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Virgin Media SuperHub 'upgrade' hangs up on IP phone punters

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Users of Virgin Media's top-of-the-range SuperHub kit have been peeved to find that the router-modem is blocking incoming calls to their internet phones. And looks like some firmware is to blame.

Customers using their SuperHub to support an IP phone say they've missed important calls, in some cases preventing them from doing their work. Outgoing calls still go through, say posters in Virgin's help forums, but inbound callers just get a generic "busy" tone.

One poster in a Virgin Media help forum said that his IP phone stopped working two days before he started a Groupon deal for his new business, others were unable to take any calls from the office.

The source of the problem seems to be a recent firmware upgrade to the SuperHub: R36 firmware replaced R30 in late July and has been rolled out to users over the past few weeks. Customer Wattogold writes on the help forum:

Prior to R36 release, no issues. Post R36 the odd couple of calls get through but many others don't ring at the handset. I know many have called since the [BT] Falcon phones are also used at the office. I need to take calls at home when working from home. Why has VM introduced this upgrade and when can this bug be fixed?

The problem may be specific to certain handsets: BT Falcon phones seem to have problems, and a Polycom IP335 user reported problems as well. A Vonage user said that VoIP worked okay.

Forum posters have discovered a work-around, but the glitch remains in the firmware.

The SuperHub is a combined router and cable modem that promises an all-in-one, easy-to-set-up home broadband connection. However since Virgin Media pushed the kit out in Feb 2011, The Reg has noted there has been a series of glitches associated with it - slowing the speed of connections and disrupting downloads, among other issues.

According to this forum post, Virgin Media has been aware of VoIP problems with the R36 firmware since 1 July when the firm started testing it, but the issue remains unresolved.

VM spokesperson Assam Ahmed has told us that the firm is aware of a problem: "We are aware of issues with using VoIP and are looking into them."

Virgin Media has promised to send more information as its investigation into the issues progresses. ®

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