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Virgin Media nukes downloads after SuperHub 'upgrade'

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Virgin Media has dismissed claims that a software update for its SuperHub kit is at fault after punters complained their downloads are being damaged.

A spokeswoman at the telco told The Register that it was too early to tell if the SuperHub's firmware upgrade from version R30 to R36 was the culprit for the reported data corruption bug. She claimed that the problem was isolated to a small number of customers on its broadband service.

Here's what one El Reg reader told us, details of which we put to VM:

Virgin Media has recently updated its firmware from R30 to R36 for its SuperHub for users on the 30, 50 and 100Mbps cable broadband product. Since this update a lot of users are reporting data corruptions when downloading files or trying to update apps on their smartphones and tablets.

To get around this some users have had to resort to putting the SuperHub into modem mode and then connecting their own router to bypass the router in the SuperHub. This appears to have resolved the data corruptions that people are experiencing.

Virgin Media has a troublesome past with its SuperHub router-modem combo box: some customers dubbed the kit "SuperFail" in 2011 when the gear slowed broadband connections down to a crawl for months. The ISP eventually fixed the problem apparently after a gentle nudge from Vulture Central.

The company admitted in August 2011 that its SuperHub still wasn't perfect. It was launched onto the market by VM in February that year.

Virgin Media gave us this official statement about the data corruption issues experienced by some of its customers:

We are currently investigating a recent issue whereby a small number of customers have been reporting corrupted downloads when using our broadband service. Customers have reported seeing this issue following a recent modem firmware update, however as this wasn't reported throughout beta or pilot, we are asking affected customers to get in touch through our community forums so we can get the full detail needed for our investigations. We apologise for any inconvenience caused in the meantime.

It's common practice for the telco to pilot a software update with a few thousand users before rolling it out further. That said, the SuperHub box has proved glitchy at various stages of its short life despite the telco's attempts to thoroughly test-drive upgrades before automatically thrusting them upon all Virgin Media-equipped homes. ®

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