hello folks- we have recently moved into the area and looking at which internet provider to sign up with. I’ve heard that Virgin are very fast but service is patchy. I’m not sure if the complaints I’ve read are typical or if the people who are happy just don’t bother writing. I’m debating between BT and Virgin Media - we live close to Green Lanes overground- and would love any thoughts. Thanks
Virgin is "fine" - it's expensive but it's also the only way to get really fast speeds unless your building happens to have FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) or FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) or you're really lucky and Hyperoptic ( https://www.hyperoptic.com/ ) are available.
You can check whether you have FTTP or FTTC using https://availability.samknows.com/broadband/broadband_checker
I've been with BT since I moved here and am very happy with the service as I don't need a super fast connection.
Only one BT outage of 5 hours in 10 years. As for Virgin - ermmmm.
P is for premises :) .
Virgin is technically FTTC - they run the connection from the local cabinet into your home over coax cable rather than fibre. If you want the fine detail:
Unless you have some specialist or unusually heavy requirements, they're honestly both likely to be fine speed-wise. In terms of service reliability, I wouldn't read too much into anecdotes you read online - outages are pretty random, and the fact somebody had an issue in the past probably doesn't tell you very much about whether it'll happen again. Also, as you say, people's reports aren't very reliable for a whole host of reasons I won't go into.
To cut a long story short, you're probably fine with either. I'd go with whoever has the best sign-up deal, or other add-ons that appeal to you.
Maybe it depends where you are with Virgin. We’re off St Ann’s Rd, and we’ve had very few problems with them over the last 22 years (from North London Cable through Telewest). The speed and bandwidth are great. There are sometimes 5 of us streaming videos with no problems (we talk to each other occasionally too...).
Virgin certainly offer the fattest fastest speeds, but you may not need that. It depends what you use the internet for.
I've had some issues of reliability with Virgin but they've been sporadic. There was a bad patch a while back. So I looked at the competition. In the end I've stayed with Virgin and, touch wood, all has been okay since. More recently Ofcom judged Virgin very well when assessed by the level of complaints.
Hugh, how much do you guys pay for Virgin? We just got a letter that it's going up from £37 to £58 a month, which is steep!
Wow that is a big increase. What does that cover? The inseparable elements of my bill cover "Mix TV" & 200mb internet for £49.00.
ok thanks. we only got TV and internet. nothing fancy. i am also finding it impossible to reach anyone from customer services. you don't happen to have any contact details by any chance?
BT.open reach. They are the masters and control most of the lines. You could be on virgin and if a problem arises a BT open reach engineer will come sort it, after the so called virgin engineers cant. It seems to me that Virgin and other suppliers don't have telecommunication engineers, only installers!. Fibre optic cables are normally only run to the cabinet on the street (unless a new build) then continue the journey on copper. So you obviously lose a bit. To splice the fibre cable in the cabinet then continue it on fibre to your modem aint cheap.
Are you sure that Virgin leases BT lines? I'd always thought that since it grew out of Telewest/Blueyonder it works on its own network.