Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Ctrl-Alt-Del => Topic started by: Redlight on 10 September, 2020, 09:05:30 pm

Title: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Redlight on 10 September, 2020, 09:05:30 pm
I have a horrible feeling I may regret this, but here goes:

I'm wondering whether I should change my broadband provider.

I'm wth Virgin Media. Apparently, it has the best speeds on the market, but my own experience is that my BB connection drops several times a day and I have to reboot.  And the TV etc package that comes with it is crap.  I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime so Virgin's TV offer is negligible and the landline hasn't been used in years.

So, should I switch? Here's the issue - my teenage son likes playing Fortnite online and, at the moment, my wife spends a large part of the day on video conference calls.

Am I best sticking with Virgin, despite its hopeless customer service, or is the BT broadband fast enough to keep both son and wife happy when they are online at the same time?
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 10 September, 2020, 09:16:37 pm
I'm sure there are lots of stories of BT awfulness, but I've been using whatever their FTTC service is called for the last seven years and it's been rock solid and full speed as advertised. The BT home hub is shit though (well, as a modem it's fine, but the wifi is puny). I've never needed to throw myself upon the tender mercies of their support.

This currently supports two people working from home, internet radio all the time, all TV through Netflix/Amazon. I've never noted any slowness. Plus it's my only option, I figure all the alternatives will be someone reselling the BT offering anyway. Virgin dare not tread nearby.

Caveat: the cabinet is at the bottom of the road, so there's probably about 50 meters of copper between me and it (maybe a bit more, the telegraph pole is further up the hill).
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: fuaran on 10 September, 2020, 09:47:47 pm
Depends on where you are.
Openreach do have FTTP in some areas, which should be faster than Virgin. Or their are a few other companies building their own fibre networks, eg Cityfibre. Though maybe not much cheaper.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: grams on 10 September, 2020, 10:01:04 pm
FTTC should be fine for your use case.

I’ve had close to zero downtime in several years with Sky/NowTV, and their modem has never needed rebooting. I do use my own (Apple) Wi-Fi though.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: orienteer on 10 September, 2020, 10:24:52 pm
Was happy with Virgin for years, but since the US takeover became absolute crap.

Now happy with Zen, based on the Openreach (BT) network. Just broadband and land line, no TV.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Pingu on 10 September, 2020, 10:30:34 pm
...Now happy with Zen...

Arf  :)
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Bluebottle on 10 September, 2020, 10:32:49 pm
Make of this anecdote what you will.

We binned virgin a couple of years ago. Sounds like similar problems to yourself. Horrible connection issues, repeated reboots of router. Horrible, patronising cusotmer service and could not get anywhere. The fault was blatantly an old router on its last legs. Went to disconnect and it was one of the first things the retention team said to us. "I can see what you have and even I can see what the problem is."

Anyway, switched to EE, never had an issue since. 70 MBps consistently, only dropped service once or twice (always at night) so only notice when we get logs.

Bit of a palaver when we went to switch, but that was the fault of the OpenReach tech, who came with an attitude and lack of will. EE gave us a chunk of data to compensate.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 10 September, 2020, 10:39:38 pm
If you're switching from Virgin the first question is what technology is Openreach able to provide to your location, and how well is likely to perform.  If the line's crap, or FTTP involves impractical installation costs, there's only so much that even the AAISPs of this world can do with it.

Then it's a case of choosing an ISP to provide you a service using that technology.  This is about the performance of their own backhaul network, any associated services such as email hosting, customer service, any equipment you obtain through them, and indeed price.  In the words of my CO505 Computer Networks lecturer, the rule here is "Use as little BT as possible.".

As usual, you tend to get what you pay for.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: fuaran on 10 September, 2020, 10:40:11 pm
Seems the Virgin router is often a bit crap. You can set it to modem mode, and connect it to a separate wifi router. It would probably be a lot more reliable.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 10 September, 2020, 10:41:24 pm
I have a technically competent friend whose Virgin router seems to need an awful lot of reboots.  Mostly it's just the WiFi part that stops working.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Mr Larrington on 11 September, 2020, 02:53:37 am
Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s Virgin router (a rebadged Netgear) requires frequent reboots to restore speed to anything close to advertised levels.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Duckfoot1606 on 11 September, 2020, 06:26:47 am
I’ve been with VM for years and suffered most of the issues reported upthread. Eventually we took two steps. First a new router (does a router really wear out? The old one was 7 years old). Second, I reduced the broadband speed from 200 to 100. WiFi now much more reliable, 2 of us working from home and no obvious loss in performance. Also, load time of stuff like iPlayer much quicker too

A
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Jaded on 11 September, 2020, 08:54:27 am
Yes, routers wear out. Or rather components and joints in them start to fail. I reckon five years is a reasonable time for a router, the cheaper, the shorter.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 11 September, 2020, 09:26:05 am
I've never had to restart a BT home hub. I presume it does itself occasionally when it hits a blip (it says connection time 21 days at the mo). It's seven years old now.

My parents have Virgin because they watch crap telly all day. It doesn't seem very reliable (though I suppose they offer the speed, despite being 50 metres for the cabinet, no one seems interested in offering FTTP here).
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: PaulF on 11 September, 2020, 10:02:27 am
We had Sky and their broadband was fine; only moved away because they made a monumental cockup of our satellite installation when we moved house. It was so bad that they tore up our contract. Now with BT who are also fine; supported 3 of us working/online schooling, Netflix, streaming radio plus whatever teenagers do.

When/if you switch be prepared for at least a portion of changeover day to be without service as the old provider turns off at midnight  and the new one activates you sometime the next day. If your Virgin connection is by cable (as opposed to phone) you may be able to make the Virgin termination data the day after the new provider start date if continuity of service is important to you.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on 11 September, 2020, 10:10:06 am
Virgin's routers are indeed crap. For some reason they don't like apple devices. Multiple people couldn't connect to our router at all. We ended up adding another cheap wifi router for apple devices.

Paid for 128Mb down. Frequently this dropped to under 20Mb. That's a big problem when you have people twitch streaming.

That household is now being switched to ultrafast fibre. Should give them 910Mb down.

Bt?  they are darn difficult to pin down on speeds.

BT signed up to provide the government's pledge about "min 10Mb for all".

Where I live now, BT will only 3-4Mb
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: De Sisti on 11 September, 2020, 10:12:36 am
I'm with Virgin and have never experienced the problems others (upthread) have had. All depends
on where you're located I suppose.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 11 September, 2020, 10:17:27 am
As with all these things, there will be hundreds of negative experiences for any major provider (because people only complain when they're unhappy, they're unlikely to publicly announce that something is OK, that being the expectation, after all). It's hit and miss, unfortunately.

We've been with BT for years, it's mostly been fine, they generally screw up anything you ask them do (they did something wrong when they installed their stuff here, I can't remember the details something to do with their being two lines, but it took a second engineer to undo what the first had done). I doubt that experience is unique to BT.

I assume with all utilities these days that customer and technical service will be poor. It's expensive and the main place they can save money and pad out their margins (the cost of the technology, or paying Openreach, is mostly inelastic). They also bargain that a majority of their customers won't need it and if they do, it's a simple turn-it-off-and-back-on. Once a issue goes beyond that, they're usually not set up to deal with it. Decent service comes with 'boutique' suppliers, but you're paying the real cost for knowledgable humans.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: rafletcher on 11 September, 2020, 10:42:41 am
We have Vodafone FTTC, with a 200yd copper string (those at the end of the village have another 600yd to go).  Changed from the once excellent Plusnet, who's service had dropped off after the BT takeover, and because we have Vodafone mobiles, so get a bit of a discount.

As to speed - well it's sold on the sync speed to the modem being 70Mbps. It may well be, but actual real world download speed varies enormously, and is never at 70Mbps. Upload is pretty constant at 14Mbps. Given the physical limitations of our location, I doubt anyone else would be better.

It's reliable, and the (Cairo based) support were very good in sorting out a known issue where the network doesn't recognise the modem at first.

I think BB is becoming a bit like petrol, in that in a given location, most BB providers will be broadly similar, as they work with the same infrastructure, so you pay the least you can, or consciously go for something from A&A as a premium solution. Having said that A&A forecast speeds for my property are in line with the sync speeds quoted by Vodafone.  I could possibly improve performance by buying a dedicated copper pair. But I'd pay for data (probably) as Vodafone in unlimited. It works out at £55/month for 2TB/month FTTC and a dedicated copper pair plus the line rental. My broadband at the moment is £26/month including line rental. I cant see that, for my case, an extra £40 a month makes sense. YMMV.

Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Jaded on 11 September, 2020, 10:52:58 am


BT signed up to provide the government's pledge about "min 10Mb for all".

Where I live now, BT will only 3-4Mb

I imagine there is a small print. Like "We deliver next day to the UK Mainland" except the Highlands
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: DaveJ on 11 September, 2020, 12:46:38 pm
As said upthread, the WiFi on the Virgin routers is flakey.  With the hub in modem mode, and a separate router and wireless access point, our connection has been fast and stable.

The Facebook group for our road had a number of people complaining about the Virgin connection.  Then there was a long discussion and some of the people went off and bought the TP-Link Deco M5, and since then the Facebook group has been silent on the subject.

Its pretty rubbish that the only way to get the Virgin connection to run reliably is to buy some extra kit, but the connection speeds from Virgin are several times what they are from BT for about the same money.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 11 September, 2020, 02:07:06 pm
Crappy wifi hubs seem to be standard. I just use a Deco system (I think M5) which has delivered perfect wifi throughout.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: lastant on 11 September, 2020, 04:05:39 pm
I'm sure there are lots of stories of BT awfulness, but I've been using whatever their FTTC service is called for the last seven years and it's been rock solid and full speed as advertised.

In a similar position (even as far as Virgin not an option and the box being not far away), and we've been on BT Fibre 2 since moving in four and a bit years ago - have had the option to move as contracts have expired, but chose to stay.

Had no real issues with two of us working from home on video calls in and out of the day with the Sonos-es running in the background (TV also through a mix of NetPrimeFlix) with no slowness for the last six months - we did have a bizarre spell of a fortnight where both of our work VPNs automatically disconnecting and reconnecting at 9.30am and we never got to the bottom of why it did it...it's fine now!
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: De Sisti on 11 September, 2020, 05:22:51 pm
As said upthread, I think the WiFi on the Virgin routers is flakey.
FTFY.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: quixoticgeek on 11 September, 2020, 09:38:44 pm
If you're switching from Virgin the first question is what technology is Openreach able to provide to your location, and how well is likely to perform.  If the line's crap, or FTTP involves impractical installation costs, there's only so much that even the AAISPs of this world can do with it.

Agreed. My flat in the UK, there was a 50m or so length of aluminium, about 300m from the flat, that makes it a right pain to get anything quick.

Quote
Then it's a case of choosing an ISP to provide you a service using that technology.  This is about the performance of their own backhaul network, any associated services such as email hosting, customer service, any equipment you obtain through them, and indeed price.  In the words of my CO505 Computer Networks lecturer, the rule here is "Use as little BT as possible.".

Funny, my CO505 Computer Networks Lecturer said the same thing...

When I said this rule to some colleagues here in Dutchland, they looked at me weird. So the international variant is: "use as little of the PTT as possible"

Quote
As usual, you tend to get what you pay for.

Agreed.

J
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 11 September, 2020, 10:09:25 pm
If you're switching from Virgin the first question is what technology is Openreach able to provide to your location, and how well is likely to perform.  If the line's crap, or FTTP involves impractical installation costs, there's only so much that even the AAISPs of this world can do with it.

Agreed. My flat in the UK, there was a 50m or so length of aluminium, about 300m from the flat, that makes it a right pain to get anything quick.

Sometimes L2TP to AAISP over Virgin Media broadband can be a winning strategy.  Gives you proper IP addresses, monitoring, etc and immunity to some forms of Virgin fuckery, at only double the cost and half the reliability.


Quote
Funny, my CO505 Computer Networks Lecturer said the same thing...

 :D
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: sojournermike on 11 September, 2020, 10:47:57 pm
Currently playing with a 4g router to see if I can get useable speeds - even running a pair with unlimited data would cost no more than BT ‘Infinity’, which can be read as c.40Mb download this week - with dropouts.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Ben T on 11 September, 2020, 11:40:25 pm
Very happy with sky.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: MikeFromLFE on 12 September, 2020, 08:46:16 am
I was with BT for a few years without issues, until they ramped up the price beyond sense. I moved to Plusnet on the basis that 'its BT but cheaper' - considerably cheaper.

I saw no great change in the speeds until about three months ago I started getting drop outs occasionally, this coincided with some road works near my cabinet at the end of the road. These got progressively worse, until it was happening four or five times a day.
I'm not a great one for daft questions from 'tech help lines' so I just put a tweet up late one Sunday afternoon "@plusnethelp(or whatever) I'm getting lots of line drop outs - any advice?" - middle of the next day I get a phone call from Plusnet saying they'd checked my line, found no fault, asked me a couple of basis questions and offered me a replacement router.

I doubted this would be the solution - but yes, no more drop outs, and yes, it seems that routers can grow old.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Morat on 12 September, 2020, 11:18:31 am
Unless you have actual fibre to your house, they're only as good as the phone line :(

I miss my rural broadband over WiFi - it was only 30Mb but it gave 30Mb upload and a static IP.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: toontra on 12 September, 2020, 12:24:57 pm
As said upthread, I think the WiFi on the Virgin routers is flakey.
FTFY.

I know the wifi on VM routers is flakey.  Plagued me for ages before switching it to modem mode with a relatively cheap separate router.  Not a single problem since.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Wowbagger on 12 September, 2020, 08:58:44 pm
I have an ongoing dispute with Virgin. Unfortunately they are the only show in town as far as I'm concerned, even though there's a "Citifibre" cable going past my front gate. The connection is fine, but I was paying too much for it (£88 a month for 250Mb, some TV package that we never use, and free calls of up to an hour in duration). I wanted to ditch the TV and change the phone to VOIP. Virgin don't do VOIP. I decided to go for one of their "Oomph" packages - 350Mb straight with no TV or phone line for £56. Then the retention team got involved and offered me what I had before for £44. They sent me a contract tying me in until Jan 2022 but are buggering me about with charges, and when I have a look at my account, they still haven't got it right.

I had a look at Andrews & Arnold but they reckoned the fastest connection they could offer me was 9Mb.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Mr Larrington on 12 September, 2020, 10:26:24 pm
A&A's speed depends on what type of string ”our favourite telco” –Ed. have in the 'hood.  Fortunately they already had a fibre running up Larrington Towers Road so FTTP was quick and relatively painless.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Afasoas on 22 September, 2020, 01:29:15 pm
My experience. Of course your mileage may vary depending on where you live.

On VM,
* I've found the customer service to be excellent. Both times I've had a fault, they have had an engineer out the next day.
* Their network does offer low latency, but the peering isn't always great and I find I get higher ping times to lots of places on the internet relative to the vDSL (FTTC) line
* Latency is much more variable, compared to the vDSL (FTTC) line
* I get bandwidth usually (but not always) exceeding those advertised
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)
* Staying on top of what they charge requires an annual phone call
* Offer a broadband only package

On TalkTalk,
* I think their network itself is actually pretty good in terms of peering/latency - it might be higher than VM but there's much less variance
* Bandwidth as advertised
* Awful customer service (over a month to get an ongoing issue resolved)
* Subject to multiple data breaches - getting phishing phone calls when you have an open fault is tricksy
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)

On Shell Broadband,
* TalkTalk reseller
* No issues thus far
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)
* Very well priced through Money Saving Expert deals, although you might have to insist in order to get the exit fee waived
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)

On PlusNet
* Cocked up transfer to new provider - took a month to sort out
* Aside from the above, no issues with customer service (much better than TalkTalk)
* Although they are owned by BT, extra hops and latency thanks to their peering arrangements, so not the best choice for on-line gaming but absolutely fine for anything else

On BT
* Usually an expensive choice, but probably the best DSL (FTTC) service you will get in terms of peering and latency
* Routers do work, but very limited configuration options mean you may want to use your own


No ISP is perfect. Consumer broadband is consumer broadband at the end of the day. You can double your chances with a second disparate line (so VM and vDSL/FTTC) or 3G/4G and a router that can failover between them.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: sojournermike on 22 September, 2020, 02:20:02 pm
Currently using BT FTTC with a fast Asus mesh, plus a 4g UPS backed up router for failover duty, plus it’s portable to the shed etc for turbo duty(!)

As much as BT frustrate me, it does generally work. Customer service usually falls into the not our problem it’s your router category, but the last engineer gave me a Gfast modem, which is useful and a smaller box than the BT router in modem mode.

Edited to add that both are fine for Teams use. 6Gb of data on 4g the other day...
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Jaded on 22 September, 2020, 02:22:43 pm
Are you sure it is the ISP...  ;)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54239180
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: citoyen on 22 September, 2020, 02:49:23 pm
On PlusNet
* Cocked up transfer to new provider - took a month to sort out
* Aside from the above, no issues with customer service (much better than TalkTalk)
* Although they are owned by BT, extra hops and latency thanks to their peering arrangements, so not the best choice for on-line gaming but absolutely fine for anything else

I had terrible problems with PlusNet, perhaps not entirely their fault but they handled the situation very badly.

We signed up at a time when they were expanding rapidly (due to their very competitive pricing - the same reason we chose them), but they weren’t expanding their customer services to keep up.

This would have been fine if there had been no problems with our internet connection. Unfortunately, we were at the end of six miles of copper wire in those days so adsl was a non-starter.

After two months of being unable to get through to their customer services, I cancelled the direct debit - this spurred them into action: they sent the debt collectors round.

I’m sure they’re fine now, but I will never use them ever again after that experience.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: rock bus on 22 September, 2020, 06:33:50 pm
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 22 September, 2020, 07:06:18 pm
It's interesting how experiences stick with you – many years ago I was with a company called Demon Internet and for some reason it was paid through my credit card. Credit cards expire, it's a fact, so anyway, I inadvertently stopped paying.

Now, I'll admit my fault, but really some kind of notification would have been fine, or a call, or anything other than cut off my internet right there and then and tell me what I owed them had been passed along to a collection agency. Au revoir, dear long-term customer!

Same with EDF, with whom I engaged in a never ending battle to stop them sending a bill literally to 'the meter on the wall adj number 51.' They couldn't, for reasons impenetrable, give me online access (despite me being the company secretary of the business) and because the postie would simply leave bills by the wall, they would blow away. They would agree that yes, it was totally out of order, and singularly fail to solve what would seem an elementary problem of an address change. Just to taunt me, they did briefly manage it, and then reverted it for the next bill. I don't think it was ever solved.

As for droppy wifi, I had issue with a wilting radio signal for years, partly solved with an extender, but I did buy mesh system (TP-Link Deco M5) and it's been fantastic. Someone with better knowledge of Virgin modems will have to explain to precise details (I'm on BT), but it set-up was a pretty straighforward five-minute job.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: sojournermike on 22 September, 2020, 07:21:05 pm
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?

Your router often does two jobs:

1. Encodes/Decodes the data going to/from the Internet (known as the Wide Area Network or WAN). That’s the modem part - it allows you to communicate with the outside world.

2. It routes this data to the correct devices in your home - your Local Area Network or LAN. So you can suffer 10 hours of Teams while your kids watch Netflix all day.

In ‘ye olde days’ you’d have had two boxes to do this - a modem and and a wireless router. The suggestion now is to disable the routing part of your supplier supplied integrated modem/router and only use it to communicate with the Internet. Then you can connect it with a network cable to your own shiny WiFi routing system.

This can be a simple, but more powerful, stand-alone router ( for example  https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/networking/network-routers-and-switches/routers/asus-rt-ac88u-wifi-cable-fibre-router-ac-3100-dual-band-10145939-pdt.html?istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istFeedId=4d7eb93e-055f-499d-8ee5-1cdcc50d67d1&istItemId=xpwatpxrr&istBid=tztx&srcid=198&cmpid=ppc~gg~1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic~1014+(PLA)+NETWORKING+-+Adaptive+ad+group~Exact&mctag=gg_goog_7904&kwid=GOOGLE&device=m&ds_kids=92700057346631342&tgtid=1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic&=--present--&gclid=CjwKCAjwwab7BRBAEiwAapqpTJeTqMs3HRxTMDk5lWLntgyrWc8I0l98tylN57AOUoOp2li_LRddwBoC7pMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/networking/network-routers-and-switches/routers/asus-rt-ac88u-wifi-cable-fibre-router-ac-3100-dual-band-10145939-pdt.html?istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istFeedId=4d7eb93e-055f-499d-8ee5-1cdcc50d67d1&istItemId=xpwatpxrr&istBid=tztx&srcid=198&cmpid=ppc~gg~1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic~1014+(PLA)+NETWORKING+-+Adaptive+ad+group~Exact&mctag=gg_goog_7904&kwid=GOOGLE&device=m&ds_kids=92700057346631342&tgtid=1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic&=--present--&gclid=CjwKCAjwwab7BRBAEiwAapqpTJeTqMs3HRxTMDk5lWLntgyrWc8I0l98tylN57AOUoOp2li_LRddwBoC7pMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds))

Or it could be a mesh system, which does the same job but has several boxes that can be positioned through your house to ensure a good signal everywhere. The boxes ‘talk’ to each other by wireless. These are known as mesh systems, although some aren’t really a mesh (but I’ll stop there!!)

Mike
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: IanN on 22 September, 2020, 07:48:32 pm
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?

Nothing is ever simple, but I did this at the weekend.

I had bought a two box Asus mesh router. Tick

VM router - put 192.168.0.1 in your browser. Gets you to the VM router software. The password is written on the bottom of the router. Mine is 8 digits in a small white box on the sticker.  There is a fairly obvious button marked Modem mode when you are in.

Network cable from port 1 on the VM router (now a modem)  to WAN port on your new router

The Asus router was a bit of a PITA, and asked a difficult question about DHCP vs PPPoE . I put DHCP and nothing has exploded.
I needed an app on my phone to talk bluetooth to the router until it was set up. glitchy.

Then...    turn everything off. Turn on VM modem. Wait. Turn on new router.

Internet molished

Note the new set up address for the VM modem is 192.168.100.1 -   if you need to switch it back.  Or poking a paper clip down the reset button for 15 seconds should do it.

The VM wifi is still present it seems. Also Virgin TV internet connection still goes to the back of the VM modem




Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 10:32:12 am
If you don't have special requirements (I do, everyone says I'm very special), the Deco M5 was simply a case of download the app to your phone, plug one of the nodes into a spare ethernet socket on the router, position the other nodes, and follow the instructions on your phone.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Greenbank on 23 September, 2020, 11:32:53 am
I've been helping my neighbour on and off for the last few months to get his Ubiquiti home networking setup working with Virgin Media (and the thing stuck in modem mode) as the network provider.

Sheesh. Talk about overkill. Cloudkeys. Security Gateways. He's got about 8 switches with POE flying everywhere, 4 or 5 security cameras (which is the main reason for it all), 5 or 6 wireless base stations, and even a switch in a waterproof box outside for his outside wifi antenna and another camera.

And the UI is dense and it makes it very easy to screw up something by enabling some random property "Enable Jumbo Frames on 2.4GHz VLAN side channel frobnitz: Yes / No" with helpful tooltips that generally just repeat the same thing but slightly paraphrased.

I've got a BT home hub and one extra wifi disc (and I only use that because they sent it to me for free). I've got a single port forwarded to a bastion host to get into my network from the outside, and the Homehub does dyndns with no-ip.com. Don't need anything else.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Feanor on 23 September, 2020, 11:49:44 am
If they want to have a complex setup like the one you describe, then they kinda need to know how to configure and maintain it themselves!
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 11:54:58 am
For simple use, as an 'add-on' network, the Deco couldn't be simpler. You need a smartphone though.

It was a bit more fiddly for me because I wanted to keep my current LAN with the BT homehub as a modem only (and it links to the primary Deco node via a powerline adaptor to escape the dark clutches of the under-the-stairs cupboard) – I have various items with static IPs etc. that I wanted to keep. That said, the biggest challenge was trying to escape the simple configuration wizard, once done it was very straightforward to apply my own settings with the app (a five minute job). It might not appeal to people who know what a 'bastion server' or 'jumbo frames' are though (I don't, ignorance is my co-pilot).

I was very impressed to be honest, I have a dim memory of trying to configure a TP-Link print server once-upon-a-time, which was an evening full of ad-hoc wifi networks and swearing. Also impressed that it just works, I've had perfect wifi ever since, full speed (for FTTC) throughout the house, even with a slightly dubious powerline link.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: citoyen on 23 September, 2020, 12:05:38 pm
We've been using some BT powerline extenders to provide wifi across the house but they're getting quite old now and seem to be very flaky.

Our internet provider is Sky, and we're getting upgraded to Sky Q this week. Apparently, the Sky Q TV box functions also functions as a Wifi extender, which is great because we'll be able to retire the powerline extenders. At least, that's the theory. Knowing my luck, the box won't be able to connect to the router (current box can't connect to current router, probably due to the fat brick fireplace blocking the line of sight). Looking forward to fun and games getting it all set up.

We used to have a selection of Apple Airport (Extreme/Express) devices for our home network and they worked really well but they had to be retired because they became obsolete.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 12:17:09 pm
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: citoyen on 23 September, 2020, 12:32:31 pm
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.

I guess the Airport setup was a mesh, though I don't recall it being called that at the time. The kit was quite pricy but I got it relatively cheaply through ebay. Unfortunately, they stopped supporting them in.... <google> ...2013, so they've been unusable for some time and are now gathering dust in the obsolete tech graveyard.

It looks like much cheaper options are available now. My only concern with the Sky Q setup is that the TV box will want to talk directly to the Sky Q modem/router rather than via an intermediary. You can get a proprietary Sky Q extender but it's £150, which seems a bit steep.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Jaded on 23 September, 2020, 12:40:50 pm
I don't think Airport was a mesh, I didn't think it had been 'invited' back then?

I have Airport things around a thick walled house, but instead of getting them to extend the network (which halves the bandwidth each time there is an extension) but by Ethernet, as I've used every opportunity to run cable around, when builders or I were rummaging around.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 12:56:17 pm
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub. So the one in my office is talking to the one in the bedroom upstairs, which is talking to primary node in the living room (that then links via a powerline adaptor to the cupboard under the stairs where the BT homehub has been confined, for its sins, in modem-only mode).

The downside, of course, is that the mesh nodes have to use up bandwidth to talk to each other (like extenders). But there's no shortage in most home scenarios. Three nodes cover my house and ensure I get a full signal in every room (and the back garden) and I've not had a single drop out since I installed it.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: citoyen on 23 September, 2020, 01:09:51 pm
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub.

You could set up the Airport devices to resemble a 'mesh' in that there was just one SSID across the network, though as Jaded correctly points out, there was a significant performance loss, which I guess you don't get with modern mesh devices (or at least the performance loss is much, much smaller).

I enquired about installing ethernet when we had the house rewired but the quote from the electrician subcontracted by the builders was ridiculous. Should have taken that as a warning sign really, but that's for another thread.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Diver300 on 23 September, 2020, 01:16:48 pm

Your router often does two jobs:

1. Encodes/Decodes the data going to/from the Internet (known as the Wide Area Network or WAN). That’s the modem part - it allows you to communicate with the outside world.

2. It routes this data to the correct devices in your home - your Local Area Network or LAN. So you can suffer 10 hours of Teams while your kids watch Netflix all day.

I would say four jobs, and would add:-

3. Is the hub that connects all the ethernet cables that you need to connect to the different devices

4. Is the wireless access point that allow connects in the WiFi devices

Until recently, we had all four functions in separate boxes, as Plusnet used to send out a modem and a router that were different boxes. We now have one box that is all four, but there is also a separate hub and a separate wireless access point / hub, so that the wires and the WiFi reach the other rooms better.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 01:28:16 pm
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub.

You could set up the Airport devices to resemble a 'mesh' in that there was just one SSID across the network, though as Jaded correctly points out, there was a significant performance loss, which I guess you don't get with modern mesh devices (or at least the performance loss is much, much smaller).

I enquired about installing ethernet when we had the house rewired but the quote from the electrician subcontracted by the builders was ridiculous. Should have taken that as a warning sign really, but that's for another thread.


When we had the Asbestos Palace rewired the quote for adding ethernet was also very high (I can't remember, but four figures). They couldn't just bodge ethernet cable in the same hole. Who knew? OK, me. It's all wires.

All meshes and extenders have to 'backhaul' – so use up a proportion of bandwidth to communicate with each other. But unless you have super-duper gigabit fibre or somesuch, modern wifi networks are usually sufficient. That said, the more nodes you have, the more bandwidth they'll take for themselves, so more isn't necessarily better. Three nodes cover a decent-sized four-bed detached house in my experience.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 23 September, 2020, 01:33:39 pm
If they want to have a complex setup like the one you describe, then they kinda need to know how to configure and maintain it themselves!

Quite.  The Ubiquiti access points are lovely, but they're in the class of things designed for people who know (or are willing to learn) what they're doing, who are willing to put the effort in for something that will do exactly what they need, and quietly keep doing it for as long as nobody fucks with it.

Plug and play it isn't.  Other than by the standards of similar non-consumer products.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 23 September, 2020, 01:38:26 pm
When we had the Asbestos Palace rewired the quote for adding ethernet was also very high (I can't remember, but four figures). They couldn't just bodge ethernet cable in the same hole. Who knew? OK, me. It's all wires.

I think there's something in the regs about power and non-power wiring not sharing conduit, holes through joists and similar (and it's probably bad practice to run certain types of data alongside power for interference reasons).  Given that electrical work is about 10% knowing what you're doing, 40% woodwork and 50% dust and spiders, it's not surprising that it multiplies the cost.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: sojournermike on 23 September, 2020, 02:05:01 pm
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub. So the one in my office is talking to the one in the bedroom upstairs, which is talking to primary node in the living room (that then links via a powerline adaptor to the cupboard under the stairs where the BT homehub has been confined, for its sins, in modem-only mode).

The downside, of course, is that the mesh nodes have to use up bandwidth to talk to each other (like extenders). But there's no shortage in most home scenarios. Three nodes cover my house and ensure I get a full signal in every room (and the back garden) and I've not had a single drop out since I installed it.

Yes, mesh allows the nodes to comunicate through each other, with multiple possible routes, to get back to the router/wan/lan connections.

The better current kit uses three bands, allowing one (5GHz) band to be dedicated for 'backhaul'. It's impressively fast - my asus kit is much faster than my broadband connection or my NAS drive. OTOH that allows anything and everything to work concurrently.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Mr Larrington on 23 September, 2020, 02:09:37 pm
Wot Jaded said.  I've got a (wired) Airport Express, purchased for box-tops from the Bay of Thieves, in the kitchen for channelling Musical Tunes thereto.  I ent averse to running cables around skirting boards, which helps.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Greenbank on 23 September, 2020, 02:15:08 pm
If they want to have a complex setup like the one you describe, then they kinda need to know how to configure and maintain it themselves!

Quite.  The Ubiquiti access points are lovely, but they're in the class of things designed for people who know (or are willing to learn) what they're doing, who are willing to put the effort in for something that will do exactly what they need, and quietly keep doing it for as long as nobody fucks with it.

Indeed, but it keeps me in the occasional beer and also helps neighbourly relations.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 02:31:16 pm
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub. So the one in my office is talking to the one in the bedroom upstairs, which is talking to primary node in the living room (that then links via a powerline adaptor to the cupboard under the stairs where the BT homehub has been confined, for its sins, in modem-only mode).

The downside, of course, is that the mesh nodes have to use up bandwidth to talk to each other (like extenders). But there's no shortage in most home scenarios. Three nodes cover my house and ensure I get a full signal in every room (and the back garden) and I've not had a single drop out since I installed it.

Yes, mesh allows the nodes to comunicate through each other, with multiple possible routes, to get back to the router/wan/lan connections.

The better current kit uses three bands, allowing one (5GHz) band to be dedicated for 'backhaul'. It's impressively fast - my asus kit is much faster than my broadband connection or my NAS drive. OTOH that allows anything and everything to work concurrently.

The price differentials mostly seem to revolve around the number of radios and whether or not there's a dedicated one for the backhaul. Some also let you use wired connection, though that seems a little self-defeating unless you're just using the node for roaming devices.

For a non-fibre connection, the basic stuff seems to work. I get around 867 Mbps wireless and full speed internets on every connected device that supports that speed (some of the older kit only does 300 Mbps).
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: rafletcher on 23 September, 2020, 03:57:47 pm
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.

I wonder what the max distance it can cover is? The Sonos mesh I have can reach the shed some 30m away down the garden. It would be perfect if the Deco could do the same, and I could retire the powerline adaptors.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: citoyen on 23 September, 2020, 04:17:57 pm
Given that electrical work is about 10% knowing what you're doing, 40% woodwork and 50% dust and spiders, it's not surprising that it multiplies the cost.

Yeah, the builders told us they would have to chase new conduits into the walls separate to the power lines, and I guess that's what accounted for most of the extra cost rather than the wiring itself. Even so, it was excessively high.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 05:12:08 pm
Given that electrical work is about 10% knowing what you're doing, 40% woodwork and 50% dust and spiders, it's not surprising that it multiplies the cost.

Yeah, the builders told us they would have to chase new conduits into the walls separate to the power lines, and I guess that's what accounted for most of the extra cost rather than the wiring itself. Even so, it was excessively high.

Yes, they told us it couldn't go into the same conduits. It would be like mixing up tagliatelle and spaghetti in the same meal. Plus I think they added more just because it's computers innit.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Mr Larrington on 23 September, 2020, 05:14:38 pm
When we had the Asbestos Palace rewired the quote for adding ethernet was also very high (I can't remember, but four figures). They couldn't just bodge ethernet cable in the same hole. Who knew? OK, me. It's all wires.

I think there's something in the regs about power and non-power wiring not sharing conduit, holes through joists and similar (and it's probably bad practice to run certain types of data alongside power for interference reasons).  Given that electrical work is about 10% knowing what you're doing, 40% woodwork and 50% dust and spiders, it's not surprising that it multiplies the cost.

Does this mean that now I've relocated various bits of networky hardware to a cupboard, with the power and network cables going through the same 'ole, disgraced former International Development minister Piggi Patel can sent her Arrest-o-Bots round with 14lb hammers ;)

The 'ole was there long before the hardware, BTW.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 23 September, 2020, 05:15:59 pm
I hope not, in case she sees what's going on under our bathroom floor.  Fortunately, the non-compliant wire-stuffing is well protected by spiders.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: ian on 23 September, 2020, 05:20:52 pm
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.

I wonder what the max distance it can cover is? The Sonos mesh I have can reach the shed some 30m away down the garden. It would be perfect if the Deco could do the same, and I could retire the powerline adaptors.

I only tried briefly, but I didn't have much luck with the Sonos using the mesh (admittedly, this was 20 minutes of research). It could have been down to the powerline adaptor which they don't recommend. It's all very timing signal sensitive.

For that matter I didn't have much luck with Sonos as its own mesh either. It currently lives on a Boost (it's own wireless network) for now (I still can't get all the speakers simultaneously, but other than for educational value, I don't really need that and I got bored jigging things around).

Sonos doesn't always like extenders (it did work with the Deco M5, but wasn't especially stable). Note that Sonos only uses 2.4 GHz.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Diver300 on 23 September, 2020, 07:22:23 pm
The rules about mains and low cables sharing conduit or holes is for safety. All the cables should be rated to the highest voltage present. Having mains appear on an ethernet plug can spoil your day.

If cables are pulled through conduit or holes, one can give a friction burn to the other. A sharp object could pierce both cables.

One house I owned had a live skirting board nail for a decade or so due to a nail going through into a hole which contained five 2.5 mm2 T&E cables. It wasn't found until I needed to move some of the T&E cables, but then people don't go around touching skirting board nails very often. Had it contacted a low voltage cable, that could have made something else live.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: sojournermike on 23 September, 2020, 10:27:03 pm
We once stayed in a house in France that had a live wall - our parents, for I was a wee one at the time, spent a long weekend keeping us on the other side of the kitchen. There were also electrical storms outside I believe.

The electricians came on the Monday and made the problem go away.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Wowbagger on 28 July, 2021, 11:53:40 am
I have an ongoing dispute with Virgin. Unfortunately they are the only show in town as far as I'm concerned, even though there's a "Citifibre" cable going past my front gate. The connection is fine, but I was paying too much for it (£88 a month for 250Mb, some TV package that we never use, and free calls of up to an hour in duration). I wanted to ditch the TV and change the phone to VOIP. Virgin don't do VOIP. I decided to go for one of their "Oomph" packages - 350Mb straight with no TV or phone line for £56. Then the retention team got involved and offered me what I had before for £44. They sent me a contract tying me in until Jan 2022 but are buggering me about with charges, and when I have a look at my account, they still haven't got it right.

I had a look at Andrews & Arnold but they reckoned the fastest connection they could offer me was 9Mb.

My dispute with Virgin celebrated its first birthday yesterday.

Actually, that's not quite true. The contract they have failed to honour celebrated its first birthday yesterday. The dispute is slightly less advanced in age, but it's old enough for them to have been referred to the "ombudsperson" (cisas@cedr.com), to have been found at fault, to have written to me accepting that they are at fault, and to have done nothing in the intervening 5 weeks to rectify the faults.

In a nutshell, my contract states that for £44 a month, I will receive:-

unlimited broadband at 350mb
free mobile phone sim with unlimited 4G, calls and texts
a landline offering free evening and weekend calls
a TV package that I'm not interested in.

They have failed to connect the landline and, because they have failed to connect the landline, they decided I wasn't sticking to the contract and started charging me for my mobile phone use.

I have never known a company so utterly useless at delivering its core business.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: orienteer on 28 July, 2021, 03:19:29 pm
I was a happy user of Virgin Media (originally Telewest when I started about 20 years ago). Then it was flogged off to Liberty Global, a US company, since when the rate of price increase was exceeded only by the rate of deterioration in the level of service. I eventually gave up when they "lost" my email address for nearly a month.

Seems standard practice for US companies, in order to maximise short term profits.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: woollypigs on 04 August, 2021, 12:28:27 am
Been with SKY for 8 years. Got it because it was the best deal around back then. Have had 1-2 drops of service per year since. One drop because the postman knocked on the door, dog went mental, fell of sofa of pulled the cable out, which damaged the cable and I had to run and get new between meetings.

Area got flooded on 2.4Ghz that WiFi was unusable, even with daily channel hopping. Called up SKY to see what we could do. They said new router with 5Ghz should do, which it did, oh btw you can get fibre for less, so you want it? So our bill, only phone and internet, dropped to about £25 a month. For about 45 down and 5 up.

Oh yes we had some low speed and random drops about 3 years ago and it was a thing in the green box down the hill that was broken, SKY.gave us a free month for that issue.

I've asked them a question online via twitter and it took a week to answer, where they are keen at showing they are on social media they aren't the best with dealing with issues on social media.

Our contract came up in April I called and talked to them and got a new deal £18.50 a month. After I said I've been with you for long and it's silly that new users get better deals and it's cheaper to have a telly option on top of phone and internet.

Same speed as above and plenty for two to stream meetings etc at the same time.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Kim on 04 August, 2021, 12:30:59 am
Been with SKY for 8 years. Got it becyit was the best deal around back then. Have had 1-2 drops of service per year since. One drop because the postman knocked on the door, dog went mental, fell of sofa of pulled the cable out, whic damago the cable and I had to run and get new between meetings.

That sounded like the setup for the old "dog barks before the phone rings" urban legend for a minute.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Wowbagger on 28 September, 2021, 12:48:16 pm
I have an ongoing dispute with Virgin. Unfortunately they are the only show in town as far as I'm concerned, even though there's a "Citifibre" cable going past my front gate. The connection is fine, but I was paying too much for it (£88 a month for 250Mb, some TV package that we never use, and free calls of up to an hour in duration). I wanted to ditch the TV and change the phone to VOIP. Virgin don't do VOIP. I decided to go for one of their "Oomph" packages - 350Mb straight with no TV or phone line for £56. Then the retention team got involved and offered me what I had before for £44. They sent me a contract tying me in until Jan 2022 but are buggering me about with charges, and when I have a look at my account, they still haven't got it right.

I had a look at Andrews & Arnold but they reckoned the fastest connection they could offer me was 9Mb.

My dispute with Virgin celebrated its first birthday yesterday.

Actually, that's not quite true. The contract they have failed to honour celebrated its first birthday yesterday. The dispute is slightly less advanced in age, but it's old enough for them to have been referred to the "ombudsperson" (cisas@cedr.com), to have been found at fault, to have written to me accepting that they are at fault, and to have done nothing in the intervening 5 weeks to rectify the faults.

In a nutshell, my contract states that for £44 a month, I will receive:-

unlimited broadband at 350mb
free mobile phone sim with unlimited 4G, calls and texts
a landline offering free evening and weekend calls
a TV package that I'm not interested in.

They have failed to connect the landline and, because they have failed to connect the landline, they decided I wasn't sticking to the contract and started charging me for my mobile phone use.

I have never known a company so utterly useless at delivering its core business.

This is still dragging on. CEDR seem to be pretty much as useless as Virgin. I can see the dispute ending up in the small claims court.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: TimC on 28 September, 2021, 01:21:53 pm
I've been with BT since forever. I had a number of disputes with them several years ago which resulted in some very low subscriptions. I've been on FTTP since 2016, and now have 300 down/50 up for about £30. The line will currently support 900 down, but at silly money - and I can't (yet) think of any reason to need it. They moved me to VOIP for the landline a few months ago, with a free (and quite good) phone, so the scam callers are at a rather better quality of sound than they once were.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Wowbagger on 28 September, 2021, 01:44:27 pm
I've been with BT since forever. I had a number of disputes with them several years ago which resulted in some very low subscriptions. I've been on FTTP since 2016, and now have 300 down/50 up for about £30. The line will currently support 900 down, but at silly money - and I can't (yet) think of any reason to need it. They moved me to VOIP for the landline a few months ago, with a free (and quite good) phone, so the scam callers are at a rather better quality of sound than they once were.

A move to BT would reduce my bandwidth to something derisory, according to Andrews & Arnold, else I would be there like a shot.

Edit: I just checked.

Quote
New Home::1 ADSL up to 11.5Mb/s
ADSL service with forecast download sync speed of 6.7-11.5Mb/s from £35/month for 500GB/month, including line rental
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: lissotriton on 28 September, 2021, 04:04:10 pm
Have you checked Cityfibre? It is available from Vodafone Gigafast.
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Wowbagger on 05 October, 2021, 02:48:03 pm
Have you checked Cityfibre? It is available from Vodafone Gigafast.

Not available to us yet, despite a cable being laid 2 years ago which meant that we could not get into the house.

My latest entry into the ongoing dispute:

Quote
I telephoned CEDR again this morning to find out why the case had - yet again - been closed. Again, I had not been consulted. I was quite dissatisfied with the conversation and the person I spoke to was quite rude.

The current financial situation is that Virgin have charged me £26 for my mobile phone for four consecutive months (1st July, 2nd August, 31st August, 1st October), a total of £104. For my television, internet and landline account, as mentioned previously I was charged £62.12 on 23rd September and for the next bill, Virgin have projected a charge of £47.35. This is a total of £108.47, an overcharge of £20.47.

So Virgin currently owe me £124.47. Please ensure that they refund this money to my account forthwith.

Virgin need to link my mobile to the main Virgin Media account so that my SIM is included within the £44 that I am supposed to be charged each month. I have forgotten how many times I have had to repeat this request.

This brings us to Virgin’s non-compliance with the contract that they and I agreed on 27th July 2020, and CISAS’s dealing with this. CISAS describes itself as a “Disputes Resolution Service”. Yet according to Zak Lutaya, the person I spoke to this morning, your modus operandi is to set a “legally binding” demand to Virgin with a deadline, and when that deadline expires, you assume, without checking with either Virgin or myself, that they have complied with your demand and close the case. Virgin, of course, ignore you and you then raise another “legally binding” demand and close the case when the deadline expires.

As I pointed out to Mr. Lutaya, these demands are not legally binding if there is no sanction for non-compliance. Your “disputes resolution service” is no such thing when you do not treat the two parties equally: you are not resolving this dispute - you are putting the entire onus upon me to continue to chivvy Virgin via yourselves.

I now put you on notice that if, in a fortnight’s time, i.e. 19th October 2021, this dispute is not fully resolved to my satisfaction, I shall be taking it to the small claims court for compensation and I will be reporting CEDR to Trading Standards because you are not a “disputes resolution service” at all. You are merely a toothless buffer, an extra layer of bureaucracy between the dissatisfied customer and a grossly incompetent and inefficient company.

Yours faithfully,
Title: Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
Post by: Morat on 05 October, 2021, 10:09:07 pm
The rules about mains and low cables sharing conduit or holes is for safety. All the cables should be rated to the highest voltage present. Having mains appear on an ethernet plug can spoil your day.

If cables are pulled through conduit or holes, one can give a friction burn to the other. A sharp object could pierce both cables.

One house I owned had a live skirting board nail for a decade or so due to a nail going through into a hole which contained five 2.5 mm2 T&E cables. It wasn't found until I needed to move some of the T&E cables, but then people don't go around touching skirting board nails very often. Had it contacted a low voltage cable, that could have made something else live.
Hmmm, that probably explains why our electrical contractors at work keep referring to fibre as "low voltage" and seem to think that putting Cat-6 in a plastic conduit makes it OK to run it next to a 60A power cable.

If you absolutely can't avoid running power and ethernet together, you can use shielded cable/patch panels/modules. They're more expensive and fiddly but the cost might be worth it if the cable runs are horrible.