’t need to overbuild 100% of their existing HFC network, just most of it. They can abandon the difficult parts or acquire existing FTTP. But at some point in the near to mid term future VM will need to be all FTTP to remain competitive.

    2. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

      They’ve already done a couple of areas where the ducts were a mess. Lots of duct unblocking, overlays and new chambers but it was done and it didn’t take that long at all.

      They expect to be running the cable network for another 20 years and no doubt some MDUs won’t ever be done. The target is 100% but if matters beyond their reasonable control prevent it that’s too bad.

    3. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      Of the 16.2m properties passed there are 14.3m which are HFC and these are the ones which Virgin Media is focused on. My expectation is that VM will get most of the 14.3m ready for fibre by the end of 2028 and be dealing continually as always with issues such as broken ducts. The migration to XGS-PON will take a long time and VM expects HFC to be in use until about 2040.

  23. Avatar photo Ian Winstanley says:

    When is the st Helens Merseyside area getting upgraded to XGS-PON???

  24. Avatar photo Contrarian says:

    An XGS ONT at wholesale prices costs around £45. Truck-roll to install toby box, drop fibre, blow it in, connectorise – depends, but let’s be generous and call it £200. New 2.5G capable CPE £60. XGS OLT per port cost is around £15 using 1:64 split. That’s £320 per user without installing a single meter of fibre, duct or no duct. They are dreaming having this at £100. More like £600-700 is realistic.

  25. Avatar photo TrueFibre says:

    As much as I am fan of Full Fibre I am on the Openreach network and ISP Vodafone but I would like to see Virgin Media use Full Fibre and do away with HFC hopefully that would end the misinformation because in virgin store they would say coaxial cable is fibre instead of saying we do use fibre but coax cable witch is copper coated steel the last mile. But having said that I would never be a Virgin customer because there always down it was the same when it was Telewest Broadband in 2001 aka Telewest Communications in 1990s.

  26. Avatar photo Caffeine says:

    A concern for me with VM is network failure during power outages. I’m running a UPS that keeps business equipment, including our current FTTC internet, up and running for short (<1hr) power outages. Openreach are apparently installing OLTs in the hubs which have robust power-loss protection. But, it would appear that VMO2 are running their OLTs in the cabs without battery backup resulting in immediate loss of connection during even intermittent power problems.

    Is this correct? I'm seeing the L4 cabs in our area but haven't been able to catch a technician to get full details of the kit inside.

  27. Avatar photo Lowpingaddict says:

    Question for anyone who knows exactly how virgins network works, say a house has fttp RFoG, would it require for the whole fiber cable to be switched out for xgs-pon or just the cabinet/OLT? thanks

  28. Avatar photo Jamie Simms says:

    I have noticed this week while driving through Market Harborough in Leicestershire that VM have recently installed a number of XGS L4 and a couple of L2 cabinets.

    These have been built in the last few weeks next to existing VM cabinets, I didn’t see Leicester on list for 2023 so are they just preparing for 2024 or is Market Harborough actually fed from Northampton Headend which is a 2023 town ?

  29. Avatar photo Ross says:

    From when I lived in Market Harborough I’m pretty sure when I had VM it was coming from Northampton due to the reverse host name on the IP. However I now live in Leicester / Oadby and I have too see an XGS L4 and a couple of L2 cabinets pop up up the street from. Currently on VM. However Cityfibre have been digging and laying the roads in Oadby / Wigston for months. My street was done the other week but not live yet. Just ducted one side of the street and I can see cables going up the poles

  30. Avatar photo Raja Khan says:

    Any news on if / when it’s being rolled out in Birmingham? Thanks.

  31. Avatar photo Matthew says:

    Hope it’s sooner rather then later as I don’t want to leave virgin so hope they do this befor outhers move into my area as I’ll chose who ever gets it done 1st kind of bord waiting I may have the 1gbps service allready bit firber is more stable so it’s a win win

Comments are closed

Cheap BIG ISPs for 100Mbps+
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Virgin Media UK ISP Logo
Virgin Media £26.00
132Mbps
Gift: None
Shell Energy UK ISP Logo
Shell Energy £26.99
109Mbps
Gift: None
Sky Broadband UK ISP Logo
100Mbps
Gift: None
Plusnet UK ISP Logo
Plusnet £27.99
145Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest ISPs for 100Mbps+
Gigaclear UK ISP Logo
Gigaclear £17.00
200Mbps
Gift: None
YouFibre UK ISP Logo
YouFibre £19.99
150Mbps
Gift: None
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
BeFibre UK ISP Logo
BeFibre £21.00
150Mbps
Gift: £25 Love2Shop Card
Hey! Broadband UK ISP Logo
150Mbps
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 15 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (5526)
  2. BT (3518)
  3. Politics (2541)
  4. Openreach (2298)
  5. Business (2264)
  6. Building Digital UK (2246)
  7. FTTC (2044)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1975)
  9. Statistics (1789)
  10. 4G (1666)
  11. Virgin Media (1621)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (1463)
  13. Fibre Optic (1395)
  14. Wireless Internet (1390)
  15. FTTH (1382)

Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Promotion
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact
Mastodon