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Powerplay27
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FTTC to FTTP

For anyone who moved from a Sky/ BT FTTC connection to Virgin Media FTTP.

Do you notice a massive improvement when playing video games, I know at times there could be lag/latency, but when things are as good as can be is there a massive difference? 

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Andrew-G
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

When things are good on VM you won't notice the slightly higher and more variable latency that is inevitable on a DOCSIS connection.  If things go wrong you'll soon notice, and discover what a delight VM's customer service is (read customer reviews on Trustpilot or ISPReview).  The good bandwidth of VM is useful, but remember that you only need about 5 Mbps up and down for gaming. 

However, now is probably not the time to move to VM, as there's a rash of network congestion problems that are caused by lockdown that particularly affects VM because of their technology, and when that happens latency goes through the roof, and there's nothing VM can do about that.

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Powerplay27
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

Just got a private message from a member of their sales team, saying how big a difference it will make and that I should move over. I'm considering it not going to lie, just wonder whether the latency I feel on a VM connection will feel worse than it already does on FTTC

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VM-Jon
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

I don’t do gaming myself but I know a lot of people that do and they wouldn’t live in an area that couldn’t have virgin, well that’s what they tell me.

Whilst I work for virgin and you might think that I am biased but I do think we have the best products available. Don’t forget that you’ve got a 14 day cooling off period so you could always try ours alongside your existing service and see what you think. Some of the sales team that support us here have some great deals so maybe give it a try.

 

 


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Andrew-G
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

If VM are PM'ing you claiming that their network is better for gaming, then they're either ignorant of the fundamental technology differences between Openreach VDSL and VM DOCSIS, or they're being untruthful.  VM's greater bandwidth is much better for downloading new games, but for playing them?  No.  As said earlier, when VM's network is working properly you won't notice the difference, but there's no way on earth cable offers better latency than FTTC.

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nodrogd
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

Not to mention that all VM kit runs on a coax connection. Even in the new FTTP areas the fibre converts to coax on the customers front wall. The vast majority of the network is HFC (fibre to node cabinet, then coax to 20+ local distribution cabs).

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Roger_Gooner
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

DOCSIS networks have always been relatively poor with respect to latency - which is not related to bandwidth (usually wrongly called speed). It's not the transit times between coaxial and fibre which are the problem as they account for a mere 0.02 to 0.6 milliseconds of total latency but queueing delay and media acquisition. There is a specification from Cablelabs called Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD) to address this issue but VM cannot implement this until DOCSIS 3.1 has been rolled out (planned for the end of 2021).

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Harvey_H
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

We mainly run coax the very last leg of the journey with FTTP, from the ETB to the Modem. I personally think this is for durability, we already get enough calls from damaged cables, if its a damaged fibre there is a lot more work (equipment) needed to get a new one put in place having to replace entire sections or even all of it instead of repairing thus not being cost effective. People damage or cut our cables more than you think.

And yes Roger is correct in saying about DOCSIS 3.1 allows us to address the latency issue notorious with DOCSIS BBI. However in all honesty I don't personally believe VM will get the entire network everywhere on 3.1 by the end of 2021, this is due to TV services mostly as their needs to be certain filters in place on the exchange side that current TV boxes may not work on.

Not sure if I can say this so mods can delete if so. But all I'll be saying is look out for something exciting with TV possibly in the next year or so, replacing some TV boxes (V6 and below, 360 will remain in service for some time still) and allowing us to much easier upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1 and more easier to implement frequencies to use have OFDM in which I'm pretty sure (could be wrong) theoretically can provide faster BBI speeds than single channel/light wave fibre used within residential fibre applications.


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Roger_Gooner
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Message 9 of 15
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Re: FTTC to FTTP


@Harvey_H wrote:

We mainly run coax the very last leg of the journey with FTTP, from the ETB to the Modem. I personally think this is for durability, we already get enough calls from damaged cables, if its a damaged fibre there is a lot more work (equipment) needed to get a new one put in place having to replace entire sections or even all of it instead of repairing thus not being cost effective. People damage or cut our cables more than you think.


The cable from the ONT to hubs and TV boxes is always coaxial. The whole point of RFoG is leveraging existing investment in things such as provisioning systems, hub sites and CPE (like hubs and TV boxes) whilst gaining the benefits of FTTP. In time RFoG will be replaced, e.g. I expect EPON delivered over Ethernet to routers, but it's a sensible way forward now.

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ToffeeSurprise
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Message 10 of 15
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Re: FTTC to FTTP

In all honesty, if I was purely interested in gaming, I'd go with FTTC over moving to Virgin Media's FTTP. At least for the next few years. And really anyone who can't tell the difference then I'd question how much of a gamer they are. Having moved from a pretty good HFC connection (no overutilisation etc) to FTTP the experience is massively better. I get no jitter, and to European servers have seen a latency reduction of around 50-75%. And no 200ms lag spikes.

Long term, fundamentally there is nothing stopping Virgin Media from creating a network where gaming works well. However, unless there are major philosophy changes in the management, this will never be realised. Instead of waiting until the network breaks, VM are going to need to constantly upgrade to ensure overutilisation is a thing of the past. Given that there have been years of this, I'm not going to expect this to change. A leopard doesn't change its spots after all.

DOCSIS is rubbish for gaming. However if Virgin Media roll out Low Latency DOCSIS then this will significantly improve it, ultimately however the entire HFC network would have to be overbuilt as FTTP RFoG, and then eventually migrated to EPON. This would be a pretty huge amount of work. While Virgin Media's competitors are putting fibre in right now, outside of new areas VM are expanding services off their HFC plant, with a gradual pushing of fibre deeper into the network.

Using RFoG and converting to coax to reuse the CPEs is a good way of reducing short term CapEx since you don't need new equipment, but it creates a much longer term problem by tying Virgin Media into equipment, or requiring costly rework in customer homes. Because the ONT has to convert from RFoG to electrical, and the CPE has to use coax connections this imposes limits because there isn't much hardware that does this. Compare this to a conventional FTTP GPON ONT where it's presented to the customer over Ethernet, and basically any router capable of PPPoE can be used. Swapping ONTs for upgrades is trivial.

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