As a long time virgin media customer (i am still technically waiting for my area to come out of "Being Planned" stage for 100mb) i have 50mbit off VM, which, for the bulk of it, is great
I am an "above average" user, in regards to my actuall internet usage, I watch a lot of live tv, iplayer, etc etc and i tend to rdp from work into my home machine to continue doing whatever im doing (mainly because it gets around work firewalls)
However, after spending a lot of time reading these forums, i can see that well.... these superhubs stink, and well... They dont fit in with my home network as it stands at the moment.
Example, I do not use any VM Provided Equipment (outside of the initial modem) I have enterprise-class (hey i got them free from work, why not use them) routers, and have laid out my home network exactly as I like it.
My question stands, the superhub is more then I really need/want it to be, I am actually really happy with the fact i have a seperate modem to my router, mainly due to the fact of the old days when you could get the VHS/DVD Combi TV's (if one fails, it all fails, and I have seen this happen so much by reading these forums) but I digress....
So.... Ive read somewhere that the 100mb package, is only supported by the superhub, is there actually a technical reason for this, since 50mbit modem I have is fully DOCSIS3 capable, or just because VM want to annoy people, and switch to another service provider? (since, minus setup fee, I can have a fully dedicated 100/100 line, for less then £2/mbit)
I think the idea behind moving everyone to a SuperHub is to simplify support by ensuring everyone is on a common hardware base. It must also surely be cheaper to supply 1 piece of equipment than 2.
I've had my SuperHub installed this morning and it's actually not dreadful. It fair insists on sitting on 192.168.0.x, which meant a bit of mucking about with my particular config (I have a Windows server doing servery things on my home net).
It also balked at my Xbox when using it as a media center.
Once the built-in firewall is disabled, performance is very good.
I would also prefer the ability to have a pass-through mode, but this is rumoured to be happening in May anyway.
I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about the SuperHub thing. You can't blame VM for doing it. The majority of customers will be much better off. It's only odd-balls like us with strange and frightening configurations who will encounter any frustration.
Its not so much of a problem to me, I would just rather I didn't have one, since I find it strange to go from a router > router in 1 cable (another reason why i like it seperate)
But, surely, its cheaper for VM to just allow me to use my "already exising" equipment, that I had to pay installation to, for the engineer to go "wow, you got some cool stuff where the modem is" then proceed to ask me what it all was.
Since im not paying for another installation fee, for some guy to come round and insert 2 cables into a device, then make a phone call, and job done, I can do that myself, I have already had to rewire inside my house to fix up their rubbish job the first time (yeah, I moved it all about in the process) so I dont see why I should have to pay for them to mess it all up again :-)
On the face of it, you would think it would be cheaper. However, dealing with one-off customer configurations means that VM's back-office procedures need to allow for it, which introduces a cost. These costs are usually fairly high.
There is perhaps some scope to provide pro-sumer broadband packages, but this again needs a whole heap of setting up of procedures, offers, pricing of the packages, marketing, support... not an easy task.
For me, the perfect product would be an 'XXXL Pro' service where I'm supplied with a basic cable modem with just one gigabit ethernet port, no phone tech support (or the support line is 50p/min, or I pay a set fee which allows a set number of support 'incidents') and I have to provide and configure my own router. I'd expect a few quid discount compared to the consumer-level service.