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virgin mediaVirgin Media To Roll-Out Ultra Fast Fibre Broadband And Cable TV In Burgess Hill

22nd March 2017
by Peter Chapman

Good news for Burgess Hill as Virgin Media have announced that they are bringing their television and super-fast broadband services to the town.

Bad news for Burgess Hill as Virgin Media reveal that roads and pavements will be ripped up, there will be multiple road closures and lots of temporary traffic lights.


It was at the meeting of the full Town Council on Monday 20th March where representatives of Virgin Media gave a presentation to councillors, explaining their plans to roll out their services in Burgess Hill. Adrian Smith was the lead spokesman and was flanked by Paul Hartley and Edward Wicks.

Why Are Virgin Media Coming To Burgess Hill?
Virgin Media are bringing their network to Burgess Hill as part of 'Project Lightning' a £3bn investment from parent company Liberty Global which sees the company expanding into areas of the UK missed out by various cable companies over the years.

It was pointed out that this is a private investment and not government money enjoyed by the likes of BT.



Broadband Speeds
The ultra-fast broadband will be available to homes, schools and businesses. The maximum speed for home users will be 200mbps and 300mbps for businesses. 'BT can't touch our speeds' said Adrian Smith. Virgin use FTTP - Fibre To The Premises, unlike BT who use Fibre to the nearest cabinet (They sure liked saying how BT isn't as good as their service!)


How The Network Is Installed

New techology means that the cabling can be installed by digging 4 inch wide 'narrow slit trenching' along the pavements. It is pointed out that this leads to less construction waste, less environmental impact, less distruption and less machinery.



Outside each home, a small plastic box will sit flush in the pavement, During the installation, only plastic ducting will be put in the pavement. Fibre cabling will be put in as people sign up.

It has been warned that those people who have driveways that cover the service strip may have their drives dug up as it's a legal right apparently as the service strip belongs to the highway authority.


'Street Furniture'
Cabinets (grey or black in colour) will be installed on the roadside just like BT's green cabinets. One cabinet can feed up to 512 homes. These cabinets will connect to 6 larger fan-cooled, powered v-hub cabinets which can take up to 3,000 connections, The v-hub cabinets feed back to the central network in Brighton.


Start Date
The installation of the network is expected to start in the Summer of this year - as long as the necessary planning permissions are obtained, along with an agreement of the schedule with the highways department.


Letters To Residents
Virgin Media will write to local residents in advance of the works. While no exact date will be given, a 'window' in which to expect their arrival will be provided.


Community Meetings
Virgin plan to hold multiple public information events in community buildings across the town before, during and at the end of the network installation. They find that the initial meetings help cut down the number of complaints made to Virgin Media directly and to the various ocal councils as residents are made well aware of the associated disruption and noise that the project brings.

Pens, mugs and bobble hats are part of the swag on offer at these meetings as Virgin look to grow the brand in the town.

The last of the information meetings as the network roll-out draws to a close will see their agents actively selling subscriptions to their 'quad service' which covers landline, mobile, broadband and television. Offers will be available...apparently.


Disruption
Virgin admit that there will be lots of upheaval during the installation of their network throughout the town and seek help from the council to set expectations to the public.

Small compounds will be set up around town, used to store the necessary equipment to carry out the installation.

There will be road closures, diversions, two-way and three-way traffic lights, along with lots of barriers too.

The footpaths will be covered in paint, marking out the location of other utilities. It will wash away...eventually.

Virgin are currently unsure of how many gangs will be permiitted to work on the town at any one time. More gangs means that the work will be completed quicker, but will also result in more concurrent disruptions.






Spread the word, the Virgin Media network is to be installed in Burgess Hill, with a possible start date of this Summer.

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