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Networks Virgin Media

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by wyx087, 17 Dec 2019.

  1. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    How are Virgin Media fibre these days?
    What's it like switching from FTTC to Virgin Media fibre? Any downtime or is it seemless like switching gas/electric suppliers?


    I had Virgin fibre back in 2010-2012, it was a horrible experience. The speed would drop half way through the evening unless I stop all downloads at something like 5pm. Customer service even had trouble understanding my query because I didn't have phone line and called from my mobile.

    Since 2014, I've been with Zen on Openreach FTTC. I've never had a single problem and enjoy using the FTTC modem with my own router. Though it's quite expensive.......

    Now, I understand Virgin Media router can be set to Modem mode. Fibre-only packages are more common so less problem with customer services. VM have also removed traffic management on their top tier products.

    I run home server and home automation, so uplink reliability is more important than headline download speed. Their 350Mbps product said to give 21Mbps upload speed, faster than my FTTC. But question is, is it reliable 20 Mbps all the time?
     
  2. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    I have the 350Mb vivid bundle and I get about 37Mb up and it's pretty damn solid. No complaints from me.
     
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  3. Votick

    Votick My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    I'm on the Voom 500 plan but with Virgin Business which seems to net me some slightly prioritized traffic & higher SLA.
    It's been rock solid since going in and even kept running while others on the street seemed to have issues (its all the same cabling so presumably a routing issue).
    I also love that I actually net around 560Mbps down very handy for quick Steam updates.
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2019
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I love that my entire downstream bandwidth (65-62Mb/s ish via VDSL) is equal to your rounding error...
     
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  5. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    It still isn't. It's FTTC like every other xDSL barring a handful of legacy installs. Only difference is the last few hundred metres of copper is coax rather than twisted pair.
    Can still happen. VM use DOCSIS which means every household on the Coax loop shares that loop's bandwidth, so if everyone decides to go stream at the same time there's only so much bandwidth to go around. FTTC also has contention (the shared fibre uplink(s) in the cabinet), but it's easier to run a single extra uplink to the cabinet for everyone to share (or energise a dark fibre) than to split the Coax loop into two loops by digging up the street and installing a new cabinet.

    Big pain in the arse with VM is that utterly $#|!£ "Superhub 3" you're lumbered with. You cannot replace it with your own DOCSIS3 MODEM, and even in MODEM mode it's still affected by the Puma 6 chipset issue that injects random packet latency and jitter into the link. Firmware updates have papered over the most glaring DNS symptoms (multi-second delay for site loading), but it's still much worse than the link should be.
     
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  6. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I wasn't aware of the issues with the VM hub but those issues explain a lot of what I could have sworn i could feel while gaming or browsing at times but put it down to the server. Maybe i should check the firmware. 2020 Is the year of the home upgrade. I'm on virgin media and am fine although not on fibre if that helps at all. Their support is naff but just complain on social media and it gets sorted pretty quick.
     
  7. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Thanks @Jeff Hine I was looking at the bundles today and noticed that the 500 package is available, will give'em a call!
     
  8. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    The stupidhub is the bane of my internet using life...
     
  9. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Sorry, I meant legacy DSL installs (where so few people are on a cabinet that is so far out of the way that the shared line back to the exchange is not fibre but still twisted pair).
     
  10. Broadwater06

    Broadwater06 Member

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    I have 350 as well. Used to have fair amount of problems with connection sometimes for hours but it has been solid for a while now. They used to be infamous on traffic management and throttling, they scrapped it now however brexit may bring back the bad habits again.
     
  11. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Thank you all.

    Doesn't sound promising...... the quickest I see is M350 for my home address. If it says average upload 21 Mbps but some are reporting 30 Mbps, there must be people on 10 Mbps. Or even worse, upload speed and latency goes up and down depending on what neighbours are doing.

    Looks like I'll stick with my 50 Mbps Zen FTTC. :( It's expensive and slow by comparison, but it's been flawless for the last 5+ years, rock solid 12 Mbps upload speed whenever I looked at it.

    Thanks for the insightful information.

    :idea: Sounds like I need to scout out my neighbours during Christmas get-together and make sure most of them are not on VM
     
  12. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Most people can't be arsed to rename their wifi, so just walk around the neighbourhood with your phone out to see if Openreach or VM is more popular.
     
  13. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    I recently got the 1Gb connection from VM and it's rock solid.

    They have spent quite abit of money fixing issues in the area where I live and upgrading it to offer the 1Gb.

    The network is Fibre from the Hub site to the "DN" Cab, then it will depend on where they are up to in the upgrade schedule as to whether the connection from the "DN" to the "A" cab is Coax or Fibre.

    If the area you live in is 500Mb or 1Gb ready then it will be Fibre all the way to the "A" cab as they have been changing the AMPS out for Fibre AMPS instead of COAX AMPS.

    Download speed wise, it will vary but it mainly depends on how many devices are downloading at the same time but mostly I get just over 1Gb.

    Upload speed on the 350Mb/500Mb I got a solid 25Mb upload speed at all times and now on the 1Gb I get a solid 50Mb upload.

    This is in a house with more than 5 modems in it and 3 V6 boxes and the street I live on has 2 cabinets in it, and nearly every house has VM and we have not had issues with our connections for years.

    Latency was an issue till the last update when it was somewhat fixed, and typically ping in games to UK/Europe was anything from 5ms to 60ms.
     
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  14. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Hehe, good point.

    Thanks. It all sounds promising. So if their website doesn't say I can get 500 or 1G, then it will mean my cabinates hasn't been upgraded yet?
     
  15. modd1uk

    modd1uk Well-Known Member

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    Same ^
     
  16. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    VM's 1GBps is a mix of two technologies: some locations have fibre-to-the-premesis, others are DOCIS 3.1 (shared coax loop, which VM cheekily calls 'hybrid fibre coax' as if everyone else wasn't also using fibre backhaul).
     
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  17. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    If that is all that's showing then it's not been upgraded yet, but the 350/20Mb will still be decent.

    My advise would be speak to people in around where you live to see how they get on with it, if you are thinking of signing up.

    Yeah the mix of network types is annoying in terms of connectivity but they all use Docsis 3.1.

    The Coax though is more than enough for up 2.5Gb, no reason for Fibre unless it's new build.

    The only thing I want them to finally do is offer 1:1 on the broadband since Docsis 3.1 is capable of it over Fibre or Coax, and seeing as most people who on Coax are less than 200m from the nearest cabinet 1:1 should be no issues as long as the AMPS are up to scratch and the connectors on the cable are done properly.
     
  18. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Docsis 3.1 != Docsis 3.1 Full Duplex
     
  19. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    Docsis has iirc always been capable Full Duplex but VM don't want to do it.

    Don't need non-shared lines the current network as it stands can provide 2.5Gb or more on a 1:1 ratio.

    I am not in the loop anymore for what they have planned or what the reason's are behind it these day's but when I did work for them and designed, the residential and business network the main reason was congestion and the amount of frequency channels they could bond to provide the bandwidth.

    The way the network is laid out for most areas is:

    Hub (Exchange), Fibre to a "DN" the big Green cabinets you see which is normally 1 near an estate or group of estates, then either Fibre or Coax to the "BN-100" cabinet which is the smaller cabinet which you normally see at the end of a street or somewhere on the street, then a RG6 (RG11 if over 150m) Siamese cable from the house to the "BN" cabinet.

    When I was designing the residential network, VM were not doing FTTP it was just FTTC but they were running trials for FTTP.

    My house is less than 100m from the cab but I have a RG11 cable because of the amount of hardware in the house, we have multiple modems and V6 boxes and are due to have another modem installed soon.



    As for the whole "won't allow us to use our own modems" it's simply down to security and stopping cloned modems, plus they don't have to deal with idiot's buying a modem that is not compatible and then complaining which is why they don't do, seperate modem and routers anymore.
     
  20. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    i.e. sheer lazyness and incompetence. Plenty of ISPs elsewhere handle user-provided DOCSIS without issue. As do VM parent LibertyGlobal operating DOCSIS deployments in Europe (where MODEM choice is enforced).
     

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