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back to article Virgin Media broadband goes titsup for 3 hours

Virgin Media was hit by a major broadband service blackout early last night that affected an unspecified number of the telco's five million customers. The company confirmed that the downtime started on Tuesday evening. "If you experienced a loss of internet connection between 5pm and 8pm on Tues 17th January, we experienced a …

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I was hit...

I had about three hours of outage time. Got home to no connection, tried to call their lines but was hit by either a busy signal or a message saying 'Sorry, lines are busy, please try again later'. Practically, I had a line up and running but received no DHCP-assigned IP address.

*shrug* I suppose it happens - Virgin Media's cable connection has been far more reliable and solid than my previous ADSL connection, and when there is an outage on this scale it's natural that the support lines get inundated.

The only thing that irked me was, when looking through my documentation, it just kept telling me to 'go to our website' - if I could've got to the f---king website I wouldn't have been calling!

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Jop
FAIL

What they didn't say

was that it also took down tivo boxes and telephone lines. The VOIP they use for systems such as calls to 150 also went down. Calls to that number said it didn't exist or engadged on many attempts. Couldn't even make calls to friends which I found strange. TV guide and video on demand also down.

Had complained to VM about issues at many peering/transit points of theirs for days before this happened.

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Anonymous Coward

How could anyone tell?

I mean it barely works even when it is supposedly working.

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virgin media is pretty good overall

We've been with virgin/ntl for at approx 10 years in various locations in the south east. for about a year I had adsl services as no ntl at location at time. Had more downtime in that one year than I've had failures with ntl/vm in 10 years. Must say though the modem/router combos they supply are absolute shite... But can't fault the service though. As for yesterday's downtime - I generally avoid calling support unless I determine there's a local issue. I logged on my 3G to see status/ twitter and couldn't even reach VM website - figured this is a big one no point calling this one in!! Wife was going no u must call them they might not know - I was like I'm sure they do... 10 mins later everything was back on (after assembling lenghts of usb extension cables to get phone to a good reception area in the house.... typical... spent 30 -40 mins doing this then it all comes back !!

Cheers VM!!

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upgrade

they are just getting ready for the doubling of speeds,

double the quantity of internet packets, and lets see what happens.

one interesting effect, on the broadband monitor results I have seen,

after the outage, the average ping times were well down.

but soon rose as the network came back up,

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FAIL

All your eggs in one basket...

I have been a Virgin customer since they started, and before that, NTL, and before that Videotron. Basically, as soon as Videotron put fibre-optic outside my house, I was on it like a randy dog on a bitch. Virgin have the worst customer service. When it went down last night (from 3pm to 8pm for me in Harrow), my phone, broadband and TV all went belly up, and left me without any recourse other than to phone Virgin customer service on my mobile. Their lines immediately went to "Call Rejected" so I could talk to nobody, couldn't get a service update and basically didn't know WTF was going on! At least Digital Freeview through the house aerial worked!

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Anonymous Coward

more balance

It was a bit shaky here last night, but i've been with ntl/vm for 11 years, and had less than 4 days outage in total,. Customer service can be a bit dodgy, but any slowness in speed, which has happened a couple of times, gets sorted out very quickly here.

I'll take em over a bt line any day :)

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Going downhill fast

I've been a Virgin (previously Telewest) customer for about 15 years and it seems Mr Cockup is visiting more and more often. I was affected by yesterday's outage and it's already happened once again tonight. Maybe Virgin should say it's a SOPa/PIPA protest.

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Yesterday was kinda okay

Got booted off Rackspace but everything else was okay, however, it's been down since 4pm today, it'll allegedly be fixed by 8:20am tomorrow.

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Anonymous Coward

On the upside...

One thing I have noticed, is that after the most recent outage (you don't hear much about the friday 13th January one affecting some business customers for 5 hours...) my maximum upstream (connected via Vigin's Staverton site) has jumped to "up to" 5Mbps from a heady 1.6Mbps.

In fairness, their tech support doesn't seem to be great and the community support forum is mainly to get support from the community rather than virgin, BUT even including the recent outages, I have found it to be the most reliable broadband connection at home i've been fortunate enough to have and usually one of the fastest.

Yes it does get terrible at times, yes it can take them a week to sort out a routing problem affecting VPN connections, or months to sort out bandwidth issues or replacement wireless access points, but on balance it could be worse.

Perhaps i'm one of the lucky ones!

I do wish BT would upgrade my local exchange so i could get "infinity" for redundancy however - dial-up just doesn't cut it when you're providing I.T. support on call...

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Anonymous Coward

We had a power cut...

at around that time.

VM would be doing jolly good if they kept my connection up while that was going on...

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I was affected and very annoyed especially with the lack of information regarding the issue. I had internet but was struggling for Domain Name queries to be resolved. A routing issue! Do they not have fail over equipment in place for such issues?

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FAIL

We had a National Ethernet line out for about 90 minutes in the end. What was frustrating was that we couldn't get through to Virgin and nor could our hosting provider (who supposedly have direct access to senior Virgin technical contacts). We ended up getting our info from a combination of the UKNOT mailing list and the Andrews & Arnold IRC chatroom.

We eventually found out from other sources that a router overheated in their Poplar POP. They failed over to a standby router, but after about 30 minutes that one went bang as well apparently.

The Linx issue was separate, as mentioned previously.

Still, to be fair to them (and believe me that's difficult!), it's the first outage of the Ethernet service we've had since it went live about 9 months ago...

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Mushroom

Packet loss/VM

Alot of the issues people were having yesterday was due to a BT issues there was high latency and packet loss between level 3 and BT for most of the day. As for the VM fault that was caused (allegedly) by a aircon failure causing a router to over heat, they then switched over to another router in the same building (wtf ?) that also over heated and all hell broke lose.

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Not the only time

This happened to me around 19.00 on the 17th. I've been here before recently with the death of their cable modem, and suspected its replacement was the problem. Somehow it is a relief that the problem was a different one, because it does take a little while to talk to something with two arms, two legs and what passes for a brain.

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Is it just me..

... or did anyone else wonder how people with no internet connection managed this:

"El Reg was inundated with emails from unhappy VM customers affected by the outage."

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Re: Is it just me..

"... or did anyone else wonder how people with no internet connection managed this:

"El Reg was inundated with emails from unhappy VM customers affected by the outage.""

I believe there may be a dial up link, though I'm happy to be corrected. Also there are probably one or two of the pay as you go dial ups left, and I won't be surprised to hear that people have dual broadband accounts, and that there are one or two people (in e.g. Swindon) who use local free Wi-Fi, dangerous crap though it is.

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