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Virgin Media keeps mum as punters fume at crippled web access

Coders->struggle_to_access = StackOverflow.com;

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Some Virgin Media broadband customers have struggled for weeks to access a number of websites over the telco's network - but the company is keeping schtum on the exact cause.

The Register has learned that a "sizeable" number of VM's subscribers are frustrated with the ISP for failing to offer a workaround to the ongoing connectivity nightmare. Stack Overflow - a popular forum for computer programmers - is just one of the websites cut off on the network.

A Virgin Media spokeswoman told us:

We're aware some of our customers are having difficulty connecting to stackoverflow.com and we're liaising with the network provider to understand what may be causing this specific issue and help resolve any problems. We'll update as soon as we can.

The company's forum manager Mark Wilkin explained in more detail what Virgin Media believes may have gone wrong with access to Stackoverflow.com. He said:

We've done extensive tests inside our own network and we're confident that it's an issue between us and the affected site. At that point all we can do is contact the networks down the line where the problem appears to be happening and ask them to investigate.

Also for reference the majority of the internet (excluding dedicated peering connections) still operates on the basis of 'you pass my traffic along and I'll pass yours' agreements that operate on a 'handshake' basis.

So in this case we don't have a SLA [service level agreement] with the network where we think the issue is. We're talking to internap at the moment and we're also currently attempting to contact stackoverflow.com as well to talk to them about getting this sorted out.

Virgin Media declined to offer up any official comment to El Reg about whether the problem was a routing issue. In November last year, the company blamed an unnamed peering network for crippling its broadband service, particularly at peak times, for some of its subscribers. ®

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