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Virgin Media to issue firmware update after Superhub slows to crawl

Fancy new kit FAIL

Exclusive Virgin Media cable customers who recently upgraded to the company's Superhub router/modem combo boxes to access its 30Mbit/s and above service are complaining about stability issues and slow connections with the new kit.

Reg reader Adam told us that Virgin Media is offering only Netgear hardware, which provides what he described as an "inferior service".

Similarly, customers have been grumbling about the kit upgrades on VM forums.

"The rock-steady 20Mbit/s I had before I upgraded to 30Mbit/s is gone," wrote a customer with the handle fatedsnowfox, who played around with the Superhub box's configuration to improve its connection rate.

"It swings wildly from 9-15Mbit/s-ish, more so at peak times. At about 0200-0300 it'll /burst/ to 30Mbit/s. Up speeds vary from 1.05Mbit/s to 'Can't actually upload anything because the test **bleep**s out'."

Fatedsnowfox went on to complain about Netgear's equipment – which VM described as an "exclusive" and custom-made piece of hardware intended "to provide you with killer performance and wonderful ease of use" – and said Virgin Media's tech support was yet to get in touch with a definitive fix.

"I think that cupidity has bitten me here. The 30Mbit/s offer was too good to be true," said fatedsnowfox.

At the start of February, Virgin Media began urging existing customers on its 20Mbit/s broadband service to splurge a one-off payment of £30 to upgrade to its 30Mbit/s offering.

The company has stopped offering would-be punters the 20Mbit/s package, but existing customers do not have to upgrade to the new service as Virgin Media is keeping both bases running. Despite this, some customers unsurprisingly opted to upgrade their kit.

Worse still, Virgin Media claimed that its 'XL' 20Mbit/s broadband offering had been "boosted by 50 per cent" in additional bandwidth without requiring extra fees.

But complaints suggest that some cable customers aren't seeing the performance improvement, and instead are hit by a dip in speed – especially at peak times.

A Virgin Media spokesman told The Register that the company had no beef with the hardware, but admitted there was a "data throughput" issue hampering some customers who are using its Superhub modem/router.

"Whilst the vast majority of customers are unaffected, we are actively investigating reports of reduced performance under some configurations," he said. "Testing is under way, and we expect to resolve the issue by a firmware update which will be automatically pushed out to SuperHub users as soon as a fix has been confirmed."

Virgin Media didn't say when the glitch would be fixed, but it's understood that the firmware update would be pushed out soon. ®

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