Virgin Media has reportedly ended its trial of 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connectivity in Papworth, a village in Cambridgeshire.
According to technology blog ISPreview, some of the village's 3,000 residents, who had got used to gigabit internet, were shocked when the company suddenly brought the four-year old test to an end - without even warning them.
Launched in the summer of 2014, the test was originally designed as a test before the roll out of the company's narrow-trenching technology. This approach decreases the size of the holes and pipes needed to connect premises with fibre optic cables.
Typically, FTTH trenches need to be 40cm wide. However, Virgin Media has developed a new technique to make them just 10cm wide, speeding up the work and cutting costs.
Eventually one of the VM engineers posted on FB saying there had been an equipment failure at the VM exchange and due to the cost it would not be fixed, so trial over
The company decided to test the technology in Papworth because it already possessed the sufficient infrastructure. But the firm has remained tight-lipped about the trial.
Papworth was also one of the first areas to get access to Virgin's 1Gbps FTTH network, with residents experiencing speeds of up to 900Mbps.
Villagers, though, are angry about the abrupt termination of the service.
ISPreview found that Virgin Media has supplied trial participants with HFC EuroDOCSIS connections and Hub 3.0 routers so that they can return to their old Virgin Media broadband packages.
Speaking to ISPreview, a resident said: "A few villagers posted on Facebook that it was off and [asked] was it just them or everyone and we came to the conclusion it was down for all users on the trial.
"Then a couple of local VM engineers replied but [there has been] nothing from Virgin Media in any official capacity to the villagers on the trial; no formal communication about why it had gone off and if it would be back on.
"Eventually one of the VM engineers posted on FB saying there had been an equipment failure at the VM exchange and due to the cost it would not be fixed, so trial over. But, again, no formal communication from VM - just a post on FB by a local engineer trying to be helpful."
Virgin Media said: "In 2014, we started a small six-month trial to test narrow-trenching technology and trial new in-home and network equipment. This trial was completed successfully and after being extended for nearly four years, has now ended."
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