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Virgin Media vid misery blamed on unnamed peering network

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Virgin Media has blamed an unnamed peering network for crippling its broadband service, particularly at peak times, for some folk.

The Register contacted the telco after a number of peeved VM punters complained of yet more problems when downloading data, leading to video streams and the like stuck on buffering.

One reader told us:

For a few weeks now access to YouTube, iPlayer, and other streaming sites has been getting steadily worse. It's so bad now that even 360p or 240p YouTube videos buffer so much as to be completely unusable.

Our reader wondered if Virgin Media had "begun deliberately throttling streaming video sites to a crazy level".

While it's true VM is testing a new network traffic management system in some areas of the country, such as Liverpool and Aldershot, a spokesman denied the latest issues affecting an unknown number of customers had anything to do with throttling the service.

El Reg was told:

As a result of an issue with a third-party peering network, some customers have been having trouble accessing certain websites and online services even though their broadband speeds are unaffected.

We began rerouting traffic towards the end of last week which has had a positive effect and we're working with them to fully resolve the issue as soon as possible.

In recent months, Virgin Media has suffered a number of routing problems with its service. It's understood the latest blunder relating to the unnamed peering partner has affected VM customers for up to three weeks.

ISPs and other organisations typically enter peering agreements to share traffic across their systems - although if one network knackers itself then data has to be routed around the problem. ®

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