Working from home on Virgin Media’s broadband? Too bad. Outage hits English capital

Just days after the ISP boasted about its network resilience in the face of spiking post-lockdown broadband usage, Virgin Media’s customers across the UK capital are reporting being unable to get online as they attempt to work from home, do their schoolwork and watch Netflix.

The outage began around 9am UK time this morning and appears to be ongoing three hours later.

Completely misreading the room, the ISP posted a lighthearted tweet about playing games early this morning, which was received about as well as you’d imagine.

Virgin was last bashed by the outage stick – resulting in cascades of downtime – over a 24-hour period in late April. At the time, infosec firm ThousandEyes chalked it up to issues in the UPC AS6830 Broadband network, which is owned by Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global. VM did not confirm this, but did admit the issue was caused by a fault in the core network, without clarifying further.

ThousandEyes said earlier this month that a majority of all outages between January and April were ISP-related, and said it saw a steady rise in the number of global ISP-related blakcouts since the beginning of March.

Virgin Media has been telling users that it is “aware that some customers in parts of London are experiencing an issue with their broadband. We are working as quickly as possible to restore services and apologise to those affected.”

We’ve asked Virgin Media to provide us with more details.

There has been a surge in broadband demand from ISP customers – both looking for business continuity around home working and network resilience, but consumers, of course, are not protected by service-level agreements seen in the corporate world, and homebound users are complaining bitterly of being kept in the dark about the cause of the outage and the expected time for a fix. Many also said they were unable to get through to customer services to report the issue.

Virgin’s social media arm was quick to assure customers that they could always consult the ISP’s status page, which at the time of writing continued to insist: “There are no large scale network outages we’re aware of.”

OK then.

Virgin and O2 UK last month revealed plans to combine their respective fixed-line and mobile networks into a mega entity in a “blockbuster merger”. ®

*In VM’s case, showing a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance

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