How do they win? The Virgin Media battle of installing services

Article Posted on: November 27, 2017

So everyone wants ultra-fast broadband, yet we hear so many people complain that they don’t have a decent broadband connection in their area. So what happens when a broadband specialist such as Virgin Media go to install services?

The article below is a typical example of how you just can win. Residents in Christchurch Dorset have had Virgin Media Engineers installing fiber optic broadband, yet are now complaining because of noise, even though the works are being undertaken during normal working hours.

Virgin Media’s attempts to deploy ultrafast broadband and cable TV services around the Highcliff area of Christchurch in Dorset (UK) have been slowed a little after several residents of Braemer Drive complained that their engineering teams were causing too much noise and traffic disruption.

Apparently, the cable operator had been allocated a patch of green space inside a small neighbourhood by the council, which acted as a central compound out of which Virgin Media’s teams were able to operate. Unfortunately this caused quite a bit of noise and traffic disruption in the area, with one lady also complaining that she couldn’t sleep because of Lorries moving in the area from 7am to 8pm (aka – normal working hours. We can only assume that for some reason this person was unable to sleep for the 11 hours between 8pm and 7am at night).

Kevin Cheleda, Dorset Highways Team, said (Bournemouth Echo):

“I am genuinely sorry for the disruption to your lives that these works and compound have caused. My team and I had previously only been defending Virgin Media’s right to use the compound as we had thought that full engagement had been done, but even if it had, the way they operated the site and broken all pledges to manage it better would have made its continued use for the next six weeks untenable, so the instruction was given to close it.”

Sadly noise and traffic disruption are generally somewhat par for the course with any major civil engineering work. Most people would probably view this as being a small price to pay in order to get access to broadband speeds of up to 350Mbps. On the other hand it does appear as if the operator may have failed to inform all of the locals beforehand, which probably contributed to some of the frustrations.

Nevertheless the council has apologised and a spokesperson for Virgin Media, which has been asked to setup smaller compounds closer to their work, said, “We are aware of this particular issue and have spoken to the residents in question and the situation has now been resolved.” Some locals have also praised the operator for acting so quickly to remedy the complaints.


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