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Virgin Media network collapses nationwide

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Updated The Virgin Media cable network collapsed overnight, leaving up to three million people without internet access for several hours in the crucial final shopping days before Christmas.

Both broadband and digital TV services took a lie down just after 10pm on Monday. Virgin Media says "some customers nationally" were affected.

VM's status page lists the problem as still ongoing at about 8am this morning. A further update after 10am reports that the problem is now resolved.

The response to the attack of the gremlins elves from Virgin Media management - and more importantly customers - is sure to be decidedly non-Christmassy. For some weeks the firm has been talking itself up as the "premium" broadband provider.

Virgin Media has promised us details of what in the name of Rudolph is going on, and we'll update you as soon as it finds out. ®

Update

Virgin Media apologised for the glitch and sent us this statement:

At 9.20pm last night, customers in a number of regions temporarily lost connectivity to their broadband and Video on Demand services. This occurred as a result of an error during a routine maintenance process which affected some customers' modems and set top boxes.

Broadcast television and telephone services were unaffected. Most of the problems occurred in the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands and the majority of affected customers regained their service shortly after midnight. Our engineers are currently working to restore the few remaining connections as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

According to VM's rep, the maintenance process knocked out DHCP address assignments (leases) for some of its servers, which in turn caused IP addresses to be renewed en masse. No word yet on what the routine maintenance was.

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