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Virgin Media and its ADSL broadband problems
Friday 09 November 2007 12:05:48 by Andrew Ferguson

It is quite revealing that independently of each other both ISPreview and thinkbroadband both featured an article voicing concern over the rise in complaints from Virgin Media ADSL customers.

ISPreview has published a response and the Virgin broadband status page has been updated.

"We are currently experiencing an uneven spread of traffic across different parts of the network, causing some customers to experience degradation in their broadband performance. This problem was also exacerbated by an unplanned outage which has been resolved. The traffic issue has been identified and the fix has been implemented. In conjunction with the broader improvements we are putting in place these should result in a significantly improved service. We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused you. We are monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis and will post further updates if necessary. In some individual cases, customers using routers or the Virgin Wireless Kit may also benefit immediately from forcing a new session by switching your router off & on again at the wall socket. We take our customer’s experience seriously and are working to resolve any issues as quickly as possible."

Virgin Media Network Status update 7 November 2007

The suggestion appears to be that restarting your ADSL hardware may help to resolve the problem, so it will be interesting to see how this helps people. Certainly we have had users monitoring the state of the various components in the Virgin Media ADSL network, and performance varies according to which server you are connected to. Only time will tell if these latest changes will make a noticeable difference. A useful post to read on how to find out whether you are connected to a good server (known as a BAM) is to take a look this post on our forums.


Posted by hoodamanny over 9 years ago
Last time I called Virgin (and their 25p per minute line) They insisted it was a fault of my computer and thus didn't refund the charge.

I am really angry and am going back to them for a refund. I am so going to use the fact that they lied to me, to get out of my contract. Surely they can do more than resorting to the tactics of a con artist to get money out of me?
Posted by hoodamanny over 9 years ago
I have told them that the internet is drastically slow at different, times and they told me its because I have too many applications running in the background.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"We are currently experiencing an uneven spread of traffic across different parts of the network"
Fair enough but......
quote"The traffic issue has been identified and the fix has been implemented."
Really id love to know what magical fix they have implemented for over subscription.
Either it is "uneven spread" or it isnt?????
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"In some individual cases, customers using routers or the Virgin Wireless Kit may also benefit immediately from forcing a new session by switching your router off & on again at the wall socket."
And for the ones (probably 99.9%) that ridiculous solution doesnt help, whats being done huh??? Virgin Media, why they even bother with statements is beyond me, the statements are as rubbish as the service.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
"We are currently experiencing an uneven spread of traffic across different parts of the network"

Erm.......maybe turning off the traffic shaping kit might help?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Or if they dont wanna turn it off how about alter the hours for each service the management kicks in (I dont know exactly the amount of hours a day it affects people but as an example only limit the 20Mb service from 9pm-11pm then limit the 4Mb 11pm-1am and the 2Mb from 1am-3am... of course this is just an example, but would stop the mad rush from EVERYONE to on EVERY service to download before the throttles kick in each day) Then again who are we kidding this is virgin common sense with them is never the answer.
Posted by wbarryk over 9 years ago
hi, am new to this, but i shocked to find out that this such a big problem, for a while i thought it was my computer, ...a near top of the range computer that can't handle internet? So i check my speed and its miles behind what is should be... it seams you pay a lot for not a lot. How long have i been getting cond?
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
Hey, that's my monitoring('monitoring the state') that it links to!!
Posted by aiterry over 9 years ago
Fixed!!! You have to be joking... This is just a PR exercise and a bad one at that. As it just makes the ones who have the problems, think worse about the problems they have, that Virgin don't really care about every time you speak to their support lines.
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
From: Virgin Media
Sent: 09 November 2007 18:08
Subject: Free TV and faster broadband - at no extra cost!

To say thanks for being one of our biggest fans, we’re giving you the chance to switch to our Unlimited Talk & Broadband Bundle 2. You’ll get even more than you do now – including a blisteringly fast boost to your broadband and a Virgin Free TV box. And at just £14.99 a month, it won’t cost you a penny more! Here’s the deal:

• Super-fast up to 8Mb broadband, (with no annoying download limits*).
12 month minimum term contract applies. *Acceptable use policy applies.
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
Thanks to gruntfuttock for the heads-up on the latest psy-ops email from VM.

"blisteringly fast"?
"biggest fan"? Me?
"no annoying download limits"?
sign a new 12mth contract?

Are they crazy?
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
a number of ISPs have issues with uneven allocation of users to their fat pipes, servers etc. It is common for Entanet users to be looking at the state of different BT centrals at busy times and reconnecting in the hope of getting a better one. Is the Virgin problem the same ? Some ISPs manage it more tightly by putting a proportion of users onto each pipe / server using different login details, this at least prevents everybody piling on to one point of the network.
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
@Herwick and @ CarpetBurn....

Good point, which would probably explain VMs request to off your router for 5 mins (preferably 20 to ensure a clear session on the Centrals) and you may, if you are a lucky punter, get a different Central on re-connect... That is assuming they:
a. Have more than 1 ;-)
b. They aren't all full!
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
That's the gist of what we have to do.
I've actually written a script to do it for me. Of course, it's not limited to VM's ADSL. But, it is limited (due to current design) to operating Netgear DG834/GT or USB modems.
You put in the parameters you want (eg. min latency, how many attempts, router IP/username/password), and it does all the work for you whilst logging latency (that it finds) to a logfile.
If anyone else (non-VM) wants it, come see me in the VM ADSL forum.
Posted by user589 over 9 years ago
Those Virgin Media people and their call centres have cost me a lot of money just on my phone bills.

So I created a website and wrote all about it:

note, I am serving the website on their servers ;)
Posted by blanford over 9 years ago
I was one of the "lucky punters" who got a much better connection on router restart (going from 100kbps to 6Mbps), but I'm still having a hell of a time with glacial DNS lookups. What kind of service doesn't have in its DNS cache? (Then again, maybe I need to set up a local one to compensate for this for when I'm not a work). Anyone else have a similar trouble?
Posted by blanford over 9 years ago
Let me follow this one up with this from "Network Utility"

Ping has started ...

PING ( 56 data bytes

--- ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss

ping: unknown host

--- ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 8 packets received, 20% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 193.754/197.7/201.919 ms

--- ping statistics ---
10 packets transmitted, 9 packets received, 10% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 205.169/217.434/225.891 ms
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
Be careful with assuming the DNS fault is VM's.
From a command prompt, do a 'ipconfig/all'. If your 'gateway' is the same as your 'DNS', then your modem/router is acting as a DNS proxy, and (possibly) has a bad entry stuck in the cache.

No real way of clearing this dns cache, short of rebooting the modem/router.
Posted by stopper over 9 years ago
Still no different today, speed absolutely abmismal with no response other than slow running symbol posted on their customer site. My 12 months period is up in December and as soon as it is up will give notice and change suppier. Perhaps when they coninue to loose customers they will take note.
Posted by andrewrw over 9 years ago
Yep still crap speeds and now their email system isn't working (since 9am this morning). My contract is up in Feb and even though they are the cheapest (I pay 15 quid a month for 8mb unlimited)I love my gaming and I can't live with 250ms pings on xbox live, so I will be off as well. I can't believe this pathetic excuse for a company is actually allowed to still sell its products when it blatantly lies to it's customers. Truly amazing.
Posted by me7057092 over 9 years ago
With upload speeds double that of download speeds it something of an understatement to say there are 'problems'....! Virgin broadband = 0.1Mbps.
Posted by Dave_SgtPepper over 9 years ago
Andrew, I'm rather surprised that it has taken you so long to draw attention to this issue. The problems with Virgin ADSL have been going on for well over a year now, as you well know from your visits to the forum.
Posted by Dave_SgtPepper over 9 years ago

What makes my blood boil is that non-savvy customers who contact Virgin to complain about atrocious speeds at peak times, are simply being given the run around by Virgin staff who refuse to admit it's their problem. I wonder how many customers have spent hours on their premium rate 'help' lines being duped into believing there is something wrong with their setup. It's blatant fraud.
Posted by Dave_SgtPepper over 9 years ago
We all know what the real problem is ... over-contention and a refusal by Virgin Media to invest adequately in an infrastructure that will support the number of customers they have suckered in with their marketing lies.
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
Everything (except email) has returned to 'green' on the VM Status page:

Everything fixed? Latency issues fixed? Speed issues fixed? Capacity issues fixed? Packetloss issues fixed?

What do you think?!?!

That's right, Branson. Sweep it under the carpet.
Posted by supersnad over 9 years ago
I signed up to Virgin's 8mbs broadband and i'm receiving about 4.5mbs on a line that can sustain 5.5mps but during peak times i'm receiving 0.2mbs which to me is totally unacceptable.I've contacted Virgin on many occassions but after numerous replies with info from them i'm still no better off.
The annoying thing is when i was with Tiscali 2mbs i was receiving a more stable speed overall
Posted by AndyMorrow over 9 years ago
High 300 + ping rates, very slow peek time speeds ( sometimes as low as 130 kbps ) ..
I got sick of Virgin continuously blame my computer and BT.
I've moved to BT broadband. And now have Low ping and and 2Mbps at peek times.
Amazing aint it, same computer, same phone line. If you aint happy with Virgin move to a new I.S.P.
Posted by mcbazza over 9 years ago
They've managed to make it even worse. I know. Hard to believe. They implemented 'stealth' changes to traffic management (not telling even their own staff they were doing it). And online gaming/VoIP/etc has been broken ever since.
Bunch of cowboys.
Posted by user589 over 7 years ago
Virgin Media took down my website, from 3 different servers previously. anyway, I managed to get it back up online and reveal them ;)
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