back to article Virgin Media to trial IPTV off-cable network

Virgin Media will trial delivering its TV and broadband services via copper phone lines as part of plans to expand its footprint beyond the cable network laid in the 1990s. The firm will run a small trial in Cornwall in partnership with fibre optics firm Vtesse Networks this winter. Residents of Higher Pill, in Saltash, and …

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Bypassing the exchanges?

would I be right in saying that this would mean that virgin would be getting around the problem of people living too far away from their nearest telephone exchange to get a high speed connection by installing local wiring cabinets in place of exchanges? Effectively putting miniature exchanges on people's streets.

Sounds like a good idea. Hopefully this will kick BT into touch.

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Anonymous Coward

It wont work...

If it would work then why the hell are BT only just offering upto 20Mb services? Surely if it's possible for someone to go **BAM** 50Mb over copper lines then they would have done it. After all the current exchange links arn't exactly slow...Of course if it does work BT are fucked.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It wont work...

"If it would work then why the hell are BT only just offering upto 20Mb services?"

BT don't have fibre to the cabinet (except current trial in Muswell Hill and Cardiff). When it does it's planning to start by offering up to 40Mbit/s.

@PerfectBlue

For the trial they are using the nearest BT exchange, but will be shortening the sub-loop to the cabinet. Plans for any wider deployment aren't decided.

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Go

Lidl

So that's what Babcock Networks and VM were doing in the cabinet outside Lidl Saltash on Friday.

Good news as I can only get 1Mb from the BT line.

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RE: It won't work

"For the trial they are using the nearest BT exchange, but will be shortening the sub-loop by installing their own cabinet. Plans for any wider deployment aren't decided."

Will they be installing their own cabinet or using BT's existing cabinets (don't know if it's already an option, but ISPs are definitely able to do it in 21CN)?

Though it sounds like, if they're doing this, they are pretty much are laying new fibre, and thus doing what they've done already. It would surely make more sense from a cost-saving point of view to become an LLU operator.

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BT - Can we remove the word British and replace with City....

So BT are only interested in cities with a high return on money - Well thats just great doesn't privitisation work... I have always been of the opinion that BT droppped not just the ball but a whole bucket full of balls over the past few years - I mean come off it South Korea has 100Mbit/s. I find it awful they are just not interested in a very large percentage of the population who have no desire to live in cities. BT where London matters and the rest of you can fuck off... Great business model guys.

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Clever choice

It's a clever choice of location - a very rural area with not very great broadband (5km loop), within spitting distance (across the Tamar) from a biggish city (Plymouth) where VM already have cable broadband plant.

I'm not sure about the "Cornwall has lots of transatlantic cables" angle, though. I've helped out with broadband strategy here for a few years and it's always an appealing thought that we could just bend a fibre and tap in, but when you dig into it (hopefully not literally), all that lovely bandwidth is just not at the right level - it's all multiplexed link-level bits that go upcountry to be switched and then make their rather slow way back down again.

But there are much bigger EU-funded things happening in broadband in Cornwall just around the corner - watch this space (or IPTV channel).

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Reality check Everyone

How weird is this. We need a reality check people. Virgin are only interest in high density areas. Always have been and never will alter from that path. BT provides a national service because we, the people, built the infrastructure prio to BT's existance as a private company.

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@Hugo Rune (the man himself)

Off topic but.....great user name :-)

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Boffin

"Cornwall has lots of transatlantic cables"

I'm glad someone else has noticed that's largely irrelevant.

It's a bit like saying that because there's a 400kV power line at the end of the street, consequently the street can all get cheap 440V three phase electrickery.

As the man on the TV says, "It doesn't work like that.".

Anyway, we know what's connecting these cabs to the end users (shortish lengths of classical telephone wiring) but what's *really* connecting these cabs to their upstream connectivity? In the absence of that info, there's a piece of this picture missing.

It's about as useful as having fibre to the cabinet from your premises, and no fibre from the cabinet to the big wide world. Which is pretty much what the alleged FibreCity/H2O Networks rollout in Bournemouth has got at this stage, ie a chocolate teapot.

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Re: "Cornwall has lots of transatlantic cables"

According to the article...

"The cabinets will be linked to Virgin Media backhaul via new fibre laid by Vtesse Networks."

So the cabinets will be linked to the Virgin Media network. It's not a case that there won't be an ISP, Virgin IS the ISP.

Still it's got to be good news, maybe this might mean that Virgin will expand to other areas within reach of their network (I'm thinking Teignmouth and Dawlish in Devon which are slap bang between two Virgin Media networks - Newton Abbot and Exeter). I'm sure there are plenty more areas too which the cable companies missed out when they were cabling up areas in the 90's.

Not to mention, it might be a bit more competition for BT.

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

Tiscali

How is this different to Tiscali's offering of TV over broadband, or is the same?

Tiscali's TV service is pretty good (never rung for customer service so I'm a satisfied customer! :-) ) with good VOD features. Just wish it had more channels.

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@sandtreader

"It's a clever choice of location - a very rural area with not very great broadband (5km loop), within spitting distance (across the Tamar) from a biggish city (Plymouth) where VM already have cable broadband plant."

Higher Pill or Pilmere is a high density housing development built after Telewest, or whoerver it was back then, cabled the rest of Saltash. So not very rural. Hatt on the other hand is an Esso Garage and some sheep.

"Off topic but.....great user name :-)" Would you like to buy me lunch?

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Unhappy

Cable needs paying for?

It's already been paid for by the investors who were wiped out by the bank's debt-for-equity swaps that were used to keep NTL afloat. So VM doesn't actually have the vast cost of the cable network on its books, AIUI.

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Anonymous Coward

"The cabinets will be linked to Virgin Media backhaul via new fibre laid by Vtesse Networks"

@AC 15:13 (me)

"The cabinets will be linked to Virgin Media backhaul via new fibre laid by Vtesse Networks"

http://www.vtesse.com/whats-new.asp?news=20

I'll get me coat. It's where me spectacles are, the ones that I should have been wearing.

Thank you and goodnight.

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and in exchange

virgin open the cable to other providers?

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Happy

oo???

Corn-orn-orn-wall?

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