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Virgin Broadband Blacked Out By ‘Routing Issue’

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Virgin Media’s broadband services across the UK have been restored after customers experienced a blackout

Virgin Media has fixed a ‘routing issue’ that caused some customers to experience a three hour broadband blackout last night.

The problem apparently occurred on Tuesday night between 5pm and 8pm, when an unknown number of Virgin Media’s five million customers in the UK experienced a loss of their internet connection.

The company blamed a ‘routing issue’ for the problem, which it says is now resolved.

Service Outage

“Our customers may have experienced some problems getting online for a short time yesterday evening,” a Virgin Media spokesperson told Techweek Europe in an emailed statement. “This was related to a routing hardware [problem] leading to intermittent broadband access.”

“Our engineers have now fixed the problem and services were restored by 7.30pm,” the spokesperson said. “We apologise for the inconvenience.”

It should be noted that this is not the first outage for Virgin Media. In October some Virgin Media customers in Scotland experienced a broadband outage after rats were found to have chewed through fibre optic cables.

However those Virgin Media outages seem to have been nowhere near the scale of the outage experienced by thousands of BT customers last October. This occurred after a major power failure at a BT exchange in Birmingham.

Speed Increase

The Virgin Media service outage comes just days after the company announced that it will be doubling its broadband speeds for four million of its customers, and increasing its top speed to 120Mbps.

Subscribers to Virgin’s 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 30Mbps and 50Mbps will see their speeds at least doubled, while its 100Mbps customers will receive the new top speed of 120Mbps. This new top speed will allow users to download an entire music album in just 4.4 seconds.

One third of the UK population currently has access to Virgin Media’s 100Mbps service and it has committed to increase this to at least one half of the UK by the middle of 2012.