Speed and latency problems repeat once again for Virgin Media users
The last week has seen what appears to be a larger than normal set of complaints about speed test performance for Virgin Media customers, and investigating this evening suggests that the problems experienced back in March 2017 are repeating, i.e. periods of time where the baseline latency increases and many people see their single (tbbx1) and to a lesser extent the multiple thread (httpx6) speed tests results drop.
The timings are different compared to back in March but the pattern looks the same, and cross checking with broadband monitors for other providers we cannot see the same, so we know its not our monitoring tool itself. The exact change that Virgin Media did in March remains unknown, but we presume someone knows what they did and hopefully by highlighting how visible the latency problem they will perform the same fixes, or if its something new set the right people to work.
For those not familiar with our broadband quality monitor it sends a stream of small ping packets to your broadband router and if this is configured to respond we can plot a response time. Seeing some yellow on the charts is normal at peak times, and since cable services experience slightly more jitter compared to other technologies the yellow can often be more apparent. The issue is that the green which is the minimum latency seen has risen considerably, and if this was due to normal congestion one would expect there to be more of a slope and it not be the same for so many connections.
Does this mean everything is broken for Virgin Media users? Probably not as just like last time not all sites were affected, and for some video it can be served directly from Virgin Media without breaking out to the Internet for real.
So the question is how long will this problem now last, and to what extent is this behind other news stories about Virgin Media being down.
Update 8:30am Wednesday 17th May
Things appear to have improved sometime time shortly after 11am and we are also seeing Virgin Media customers with much better speed test results. So the question for Virgin Media customers are things better at this time of day and from a trawl of social media it is clear it is not just traffic coming to and from thinkbroadband that is affected.