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Evening latency rises point to problems with Virgin Media again
Wednesday 07 November 2012 13:36:13 by Andrew Ferguson

Running a broadband provider and having zero faults is an impossibility, but recently Virgin Media appears to be having more than its fair share of problems.

thinkbroadband BQM graph showing peak time latency issues on evening of 6th Nov 2012
Click image for larger version

The BQM picture above shows the problem users are experiencing, and while with many providers it is not uncommon to see the yellow area increase in width at peak times, seeing the large rise in the green area (minimum latency) is a clear sign of a problem. This can be down to an individuals link for, or congestion at a local node or when in the case of this latest problem it appears to be affecting many people running our BQM tool, it points to a provider or peering issue.

ISPreview has a link to a discussion thread on Virgin Media's own forums where people are discussing the problem, and many more BQM graphs can be found. There does not appear to be any packet loss at this time, so hopefully video streaming and web browsing will still be ok, but online gamers who want to remain sane would be advised to avoid the hours between 8pm and 10pm currently - unless they fancy some old school dial-up type lag.

Our BQM tool is free to use, and works by sending a small ping packet periodically to your broadband router, and plotting the response times. Many consumer routers (including Virgin Media Superhub) have the ICMP/ping response disabled, so we have a FAQ showing what you need to change for common routers. For those with a BT Home Hub you cannot use the tool, as ping (ICMP echo) responses are disabled in the home hub firmware, breaking a very useful and common diagnostic tool that is older than web browsers.

Update: There's a useful site showing a number of BQM graphs from Virgin and other providers you can view here


Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
I have the exact same spike at the same time on my graph (also a VM customer).
Posted by LT38 over 4 years ago
this isnt just a peak time problem as virgin would have people believe been experiencing this between 12pm and 2am every day for months

yesterday was same as every other day 12pm till 1:30am or there abouts its becoming pointless even bothering to use the net at all while with VM. Unfortunately for me due to last tenents both our landlord and BT will not alow or fit a new BT line so stuck with these numpties
Posted by lowei over 4 years ago
"For those with a BT Home Hub you cannot use the tool, as ping (ICMP echo) responses are disabled in the home hub firmware, breaking a very useful and common diagnostic tool that is older than web browsers."

I have set my BQM tool up with a BT Home Hub 3 by putting my wired blue-ray player into DMZ.
Posted by scootie over 4 years ago
keep this in the news pleas
Posted by scootie over 4 years ago
also ad to how they run the upstream at well over 60% capacity which docsis tech dont treat latency well at all. i dont know y asa lets them show a game in the tv in there ads when they treat the upstream path so shockingly ib the eyes of gamers
Posted by scootie over 4 years ago
an capacity faults can only be raised if the aveage over 24hours is massvely high. for latency customers that needs to be a down to midday to midnight at least.
Posted by azurescorch over 4 years ago
I just switched to plusnet. With Virgin Media I had 300ms jitter, packet loss, and high ping in general. Like LT38, I too had issues outside of peak time. Their customer service is terrible too... Hell my friend complained recently, they told him they aren't going to amend the issue because there's "nothing wrong".
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Upstreams can be run considerably higher than 60% with minimal issues on the Motorola BSR. Unsure whether the Cisco kit's poorer handling of contention have been resolved.
Posted by Rootster over 4 years ago
My evening chart from around 8pm to 10pm is double the "height" of the one illustrated. And average and maximum levels are correspondingly double -- pretty much 24/7. Virgin have always been hit and miss in Southampton, but I don't recall it being this bad?
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
andrew keep this in the news is good you reported this, also I did several speedtests last night to birmingham, coventry and namesco in london, also maidenhead, all were affected and sub 4mbit during the spike. Most under 10% of normal speed. is the suspected culprit.
Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
I had the same spike last night. Considering the number of people reporting this, from all over the country, I'd say it points to there being a backhaul issue - possibly oversubscription, but there's little point in upgrading a CMTS in that case.
Posted by drummerjohn over 4 years ago
Same again last night. Worst ISP of my twelve year exeperience.
Posted by ashwesterby over 4 years ago
Online gaming is terrible on virgin specially the 100 meg package if you like online gaming do not use this company
Posted by george1976 over 4 years ago
In the article it says something like: fortunately there are not packet losses at the moment.
My graph shows minimum ping around 130 ms in the evening and multiple packet losses.
Yesterday the VM engineer? told me there is nothing wrong with my broadband.....
I am really thinking of paying the absurd amount of money they asked to cancel this 12 months contract.
Posted by Aizoon over 4 years ago
I wish this surprised me. Simply unusable at busy times in BS7.

Attracted by Virgin ads? Think again, my friend, think again...
Posted by briansaab over 4 years ago
I returned from holiday recently to find the same humps in my BQM. Last one seemed to be evening of 7th Nov [url=]My Broadband Ping[/url] so has the problem been solved?
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
Before considering VM you should check the VM forums regarding your area.

Tends to be urban areas which are congested, my uncle has it and he gets full speed 24/7 and 10ms ping.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
Not buffering, surely ?
Posted by colintwose over 4 years ago
I use ADSL24 (ASDSL2+) and have the same problem. I sent data from to their technical dept for several weeks but they were unable to offer a solution, I gave up
Posted by jamieaa64 over 4 years ago
Their customer support in the forums is quite good. Mark is really great.

Their phone support is terrible. I've been told a bunch of times that there are no problems despite the CS person logging into my computer and seeing the pings for herself, then she bumped me to a premium support number saying there was an issue with my computer who bumped me back and i had to explain everything all over again!
Posted by shiggy over 4 years ago
I wish my graph was as good as that one. Had issues with Virgin Media since October and still no fix date. Poor quality from 4pm tp 10pm and unusable around 7 to 8:30. Saturday is the worst when it seems the first match on Sky kills the service.
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