[GLLUG] Avoid Virgin Media (was: Fibre broadband)

John Edwards john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk
Fri Dec 21 10:53:29 UTC 2012

On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:32:40AM +0100, Charles Flèche wrote:
> Out of curiosity, what are your rants against Virgin ? Any horror stories ?

How many hours (days/months/years) do you have for all the horror?
Will your sanity survive if you did?

One client had a leased line, 10 Mbit/s on a 100 Mbit/s fibre.
Pretty standard, except that instead having their routers queue
the traffic over 10 Mbit/s they dropped the packets instead.

So any time they actually wanted to use all the bandwidth they were
paying for (and paying a lot), services would start to fail. It took
about 3 months of wading through the trackless swamp that is Virgin
Media support before we managed to talk to someone who understood
about TCP/IP and routers. It did get fixed, but having to
explain/teach a clueless support bod about how the Internet works
everytime you phone gets very boring after a while, especially when
you are paying almost a grand a month for the privilege.

A few other clients have the standard business Internet cable
connection. These can drop out several times a days, TCP connections
do not last for more than about 10 or 15 minutes, bandwidth is
contained across a wide area and slows down a *lot* in the evening,
the router is a cheap piece of crap (although the firmware now has an
"advanced" option that actually allows you to do "expert" things like
port forwarding).

A friend of mine in Brighton has been fighting to get a reliable
Internet and TV service for years, and has just about given up after
finding that Freeview free terrestrial digital TV is more reliable:

I think the main problems are:
1) A lot of small cable companies put in the infrastructure over 20
years and it has not been upgraded much since.

2) Those small companies were slowly gobbled up into one big company,
with all the pain and complication of a load of unplanned mergers.

3) They compete on low price and TV bundles. Internet is often added
in as an afterthought.

Alternatively, they are just made by the spirit of Cthulhu.

|    John Edwards   Email: john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk    |
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