what exactly is a land line with virginmedia cable

  Number six 00:21 23 Nov 2013

Back in the days before super fast BB and multi-channel cable TV, most of us used BT for a land-line phone. For this service we paid a "line rental" which was presumably to cover the cost of the supply and maintenance of BT's hard-wired infrastructure - telegraph poles, cables to house etc.

Currently I use Virginmedia cable for BB, TV (both excellent) and land-line phone. What I cannot understand is why I still have to pay £15 per month for a "line rental". What exactly is this elusive item? Surely there is no extra hardware or cabling required to use a phone when you already have a BB and TV service, and the amount of extra bandwith required is absolutely tiny. My monthly charge is approx. £55, and almost half of that is to make a few phone calls? How can Virgin charge £15 per month to rent something which does not actually exist?

  mole1944 05:19 23 Nov 2013

Landline is a fixed line to make phone calls on as against mobile phone calls from the phone you can take with you when you go out and about

  BT 08:31 23 Nov 2013

How can Virgin charge £15 per month to rent something which does not actually exist?

It does 'exist' in the same way the BT phone line 'exists'. You have two wires coming into your house. One carries the TV and Broadband, the other is the Phone line which connects to an exchange in the same way a BT line connects to an exchange. They both have a similar infrastructure so have a similar charge.

  fourm member 09:12 23 Nov 2013

'You have two wires coming into your house'

Sort of. (Unless things have changed.)

Telephone service is provided by cable operators using a figure of eight cable where one side carries the broadband signal and the other is made of two pairs of telephone cables.

There are ways to make the broadband cable carry voice but the quality requirements of simple voice telephony are so low that it is easy to make the combined cable and use well-established technology at each end.

This means that the cost of establishing a network is cheaper for a cable operator because one installation of the actual cable serves two purposes.

There is, of course, a cost to Virgin in providing the capacity for voice telephony but the answer to why they charge £15 a month for this is 'because they can'.

  BT 11:02 23 Nov 2013

fourm member

I do actually have TWO wires coming from the box on the wall outside. One goes to the Phone socket and the other feeds the TIVO box and via splitters, the other HD box and Broadband Superhub. Don't know what feeds the outside box from the roadside cabinet, but its perhaps as you say, a dual purpose cable.

  Woolwell 11:09 23 Nov 2013

BT - I also have 2 cables (one slim for phone, and the other (coax?) for broadband and TV.

  Woolwell 12:21 23 Nov 2013

My broadband drops in speed because of Virgin's throttling policy and local faults. I rang them and was assured that it was nothing at my end. I've just checked and I actually have 3 cables (1 phone, 1 TV and broadband and 1 TV only).

  fourm member 13:21 23 Nov 2013

I should have made it clear I meant that the cable from the distribution cabinet to the outside wall is a figure of 8 and, thus, needs only one cable-pulling operation to install it through the ducts.

At the termination point on the house wall it is separated to go to the phone and the TV/computer.

  lotvic 13:52 23 Nov 2013

...and here it is, photos of an actual installation (and shows the cable split) click here

  woodchip 19:32 23 Nov 2013

You only have one wire split with a filter at both ends

  Forum Editor 22:58 23 Nov 2013

Transferred From Speakers Corner to Tech Consumer advice.

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