Yes, if you pay BT for their premium email service. Currently it will cost you £5 per month. Alternatively you can setup a free email account, such as gmail, which remains unchanged if you switch between broadband suppliers in the future.
This is completely up to you. At this point in time we do not know when the service will become available in your area. When you do renew (or enter into a new contract) with a supplier, and take advantage of an offer, there is generally a tie-in period. Should you then wish to switch suppliers within this tie-in period you may need to pay to terminate your contract. If, however, you are beyond a tie-in period then you are probably on a rolling contract and it should not cost anything for you to swap suppliers. You will need to check the details of your contract through.
If the Virgin Service becomes available during a tie-in period then you have several choices:
- Wait until the tie-in period ends and then swap to Virgin Media (VM will still count this as a sign-up even though your start time is delayed).
- Run both services in parallel. This will, of course, cost more.
- Pay to terminate your contract early and sign up to Virgin Media.
All the cables will be installed underground. Virgin Media use an approach called narrow-trenching. It reduces the width (but not the depth) of the trench used to lay fibre cables from around 40cm to just 10cm and enables engineers to cover up to 100m in a day, making it more than twice as fast as current methods.
The fibre is terminated in a small box installed on wall of your property. In this box the light is converted to an electrical signal and transported to your router via electrical cable.
Due to the high cost of building a fibre network in a rural area there is a community contribution per premise spread over a 12 month period (but can be payable in one lump sum if desired). The contribution is related to the difficulty of the build and the council tax band of your property. See the table below for the monthly contributions.
Tier A Villages: Goodworth Clatford, Chilbolton, Stockbridge, Kings Somborne, Broughton, Firsdown, Winterslow, Timsbury.
Tier B Villages: West Tytherley, Houghton, Wherwell, Michelmersh.
The costs in the table include VAT.
The first of the twelve monthly installments of the Community Contribution will be payable when you sign up, and then monthly afterwards. As the build will take up to a year to complete, this may mean you will have paid all of your community contribution before you receive the service. However, if the sign-up target of 1000 is not met by the end of the sign-up period, any money you have paid will be returned.
The cost of the build depends on many factors such as the topology of the area – e.g. population density, number and nature of obstacles such as rivers, number of cabinets required to reach the majority of people. It is not simply a case of distance from the trunk route. The BB group have seen the detailed plans of the build and have spoken with the network designers so can understand why some villages are more expensive than others. The detail of the network build is commercially sensitive information so cannot be shared with the general public.
Yes. People who sign up in the future will pay the same as someone who signs up now.
The exact Virgin Media terms and conditions are still to be determined, but in essence the community contribution will need to be paid in full by the person who signed up and you may also need to terminate your broadband contract if you are already live.
If you would prefer to dig your own trench in your garden then you can specify this during the sign-up process. VM will guide you through this process but there will be certain requirements you will have to meet such as the dimensions of the trench/duct and where the trench/duct meets the edge of your property.
No. The community contribution remains the same regardless of whether you have your own duct or not.
When you sign up for your VM service there will be an opportunity for you to let them know.
The connection point is the junction where the fibre from your home is joined to the fibre in the road. When you sign up you will be shown a map with your property and the location of the connection point. It is from that point that the cable will be installed up to your house?
When you sign up you will start making the monthly community contributions, but you will not be able to receive a service until the network has been built. When you are able to go live, and you are tied into a contract with another supplier, there are 3 options:
- Terminate the contract (and there may be a cost associated with this), or
- Wait until the tie-in period expires before switching, or
- Run the services in parallel.
It is entirely up to you. Generally, suppliers such as BT tie you in for a year followed by a rolling contract where you can switch suppliers without any cost implications.
You are tied into the VM service for 12 months once you are 'live' (i.e. your network is built and you are able to receive a service). You will also have paid your entire community contribution by this point in time.
Once you are outside this contract period you are free to swap to a different supplier if you wish. However, other suppliers will not be able to use the fibre network as this is only available through Virgin Media.
The costs are at Virgin Media’s standard rates. The cost will vary depending on which package you choose, and these packages vary over time. It is possible to get a broadband-only package, broadband with (VoIP) phone, or broadband with phone and TV. At the time of writing this FAQ the broadband package is Vivid200. See http://www.virginmedia.com/shop/broadband/broadband-only.html?intcmpid=broadband_hub_menu_click_bbonly for broadband only, and http://www.virginmedia.com/shop/bundles.html for bundles.
All packages have a £14.99 activation fee.
There is further information on the services and prices offered by Virgin Media, Sky, BT and TalkTalk on the overview page.
No. You can save money on line rental charges by moving your phone to run over the Internet. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and basically allows you to make your telephone calls over the internet rather than via a telephone line. Calls from IP phone to IP phone are free, regardless of where you are in the world, but calls from an IP phone to a non-IP phone are not. Virgin Media will be offering VoIP with some of their bundles.
If you didn't want to use Virgin's VoIP but another supplier then this is also possible. Vonage is a company that offers a telephony package that enables you to keep your existing landline number and is cheaper than BT phone packages.
Alternatively you can also choose to keep your BT landline and pay for it in parallel with the Virgin Media broadband service.
See http://www.moneysupermarket.com/broadband/voip/ for different options available for VoIP.
Possibly. If you already use SIP-enabled DECT phones then these can be used for VoIP. If they are not compatible with VoIP then you will need to buy new ones such as these.
It depends on the number of flats in the building. If there are a small number it is likely that there will be one fibre to the premise. If there are many there could be multiple. You would need to contact the person who owns the freehold to find out what the arrangement would be.
If you pay council tax on the annexe, and you wish to have a separate connection to the annexe, then yes, you will need to pay the community contribution appropriate for each property.
Yes. Provided the community contribution has been paid for the property you are renting out the service contract can be directly between the tenant and Virgin Media.
Yes, although you may find that you will not need two separate accounts as the residential internet speed may be sufficient. If you do decide that you need two separate lines then that can be arranged.
No. When you sign up you will pay the first of your 12 monthly installments of the community contribution. If the target of 1000 homes to sign-up is not met by the end of the sign up period your money will be returned. No interest will be payable.