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Virgin broadband internal cabling

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Julian
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Virgin broadband internal cabling

#145656

Postby Julian » June 14th, 2018, 6:03 pm

I'm considering switching my broadband from ADSL to Virgin Media broadband (FTTC isn't available in my area). Virgin will need to run a cable into my flat and they have done this for neighbours so I know where the cable comes in which is not where I want to place my router (it's not where my telephone socket is currently hence not where my existing router, nas and a few other things are). Where I would want to place my Virgin router is about a 7 metre cable run away from where they are likely to bring the connection into my flat. I already have a well-defined cable route to get between the two points.

I'd like to understand a few things before going further with Virgin, in particular...

How does the connection come into a property? Is the cable that first comes through the wall almost immediately terminated at a junction box mounted on the inside of the property that has a connector to attach an internal cable to run from the junction box to the Virgin hub or is a long tail of cable pulled through into the property that then connects directly to the hub?

Assuming there is a separate internal cable from junction box to hub is that basically like a Sky satellite TV cable, i.e. a bit thicker than an ethernet cable and with similar or maybe very slightly less flexibility?

Again, assuming there is one, does anyone know if there are any limitations on the length of the internal cable, either technical ones or practical ones? For practical issues I'm thinking in terms of the installation engineer and whether they turn up with pre-made cables or if they have a roll of coax which they cut to length as required and crimp the connectors on at each end during the installation.

- Julian

gryffron
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Re: Virgin broadband internal cabling

#145688

Postby gryffron » June 14th, 2018, 10:06 pm

Ah, Julian. You're not thinking like a cable company. It's not about where the cable enters the property. The key for them (and whoever might live in your flat next, even if you're not interested), is the TV point. Which normally goes in the lounge, near the aerial socket. With cable, Broadband and TV are the same connection. So your broadband "Entry point" is (usually) wherever the TV sits.

The setup I have (detached house) is:

Single heavy duty cable from Virgin to a small junction box on nearest outside corner of the house. This junction box splits off the phone. Then:
2 separate (custom) cables into house.
The first cable runs round outside wall, then through wall to a standard BT socket for phone only. Since this is a bog standard phone socket I presume this is just using standard telephone twisted pair. Doesn't look like coax.
The second cable is coax (same as aerial/satellite), Also runs outside wall and then through the wall to second socket on the inside, which has a Coax screw connector. Then immediately a cable splitter. The TV box and router then connect to this splitter with premade coax cables (2m).

I was told I could have these 2 wall connectors anywhere I wanted, provided they were on an outside wall. Presumably anywhere they can easily route said cables. Which could be indoors if you were happy with such. I have the master phone socket and TV/broadband in different rooms.

There's a bit of discussion about cable lengths here: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Vi ... -p/3562208. Which points out the cable run lengths for TV/broadband are matched to the transmitter in their cabinet, to maximise signal strength. So bolting on cable runs afterwards isn't going to be a great idea. Though you might get away with it.

I think you have 2 choices.
EITHER
Set the router and TV up where you want them, and get the engineer to balance the cables before he leaves. I think you might struggle if you want the router a long way from the TV. From what I know about HF, a large Y shape will cause reflections in the cables.
OR (probably much easier)
Just put the virgin router next to the TV and connect all your existing kit, (including the old router still used as a Wireless Access point) to it with ethernet.

Hope that helps

Gryff

Julian
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Re: Virgin broadband internal cabling

#145778

Postby Julian » June 15th, 2018, 10:50 am

Thanks Gryff. That was an incredibly useful link on the Virgin forum. It looks as if I either need to try and get a longer cable balanced or introduce some extra network switches into my setup.

I'm not intending to subscribe to TV (or phone) and I'm in a listed mansion block where the cabling has to come up the light wells which then enters into the middle of the flats so Virgin don't have any choice where they enter the property. They won't be allowed by the managing agents to run it up the front of the building to the living room and believe me, if I tried it would be noticed and I would have to get it removed.

My problem is that I have my "machine room" in a hallway cupboard towards the middle of the flat with network cables then fanning out under the carpeted floorboards to various other devices in the house including to a network switch in my TV cabinet some 18 metres away (measured by cable run). I suppose I could keep the router close to the Virgin cable's entry point and then run a single ethernet cable to a new network switch in my "machine room" with one port of that switch then running to the existing network switch in my TV cabinet and the other free ports on the new switch connecting my NAS and other equipment in my "machine room" and elsewhere. Not ideal because cascaded network switches feel a bit messy to me, especially given I could avoid it if only I could get the router into the "machine room", but it would work and wouldn't be the end of the world.

I confess that I also have some reservations about Virgin. The last time I called up I pressed whatever number it is to say I was thinking of signing up and got put on a 30 minute hold queue. I actually gave up and didn't go any further at that time and it left me with the big concern that, if they put the "I want to sign up" people on a 30 minute hold queue to take their money then what on earth must it be like to get through to support once they've got your money. Maybe my experience was an anomaly and they were having some sort of system issue at the time. Also, since FTTC isn't in my area (planning permission for the street cabinet was refused well over 5 years ago since it is a protected area), Virgin is my only choice if I want affordable service at greater than about 11Mbps.

- Julian

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Virgin broadband internal cabling

#145861

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 15th, 2018, 2:31 pm

Julian wrote:My problem is that I have my "machine room" in a hallway cupboard towards the middle of the flat

From my experience, that shouldn't be a problem. The installation man was happy to run a cable right through to my back bedroom.
I confess that I also have some reservations about Virgin.

Yes. Avoid like the plague.
The last time I called up I pressed whatever number it is to say I was thinking of signing up and got put on a 30 minute hold queue. I actually gave up and didn't go any further at that time and it left me with the big concern that, if they put the "I want to sign up" people on a 30 minute hold queue to take their money then what on earth must it be like to get through to support once they've got your money.

You waited the 30 minutes, then gave up?
Maybe my experience was an anomaly and they were having some sort of system issue at the time. Also, since FTTC isn't in my area (planning permission for the street cabinet was refused well over 5 years ago since it is a protected area), Virgin is my only choice if I want affordable service at greater than about 11Mbps.

30 minutes is quick. I've been waiting trying to contact them since January. And while you'll probably get a lot more than 11Mbps with a new installation, you may come to dream of 11Mbs ... and of being able to contact someone with a mere 30 minute wait on the line you borrowed from a neighbour 'cos yours isn't working.

If you want faster than ADSL and have no fibre available, another option is 4G. Have you checked availability of that? I find it more variable than Virgin was when the Virgin cable was working, but much more reliable.


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