Virgin Media broadband in two-day wobble
Outage fix due Tuesday
Virgin Media customers in London and the South East have been rocked by internet outages that cut them off from big sites including Wikipedia, Yahoo! and the Guardian yesterday and this morning. Reg readers bombarded our inbox to report pockets of dicky service, which seemed to start on Sunday morning and is still ongoing for some people.
An error message spotted on the Virgin service page says that the problems will continue until Tuesday morning.
One reader, Glenn, told us:
Virgin Media has had massive routing issues this weekend. Customer services' voice message says it is a national problem. Many websites cannot be accessed without going through a proxy. It's being talked about on forums, which most people cannot access.
MartinShovel said on Twitter: "I'm in Brighton & I still can't access sites like the Guardian & the Independent. I'm tearing my hair out & renting my garments!" Tweeting StaticMass added: "What's up with Virgin Media since yesterday, cant seem to access some sites while others take ages to load."
JudeRogers tweeted: "It's been [down] since yesterday at 6. This is the third time this month. I work from home. Am paying you £40/month. Not good enough."
On Virgin Media help boards customers were logging in to report problems. Although Virgin's helplines and websites informed customers that there were outages, when El Reg contacted Virgin HQ this morning, staff said they weren't aware of any issues.
The spokesperson told us that Virgin Media had no reported server or data centre issues and that staff believed that "all of this could be specific individual postcodes or specific to individual customers".
We pushed them on precisely why the customer support sites and phone lined were confirming service faults while Virgin HQ had no knowledge of the problem; the spokeswoman said phone and web status messages are tailored to specific streets and postcodes, thus the problems are confined to small areas. So there are outages, but it's not widespread.
It comes a week after the Reg uncovered that rats had eaten through Virgin cables in Fife, Scotland, knocking out broadband to some Eastern areas. Are English rats to blame? We'll keep you updated. ®
In my experience, VM "support" = recite a script and then tell you an engineer is coming to look at your modem sometime next Thursday. For every issue.
Part of the script is (or was, until I gave up calling them) "what Windows patches have you applied?" leading to great confusion when you respond "none, I'm a Mac / Linux user".
Luckily, in the last 10 years I've had little cause to call them. Just recently though ...
Blimey, Virgin must be expensive...
... if MartinShovel is "renting his garments". Like the imagery, though.
I've rent me coat.
No, mate, that's not how it works.
You know the way that cheaper home packages have crappier upload speeds, higher contention ratios and download caps, compared to the more expensive packages? There's a reason for that, and it's to do with the expected uptime and performance provided with the service. The same logic will apply to the pricing you'll be offered if you ask for a dedicated SDSL business line - it won't be cheap, but on the other hand you'll have a contract in which usefully short resolution times and penalty clauses for the provider are specified.
I'm not saying significant outages are excusable, but I am suggesting that purchasing a residential/consumer service for business requirements is a bad idea because your requirements are unlikely to be met, in the same way that buying a Segway when you need a car is a guarantee of future misery.