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What's involved in an install if you have FTTP already?

Tuning in

Hello all!

I've just ordered the VOLT Ultimate Package but can't find details on the install process. I currently have BT 900Mbps fibre to the premises which I am happy with but it's just a bit expensive once you factor in the TV costs etc. My fibre comes to the front door where the original copper wire terminated but during the BT fibre install they extended it to the living room by lifting some monobloc and drilling a new hole. The virgin media phone support told me that the install would be straightforward as they "use the same cable" but I thought VM used DOCSIS3.1 and mixed copper coax/fibre and would need a fresh connection run to the house. I'm in Edinburgh (Area 11) if that helps.

So I have a 3 part question:

1. Will I need a second cable run around the house and drilled through the wall to terminate where the current BT fibre does or can VM use Openreach infrastructure at all? (added info, the cable to my property is purely fibre and not any of the hybrid fibre/copper types.)

2. How will the 1130/52 compare stability wise with the (absolutely rock sold) BT 920/110 I got through OpenReach

3. Is there any room at all to increase the upload speed (e.g. I saw something in a forum about the DOCSIS3.1 standard being updated to allow doubling of upload)?

Thanks in advance for any info...


  1. Yes, a new coaxial cable will need to be run through your house to wherever you want the VM router
  2. Worse in every metric
  3. No

Alessandro Volta

If you are in an FTTP area VM will use Openreach's poles or ducts in a small percentage of cases, otherwise VM will get its fibre or coaxial cable to your home using their own ducts. Regardless of what kind of cable it is, VM will terminate it at an omni box, normally coloured brown or grey, on the outside of the exterior wall. If you get fibre there will have to be a socket inside the premises to power the ONT inside the omni box.

For the avoidance of doubt: VM does not use any of Openreach's cables or equipment (bar the above-mentioned poles or ducts).

The speeds are dependant on what you subscribe to. Here is the top Gig1:

Download Speeds
Advertised Speed: 1130 Mbps
Expected Speed Range: 1089 - 1139 Mbps
Minimum Guaranteed Download Speed: 565 Mbps

Upload Speeds
Advertised Speed: 52 Mbps
Expected Speed Range: 46 - 52 Mbps

Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM broadband connection

Alessandro Volta

@fancyDan Take some time to peruse this forum (notable the "Quickstart, setup and connections" and "Managing your account - cable"), read Ofcom's complaints data, and Trustpilot, read what people are saying (ignoring any "invited reviews") form a balanced opinion.  These are of course the horror stories of when things go wrong, not those when everything worked perfectly but as the Ofcom data shows, they go wrong two or three times as frequently with VM. 

When VM works it's OK, speeds are good.  But DOCSIS technology is inferior to Openreach FTTP, and when things go wrong you might conclude that VM's customer services were designed by people kicked out of the Saudi secret police for cruelty and brutality.    

By all means, if it's the service for you, commit to an 18 month term, just do your research before being seduced by slick marketing and cheap new customer pricing.  


And whatever you do, do not cancel your BT service until the Virgin Media one is physically installed and working. A month of overlap is a far better inconvenience to be left with than several weeks of no connection at all.

  • Thanks Jonny-M

sorry if I’m being dense here as new to using support forums but just for some clarification please:

1. Having seen the guys in the street recently I’m assuming I’ll get FTTP with RFoG and a micronode in my omnibox. Given that the micronode is powered, is it likely that they’ll duplicate my OpenReach PON setup locations with the exception that the micronode will be outside the house rather than the inside OR ONT placement i.e. run the VM fibre parallel to the current OR fibre to the entry point and take power from the double socket which is used for the ONT and pass coax through the wall for the TV box and router?

2. Thanks for the heads up - does having RFoG and only a very short length of coax (<1m) from the micronode to the router help with this or is it just as bad as those with coax from the cabinet?

3. Is that a “No it’s not possible” or “No, it’s technically possible but VM just won’t do it” - I seem to recall they did a DOCSIS3.1 demonstration recently with >2Gbps down and >200Mbps up. 

thanks again!

First point is right, the RFoG to DOCSIS conversion happens outside the house. 

RFoG is better than HFC but you still have the latencies inherent in DOCSIS and of course the cable modem hardware and customer support is the same regardless of the physical cable type. It’s very clunky converting from fibre to DOCSIS and then to Ethernet but that’s how it will be until the PON overlay happens in the future. 

VM could increase the upload in the future, I thought the question was being asked in a “can I ask VM to take 100Mbps off my download and add it to my upload” way, which isn’t possible. They only offer the packages they offer, which are heavily asymmetric and will likely remain that way for a long time. 

@fancyDan I seem to recall they did a DOCSIS3.1 demonstration recently with >2Gbps down and >200Mbps up. 

They've already gone beyond demonstrations and are field trialling this in several cities, and judging by recent practice these will be unexpected and unannounced upgrades for some customer's lines, where those customers don't know they're guinea pigs in this way.  I'd guess that the marketing dweebs who are in charge of VM are screaming to get 2 Gbps commercially ready, and might be launched later this year, assuming that it doesn't cause unexpected problems.  Part of the problem is that VM will only do this when they judge it has a commercial benefit to them, likely meaning higher prices.  You might need the upload enough to pay more, VM are looking at the market and wondering at what point a large enough group of people will be similarly willing.  Something else to bear in mind is that VM's marketing-led business has a bad track record of launching products and services one-two years before they've ironed out the teething troubles, so I'd be surprised if they could commercially launch 2 Gbps without testing the boundaries of early adopter patience.  Chances are that in addition to assuring network performance, they need to finish the Hub 5 which still doesn't support 1 Gbps in routine service, doesn't work with VM's wifi pods, and has a range of other minor glitches.

Thanks @Andrew-G, (hope I’ve “at-ed” you correctly) I’ve pressed the thumbs up buttons which I’m assuming gives you the appropriate feedback for helpfulness. If there’s another ‘kudos’ thing I can do let me know. All input very much appreciated.

I’ll see how VM goes and definitely keep my BT going for now.

It’s puzzling to me why they persist with DOCSIS for new roll outs in an era of fully optical networks (I’m in a new build estate). Surely the £60 per capita DOCSIS4 cost is a false economy compared to the £100 pc PON cost since they’ll definitely lose out as soon as consumers become more aware of the DOCSIS limitations. 

Even setting me up with RFoG means that they’ll still have to come back to the property at some stage and put fibre through my wall (unless the coax cable they use is combined?)

Is there a reason they keep the micronode external in the omnibox rather than terminating the fibre internally and having the micronode like an ONT? It just makes more sense to me having it mirror the PON setup so that it could be swapped out later with zero drilling. 

I’m set up for fibre to the computer (my home is wired throughout with Cat7, OM4, and OS2) so it seems really weird to go:

FTTP-RFoG -> DOCSIS -> Coax -> Router -> Ethernet -> Ethernet to fibre converter -> Fibre NIC -> Computer

when I can have fibre right to the computer with a PON provider. 

Still, worth a punt with bills rising so much! Hope I don’t live to regret moving to VM…


Thanks again all!

Fibre to the computer! You can't even get fibre to the router. Fibre always terminates at the ONT.

Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG108S 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM broadband connection