Broadband News

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.

Ping plot showing high minimum latency from Virgin Media user
Click image for larger version

BQM monitor for Virgin Media cable customer

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.

Ping plot showing high minimum latency from Virgin Media user
Click image for larger version

BQM monitor for Virgin Media cable customer

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.

Ping plot showing high minimum latency from Virgin Media user
Click image for larger version

BQM monitor for Virgin Media cable customer

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

Ping plot showing high minimum latency from Virgin Media user
Click image for larger version

Virgin Media cable BQM showing extent of high latency period

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.

Comments

Glad it's not just me, my graph is idenitcal... getting packet loss now too.

  • BuckleZ
  • 5 months ago

Yep. Same here too. Very similar BQM graph.

  • razorhazor
  • 5 months ago

Exactly the same here too

  • Nightgaunt
  • 5 months ago

Only just got introduced to this monitor and has it opened my eyes!

Suffering from congestion and packet lose as well, managed to get out of my contract stating I've been using this Broadband monitor and I'm not impressed.

  • theeggman
  • 5 months ago

it happened the past 2 nights 8-10pm, very light though, 10ms on ping times was all i noticed, tonight it's still ongoing with 20ms+ and packetloss

  • BuckleZ
  • 5 months ago

@thinkbroadband Interesting - seen high ping and low down last night. Ping back to normal now but down still only 1/2 what I usually get

  • @Mi0VAX
  • comment via twitter
  • 5 months ago

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/9c206c44037f286b7f42c83d8bd04fec

  • BuckleZ
  • 5 months ago

interesting my ping times from derry in the virgin network are normal, my issue begins;

9 linx-gw2.thdo.ncuk.net (195.66.236.240) 54.360 ms 54.859 ms 53.977 ms

  • BuckleZ
  • 5 months ago

Noticed higher latency on a few traceroute tests to sites like bbc.co.uk over 400ms during peak times to the first hop of VM's network, but sometimes it can be absolutely fine, so this would concur with my recent experiences of it being "up and down" lately!

  • jamesmacwhite
  • 5 months ago

I've been suffering with 10-15% packet loss for 3 weeks and speeds of 5-15meg down (100meg service) numerous phone calls, engineer visit (who said everything was fine). Another engineer coming Tomorrow, if he can't fix it have agreed to let me leave without penalty.

  • andy743
  • 5 months ago

Didn't notice it at the time but checked both my graph and the office graph (VM domestic and business services respectively) and both showing identical humps around 7pm - 11pm.

It's worth saying that the peering and routing has been getting much worse over the last 12 months, more congested hops and longer routes too. Anyone else noticing this trend?

  • tomjsweet
  • 5 months ago

I've been having trouble for something like 4-5 days. First noticed that iPlayer is unusable even from the V6 box - kept buffering every minute or two. When checking with speedtest the single thread was at times down to 1mbps (150 mbps service) occasionally it would give a result of close to the normal (25-30mbps). The multithread tests were about 14 mbps when bad compared to the norm of around 110 mpbs. Fraid I wasn't keeping an eye on the latency. (Oxford area 31). Glad to hear its not just me, helps enormously when dealing with VM ! Thanks eveyone.

  • ian_mcarthur
  • 5 months ago

You guys complain for slow internet. I have been without internet for 9 days in a row already and Virgin has provided 4 different ETAs so far, all false. I hate them with every inch of my soul.

  • dimitrisCBR
  • 5 months ago

I had to go through this recently with the business line, make sure you escalate each day otherwise they are VERY slow. Our situation was due to a cable break outside the office building. Raise a complaint with Ofcom as well if you're not satisfied.

  • tomjsweet
  • 5 months ago

this is the SUperhub 3 issue (was fine on superhub 2)

  • leexgx
  • 5 months ago

the min latency is not the hub thought(i was not expecting that post to post as i was getting a cross site post error before)

need to plug in my own router so i get real ping as Superhub 3 you have to disable the firewall to enable ping and i am getting very high peak pings (no option to just enable ping response)

  • leexgx
  • 5 months ago

@leexgx This peering issue is NOT specific to the Hub 3. It's between Virgin's edge network and LiNX. It affects all models of hub.

  • badhat
  • 5 months ago

... if you happen to be sending traffic via LiNX. If you send traffic via another route your hub won't be affected. So start your VPN's to get around the issue.

  • badhat
  • 5 months ago

It's happening yet again this evening.

  • Chaykin
  • 5 months ago

yep. mine is exactly the same.... except im also getting hours of outage...

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/c55332f684afd4965b7edcaaf2ca7b0f2f6d5330

  • ianjeffery
  • 5 months ago

Yes I can see the hump appearing again on both domestic and business connections.

Probably will not get any response from VM as per, maybe a scripted marketing type response but nothing of value.

  • tomjsweet
  • 5 months ago

Yep, I'm seeing it again this evening as well, normally have a low contention connection. Can't even get Amazon streaming consistently in HD let alone 1080p or UltraHD at the moment.

  • MajorRPump
  • 5 months ago

Definitely agree with thinkbroadband for publishing this trend..

Absolutely will see larger trend of reporting this problem in some areas, no one seems to letting slip as to what's at the heart of the issue, but it does appear the poor VM reps bear the brunt of having to keep up the tales, VM keeping schtum about the whole mess and releasing misleading statements to customers caught in it , have advised a Dec 2017 fix

Unfortunately have no backup fallback wired provider..

  • satyp
  • 5 months ago

If you start a VPN which routes differently the issue with TBB graphs goes away. Any sites which were laggy also spring into life.

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/_assets/speedtest/button/1495048500727851855.png

http://www.speedtest.net/result/6305290681.png
both less than 2 mins apart.

Turn on a VPN the bump to TBB goes away, which is no shock as if this was actual congestion the graphs would not just be a sudden high blip it would gradually increase or decrease as the network becomes more and more or less and less congested. Congestion does not just suddenly appear and vanish.

  • comnut
  • 5 months ago

As mentioned elsewhere, on core links congestion can look exactly like this. I went into a more complete explanation there.

The impact of using a VPN is nothing whatsoever to do with the cause of the VM issue. It just indicates the route to the VPN doesn't use the same link.

That it only happened at peak times is enough of an indication it was congestion.

  • CarlThomas
  • 5 months ago

I have been complaining to M/s Karen Ingram, Customer Service Director at VM, about the frequent dips in speed only to be advised about a month later by one of her (nameless) minions "The issue relates to an area problem which term outage and the problem is related to congestion of the network termed over utilisation", and there was silly old me naively thinking it was under provision of network capacity.

So now you know: it is all your fault for doing what you paid for and using the network. So back off :-(

  • Mikejc
  • 5 months ago

Virgin BB is the most frustrating, useless product I have ever purchased.

  • samjones111
  • 5 months ago

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