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Xbox Live gamers blown offline by 'Virgin Media routing balls-up'

Telco and Microsoft investigating cause of outage

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An unknown number of Virgin Media customers have been locked out of Xbox Live due to unconfirmed reports from users suggesting that routing issues are affecting the telco.

The Register has asked VM and Microsoft – which owns Xbox – to explain what had caused the service to go titsup for some users since at least the early hours of Tuesday morning. Neither company immediately got back to us with an explanation. We'll update the story if we do hear more.

Microsoft, for its part, is currently displaying a service status message that reads:

If you're having issues connecting to Xbox LIVE and are using the Virgin Media ISP, thank you for being patient and sticking with us while we work out the problem. Rest assured we are still working hard alongside Virgin Media to fix it as quickly as we can. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

The Xbox vendor said "a subset" of VM subscribers were noticing "intermittent problems" when trying to connect to the online gaming service.

A number of Reg readers affected by the frustrating outage told us that it wasn't just Xbox they were having problems connecting to. Microsoft sites including Hotmail are also currently inaccessible to them, VM users told El Reg at time of writing. Others complained that they couldn't access sites including the gov's HMRC services page or university portals via the Virgin Media network.

Virgin Media forums are also abuzz with gripes about customers' inability to play shoot-em-ups on Xbox Live today.

In the past 15 mins, a VM rep told the ISP's punters:

We're still investigating at the moment but we've done some network re-routing temporarily to resolve this while we find the root cause.

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