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Esme
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Message 1 of 12
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'New installation' but old cable?

I'm new to cable, and when two men turned up yesterday,unfortunately just as I was leaving, to say they'd be installing my connection 'up to the house front', and actually explained how they'd be running cable along the ground under my hedge in an armoured covering, that's what I expected (and still expect) to see when I got home hours later.

They pointed out that the house must have had a previous (NTL, they said) cable connection before my time (news to me), since the cable and the box (very battered) were still clinging, covered in cobwebs, dust and scraps of dried-up vegetation, to the wall.

As I drove away, they were indeed feeding miles of thick round black cable down under the pavement to get to the cabinet 60 or 70 meters away.

But when I got home, no new cable had been fitted from the pavement hole to my house at all (I inspected this very carefully).

Very disappointed with this, even before installation IN the house takes place on 14 Dec. Reason for using Virgin was that it's the only way, as far as I know, to get guaranteed 'FTTP', shiny new high-tech. cable as advertised by Virgin, right into the house. Ten- or fifteen-year-old cable will always leave me wondering. In fact I'm even considering cancelling unless it's replaced before in-house installation (and I'm now wondering how well THAT'S going to go).

Thanks

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Superuser
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Message 2 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

Firstly, what has been installed is high grade coax cable, not fibre. Excluding newly commissioned areas, all Virgin connections are HFC network (Hybrid Fibre Coax). Fibre goes to an optical node in a large street cabinet, which is then converted to RF over coax to feed between 500 - 2000 customers. So it is similar to FTTC (Fibre To Cabinet)

The repull team that visited have done their job, which is to pull the cable through the duct & coil it up on your boundry. It is now the job of the install contractor to hook up your Virgin kit, & make any alterations to cabling internally/externally to the house. By the way, all my cabling has been in use since 1993, & there are no performance issues with my 100Mb broadband.

su1718.jpgCable customer since 1993. Services: FH TV, Sky Sports & Movies (2xV6), Talk Anytime Phone, VIVID 350, Virgin PAYG Mobile

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Esme
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Message 3 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

Thanks for such a swift reply.

I didn't know about the first bit at all, which is a disappointing but I suppose no worse than the situation with any broadband service over BT's network, outside a tiny number of places with full FTTP (or so I've read, but it seems I've been wrong before...). At the moment my download speed is a mere 7 to 8 Mbps, so at least there's a lot of room for improvement, even with the basic level I'm buying from Virgin (just broadband and phone too).

Regarding the cabling, you seem to be implying that the next person/team turning up will be replacing the ancient bit of cable I've referred to, from the pavement to my house. Or are you?

If not, I can't see the logic of running new cable, from the pavement access hole outside my house, a very long way along the street to the cabinet, but no new cable from the pavement hole actually up to my house, an extra distance of a mere 5 meters or so. If there's an old run of cable from house to pavement, why wouldn't there be an old run all the way to the cabinet? Why replace some and not all, especially not the only bit I can actually see. Bad psychology in there.

On a different sort of point, I'm not sure I'd agree that someone who says one thing to the customer's face and does another thing - or rather nothing - behind their back is really 'doing their job'. What I said in my first post about what they said they'd do (run new cable along under the hedge etc.) is what they said they'd do - unless I misunderstood and, as above, you're implying the next stage of installation will take care of it. Since mixing it with my (inherited) monster boundary hedge is mucky work, I somehow doubt it.

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Sephiroth
Alessandro Volta
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Message 4 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

It's pretty much as Noddie has described. Detail varies from area to area (because of past franchises doing things differently from one another). In my area, also going back to around 1993, they cable to a drop point outside the house close to the boundary but on the public walkway. Then they tap off the drop point up to the house wall; initially they will have put their drop cable into green armoured sheathing and dug a trench for it.

The put what's called an "Omnibox" on your outside wall, drill through to the inside and put an interior box there (it should still be there).

Now this is where you might need to take a look. Do examine the ouside box and the interior if possible. If everything in there is nice and shiny and dry, no worries with the original coax to your house. If there are signs of oxidation, make them resplice, put in a new splitter so that the signal will not suffer from microreflections or any other impairment.

Do keep us posted on how your story unfolds.


Seph - ( DEFROCKED - My advice is at your risk)

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Esme
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Message 5 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

Many thanks for your response.

As per my original post, the old cable from pavement to house has been exposed to the elements for years, the case cover lying somewhere I can barely reach. The box/cable area is cobwebbed, dusty and generally not looking like anything you'd want to be paying to use any more.

There's nothing on the inside of the wall except two inches of protruding round white cable, simply cut off.

The replies haven't answered why the first team put new cable under the pavement but none up to my house front, or whether the next team will be doing that. Why replace what's under the pavement but not what's just below the surface of my front area?

I'm not sure how I would be supposed to 'make' anyone coming here to do/complete the installation do anything, let alone things I don't understand myself. And while I might be interested in letting forum users know how the story unfolds, actually what I'd like is for Virgin to sort this out, or put my mind at rest about this installation.

Thanks again.

 

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Superuser
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Message 6 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

As per my first post:

"The repull team that visited have done their job, which is to pull the cable through the duct & coil it up on your boundry. It is now the job of the install contractor to hook up your Virgin kit, & make any alterations to cabling internally/externally to the house."

The 2 man repull contractors have done what they are paid to do. The rest of the job can be done by single install contractor, & will be. With what you have described inside the house, all the old cabling will be replaced anyway.

su1718.jpgCable customer since 1993. Services: FH TV, Sky Sports & Movies (2xV6), Talk Anytime Phone, VIVID 350, Virgin PAYG Mobile

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Sephiroth
Alessandro Volta
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Message 7 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

The VM bods take about a week to get to a thread. I hope they follow this through for you with the right parties within VM.

Seph - ( DEFROCKED - My advice is at your risk)

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EightBall
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Message 8 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

If they have run a new cable from the street cabinet or footway chamber, I would be very surprised if they had stopped exactly at the boundary without at least leaving enough to be run to your omnibus and buried when the install technician turns up to do the internals.

Was there already ducting in place before the repull team turned up? If so, they will probably have used the existing ducting already buried under your hedge.

If not, they may have spliced it into the existing cable that is already under there. If they've done this - you should be able to see what looks like a freshly dug piece of dirt near the boundary.

Even if that is the case, the good news is that the actual coax cable itself is very sturdy and unless it has been physically damaged - having old cabling won't be an issue. The only part of the cabling that is particularly vulnerable is where it has been connected, i.e your omni box. So long as the connectors in the omnibox are replaced, you shouldn't see any problems with performance whatsoever.

Just as an additional bit of information: Virgin Media's coax cable which runs from the cab to your house is quad shielded which means there is a lot of available bandwidth. Openreach's FTTC uses twister paid copper will allow for speeds of roughly 70Mbps down. The top speed offered over copper by Virgin Media is 300Mbps.

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Forum Team
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Message 9 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

Hi Esme, 

 

Thanks for your post and apologies to hear things weren't left as you thought they would be. 

 

Checking the account I can see that since posting, the installation went ahead and you are all active now. Are you having any issues at all?

 

The engineers will only replace the cable that's damaged so if they didn't replace the cable going to your house this must mean it was OK to use. Smiley Happy

 

Let us know how your install went Smiley Happy

 

Thanks,

Kath_F
Forum Team

Tech fan? Have you read our Digital life blog yet? Check it out



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Esme
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Message 10 of 12
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Re: 'New installation' but old cable?

You are right that the installer has been, and that the broadband and phone are working.

However, the installer himself was in no doubt whatsoever that the earlier team had NOT done their job completely (as some on this string seem to claim). They had run new cable along under the pavement a good distance from outside my property line to the local cabinet, but they had not continued the run up to my property itself, as they should have done (this was the installer's own assessment, and he should know). He said, in some exasperation, that sometimes they leave enough cable coiled up in a manhole somewhere, and in fact this is what they had done. The installer was able to haul enough cable down the pavement conduit to reach my house wall. There, he went about making a temporary connection (just two ends of cable joined with a coax plug as far as I can see). He didn't even bother suggesting that the old NTL cable was fit for purpose; and the outside wall box doesn't even have a cover, so clearly that needs replacing too. He found the old cable leading up to my house to have been cut off just inside the pavement duct cover in any case. His explanation as to why the first team might have left the job in this unfinished state was no more complimentary than my own.

So the nice new cable that should have been laid - and armoured - along under my hedge is now just thrown down any old how along my flower bed, and at the house end a mess of wires is just suspended in the air. No wall box. The installer did of course finish off all the other work he could do, such as running the cable into the house and wall-mounting and wiring up the internal white boxes, and getting the connections going. But no outside box has yet been fitted and, as I say, the new cable is lying round in a wholly unacceptable state.

The installer telephoned someone (his team leader) in my presence to report that the first team hadn't finished their job, and reported back to me that he'd been told a team would be round to my house that day (14 Dec.) or the next to complete the outside installation.

They still haven't turned up. I was about to get on the phone to complain to Virgin when your message came through. Naturally I hope you can do something to get this installation properly completed, using (and I stress this) the new cable through the service is now running.

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