back to article Virgin Media network goes down down south

Virgin Media's network is suffering major problems this morning, with cable subscribers in south London and the South East cut off, and the firm's own website - including webmail - down. A spokeswoman for the cable company had no further details. According to Reg readers the problems started at about 11pm last night and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Oi ! Where's my Cloud gone ?

    Not just London and South East, service north of London (Luton) is flaky; browsing and usenet access seems okay, but cannot connect to Virgin email pop3 servers.

    Their "150" customer services number seems to have buckled under the strain too; complete silence for ages then, "All our representatives are busy" ... can't think why ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear.


    Sorry for any inconvenience, but our website is temporarily out of action.

    Our engineers are now working to rectify the problem as quickly as possible. Please check back with us in a while.

    Virgin Media

    Somebody pulled the wrong plug out somewhere.

  3. Robert Ramsay

    Reading also titsup

    I rang up 151 this morning and knew it was serious because they promised "updates by 9am". Broadband completely knackered.

  4. Chris 223

    Oh Dear it's not just me then

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And also in South Wales (Swansea)

    Had the same problems since last night as well. SMTP servers down, no access to Virgin web site either. No redirect at their site explaining anything. Typical of their rubbish service.

  6. PaulR79

    Far more widespread than "down south"

    I'm sure they're aware of it now but it's not just the south affected because I've had the same problems since last night up here in the north east. I don't know why they say it's only webmail too since POP access is down and has been for the same amount of time.

    A question I'd really like an answer to: what can possibly be such a huge problem that engineers can't rectify it in almost 12 hours? In addition to that question why isn't there a backup located elsewhere to take over for it? Slow access while the problem is fixed is annoying but acceptable if it's temporary. No access at all is baffling and frustrating.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Again

    This happened to me about three weeks ago to me. Hours talking to some quite charming Indians who had not been told that the server was titsup and £70 to a MAC guru who found a workround had me reconnected. At least this time it is general and the Reg has some details. Why to these monkeys always say that their engineers are working hard. Don't they usually?

    Beardie is not my favourite person, but only he has fibre optic down my street.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Glad I left...

    rearrange: Piss up A brewery organise in a shoddy fuckwits couldn't

  9. Alex 83


    if its that rubbish just change. But then you have another bad egg Its loose loose

  10. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    All okay in the South West (Torquay anyway)

    All seems to be okay here in Torquay thankfully, actually I can't say we've had any serious problems in the past 6 months in this area, I just wish they'd sort my crossed phone line out.


  11. Cthonus

    Not only but also

    I've had problems for the past month or so in Edinburgh. Nothing ever appears on the VM Status Page. Last time I got completely cut off I telephoned their support. "Oh," said the nice bod at the other end, "we don't put known issues on the Status Page unless they affect a certain amount of people."

    Then he added happily, "We're aiming to get your connexion back up in four days time."

    Scotland: East & South East: NO ISSUES REPORTED.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Typical quality service mr branson ;)

    If only i could aspire to be so well maintained :D

    Pity they didn't keep all the services stand alone as poor old blueyonder customers will be suffering due to this as well i would bet and all their poor lowly business customers in those areas..

    Ahwell more money to add to their debt mountain for rebates from no service provided....

  13. andrew mulcock

    Cambridge as well

    Looks like all email is out as well ,

    Cambridge has no email service, and web access through virgin is gone, as is the old re direction.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    VM - Virtually Managed (if at all!)

    I left VM just after they switched names from NTL, Crap Customer Service (when you could get through!), Crap Connection & highly restricted D/L limit. They dont seem to have improved.

    everytime I had a problem with their service i would call them, and their standard answer was reboot your PC, reboot the STB (set top box) and then they'd hang up. When they found out that i had more than 1 PC connected, their answer changed to 'We don't support networks' and then they would hang up!

    Glad to get rid of them.

  15. Skyte

    Change your DNS servers

    I've just changed my config to use opendns servers for DNS resolution and I'm back up and running again. Still can't access any virgin sites, but who cares...

    Try and

  16. Graham Hawkins

    Died around midnight on 29th...

    ...maybe they are retuning for Freeview.

  17. Neil 4

    Fine for me

    I'm in South London / Surrey and have had no issues at all.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A friend of mine uses VM, he said that they were down in the Reading area towards the end of last week and for at least part of the weekend.

    Fibre Optic* speed is all very well, but if it goes down all the time, it's next to useless.

    *That special kind of fibre optic which comes out of copper connectors in your house....

  19. Chris Miller

    It's obvious

    They're simply retuning their Freeview receiver.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Back up now...

    Was it taken down so that they could install phorm?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    No connection problems in Farnborough

    I've had no problems down my way: all websites open, all downloads come in quickly. VoIP and VPNs also unaffected.

  22. Adam Salisbury

    Sounds about right

    I noticed my connection drop around 11 and as I'm merely spitting distance from their 'former NTL site in Winnersh' the urge to indulge in some 'direct action' is almost too much to bear!!

    One wonders if they've tried doing a Barrell Roll....

  23. willcurtis
    Thumb Up

    Fault Clear Time

    Virgin has a clear time of 1pm for this fault, they have sourced replacement parts and are installing them now!

  24. Anonymous Coward


    NTL outsourced IT to IBM Global Services some time ago.

    IBM will be paying a lot of money in compensation to VM.

    I wonder if VM will be paying compensation to Virgin Media Customers?

  25. Atilla the Hun (No relation)

    Score 50% only in Oxford area

    Broadband running at the usual standard (read into that what you will)

    POP3 distinctly non-there.

    No point whatsoever in picking up the phone to the BeardyTeam.

    'Our engineer will be getting off his arse quite soon and down to some serious scratching. After that it might get fixed, or we might fuck it up totally, who knows?'

  26. ExRLCBod

    HAd no problems

    in Birmingham, or Burton, been able to sign on all day

  27. Corrado Mella
    Thumb Up

    No problems here up north

    As far as I can tell, no probs up here in Scotland.

    SMTP, POP3, browsing... all OK, apart from the VM websites specifically affected from the outage, but the placeholder page comes up as fast as lightning!!! ;-)

    Sorry for you down south...

  28. Jazzman

    I remember the days of Blueyonder..........

    .............and had hardly any gripes/outage in all the years that I was with them. Since VM have taken over, I have had a fair amount of outages, however, since my Scientific Atlanta modem was replaced with a VM one, compatible with 50MB, all seems to be well and I appear to hit almost 20MB, my dl limit, as per Speedtest every day.

    20090930 @ 11.46GMT - Service is unaffected.

  29. Rysz

    100 yards from the original NTL building...

    We are 100 yards from the ntl building in Nottingham and we are having the same problem - ho hum.

  30. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A rough translation

    Shame that google translate doesn't do marketing into english. It might come out something like this:


    Some of our customers are currently experiencing intermittent service problems caused by power fluctuations at one of our facilities. Our engineers are working hard to bring services back on line as quickly as possible.


    Most of our customers are screaming at us as the service crashed when someone switched off the wrong switch. Our engineers are scratching their heads trying to get the systems to reboot, but haven't really got a scoobie why they don't work.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    No probs in Tunbridge Wells

    But then again, I am currently running at about a 94 or 95% uptime (between 8am and midnight - would probably be worse if I counted the entire day) so far this year so they are definitely a pretty poor service.

    Also using opendns after an extended outage to their own DNS servers some time ago.

  32. James Coombs

    DNS servers down

    DNS servers and were both down ALL last night. Now appears working (so I can post this.)

  33. phoenix

    Cool here on business circuit in Cambridge

    DNS servers are up If these are scoobied try running your own DNS to get root hints.

    @willcurtis This is a joke - right? Cause if it isn't those parts should be held in stock.

  34. Bit Brain

    Re: Re: No connection problems in Farnborough

    It's not likely to affect Farnborough customers as it's only affecting customers connected to the Bromley headend (ex-Cable&Wireless customers). Ex-NTL customers are connected to the headend at Langley and ex-Telewest customers the headend at Knowsley.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Paul_Murphy
    Paris Hilton

    Watford Ok (touches wood)

    Seems Ok here, though access to some VM sites is getting a default error message for an uobtainable site.

    I'm using OpenDNS though.


    Ph - snigger I said wood in the title

  37. Mikey
    Thumb Up

    All is well again

    Yup, there was a chunk of time when everything went tits up (around 1am-ish last night till about 11am this morning), but everything is back on again it seems. I guess the net addicts were screaming at mummy becayuse their precious WoW link was down in the wee small hours, but the rest of us sane users (all 3 of us) simply turned the computers off and went to sleep.

    Living about 4 miles or so from the Winnersh Cluster(fuck), I have to say service around here is pretty damn reliable, and all these clowns who whinge and moan about crap service and whatnot evidently live in isolation in a cave on dartmoor or something. Been with this lot since they were NTL, and never had a major complaint against em.

    Besides, when ANY ISP can garuantee 100% uptime, then you can complain. Until then, put the dummy back in, stop crying, and go do something useful.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    12:30 update

    The "151" service status says only email and VM homepage is affected, next update at 2pm.

    Email's just started working for me, everything else seems okay (Luton), and VM homepage back up ( don't forget to flush cache or append "?" to address if necessary ).

    As for compensation; phone up customer services, explain how it was a bad choice choosing to work from home today and VM outage has caused serious problems and ask, "is there any chance of compensation?". Usually works for me. Probably won't if you throw a shit-fit though.

  39. Oz

    Re: All is well again

    Wow - you're ok, so everyone else is a clown and lives in a cave! I was with NTL when I first moved to Southampton (hardly an isolated area) and they were truly crap. They couldn't provide a decent phone service and their internet offering was bloody unreliable. Worst of all was their customer service - dire, is the best way I can describe it... 2 hours in a queue FFS!

    I dumped them and have never looked back. If you like VM then good for you - accept that others may not!

  40. Professor Quatermass

    That's why I live in Hampstead.

    South of the river? Indeed.

    Now if only O2's network would cease dropping 3G service whenever there's a bad news day (my iPhone went mad for a few hours yesterday eve).

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long standing

    I used to be with NTL years ago, they had problems with their DNS then. Seems like Virgin have never bothered to solve this critical and recurring problem.

    I've been using the net since the 1980's, and Virgin/NTL are the only company that I have ever come across with this issue. I'd love to know what the problem is and why they can't sort it.

  42. Antony King
    Thumb Up

    I'm alright Jack :-)

    In north kent about 30 miles east of Bromley, all was well last night and has been fine all day today - I'm a network engineery type working from home so if anything goes down all merry hell breaks loose! I'm in an ex telewest area and the service here has been rock solid for the last 5 years.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Customer Services

    And the other rediculous thing, is whilst Virgin Media's website shows a correct go/no blob indication for the service status, they *never* publish/admit their is a problem with the network.

    Go to their service status page now and it shows "no current problems".

    It's dishonest. Almost like Gordon Brown refusing to admit he's made any mistakes.

  44. Andy C

    humm, seems to be happening a lot...

    My dad's connection was dead for a couple of days last week (mon and tues, wigan area, cable service) - he ended up coming up to mine to steal my connection :)

  45. Kev K
    Thumb Up


    Been getting calls all morning about this, NTL Biz pop servers seem to be down round here - I dont use their mail servers but do use openDNS so havent noticed any issues.

    My 50 mb at home seems fine (again opendns and own mail servers) - as a rule I dont have any issues with VM or the NTL Biz service much - I mean MUCH better reliability than BT in these parts.

  46. Alpha Tony


    Actually, not just the net addicts Mikey.

    I work from home - or at least I normally do.

    I had telepresence meetings scheduled from 8am this morning.

    I ended up having to completely rearrange my day and get a cab to the office. I am several hours behind with my work as a result.

    I'm not suggesting I should be compensated or anything, but this WAS a major issue for me.

    BTW - I agree in general that their service is pretty sound - I wouldn't use it for work if it wasn't. I am on the 50Mb and dont seem to experience most of the issues that others report with caps and slowdown. Today was very annoying though.

  47. Red Bren

    Another power problem?

    The outage that disconnected the whole of Leeds a few of weeks ago was also blamed on power problems. Have they not heard of UPS or redundancy (in the back-up sense, not getting rid of UK help desk staff)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Stephen Penna

    The Mr Stephen Penna in Leatherhead??

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I disagree with you Mikey, I live a few miles from Winnersh and I used to be with NTL.

    The service overall was good, but they had a recurring problem with the DNS, they would go down for hours at a time, and I remember having an entire evening wiped out because of it.

    Admittedly it didn't happen too frequently. But it did happen and it was fatal.

    If you're trying to run a business then it's a very serious issue indeed.

    I got around it by using OpenDNS. I was IT literate enough to work out what was going on and so solved it easily. But most net users aren't techical experts. These outages are still going on today, and affect hundreds of thousands of users, and it's not acceptable.

    Having been using the net for nigh on 20 years, NTL/Virgin are the only company I have ever used which have this kind of issue. it's not good enough.

    And as for your comment about not guaranteeing 100% uptime, who cares about guarantees, it's the actual uptime that matters, and Virgin Media is the worst of any ISP I have come across.

    Mikey, you're being far too generous with Virgin, when I compare them to other ISPs, their performance is not good.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Happy customer

    I guess mostly those who write in have had bad service, but here in Cambridge I have had good service, both speed and reliability from VM / ntl for many years. Today there was a long breakdown though :)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our Engineers...

    Engineers in most European Countries means a Degree Level

    Virgin "engineers" as BT "engineers" etc are simply F***wits.

    F***wits with a hammer (how i saw one Virgin recently open a street distribution box) are simply Virgin F***wits.

    ps BT is testing a GPS tracking sytem for BT F***wits to discover their "efficiency" so expect BT Open(F***wit)Reach to be on strike soon - will we notice???

  52. Anonymous Coward

    hmmm inaccurate ?

    I'm in Scotland and I lost my email about 11pm yesterday.

    I've got a couple of things in since noon today , but incoming stuff is very intermittent

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power Problems

    Power problems? I wonder if that really is a genuine reason, or is it equivalent to British Rail's "Signal Failure", which covers a myriad of different causes.

    I suppose blaming it on power is better than admitting some structural defect in their network architecture, power is supplied by a third party and therefore the problem is no longer the fault of Virgin Media's.....

    Now who do I know who has provided the Network Management System in the NOC (network operations centre) in Winnersh...a few phone calls and I could probably get to see the network alarms that have been raised by the UPS's and the SCADA system....and I very much doubt VM don't have those systems.

  54. Anonymous Coward


    The power going out at Winnersh means the aircons can't run, and the servers (on generator/UPS) overheat and crash - a problem that has happened more than once in the past, but due to prompt reaction by the support staff in the other occasions, no major outage had occurred (until now, that is)

  55. Witty username

    Very serious issue if you are running a business

    I am of course, referring to the serious problem of not reading your contract, Skimping on paying for a line with a SLA, then whinging that all that money you saved is going down the toilet.

    You get what you pay for. At least the idiots have admitted theres a problem, rather than BT Wholesales "its not us, its clearly everyone else but us, have you swapped your microfilters" approach for everything.

  56. Youvegottobe Joking
    Thumb Down

    Own mail servers on VM?

    By Kev K Posted Wednesday 30th September 2009 12:14 GMT

    Been getting calls all morning about this, NTL Biz pop servers seem to be down round here - I dont use their mail servers but do use openDNS so havent noticed any issues.

    My 50 mb at home seems fine (again opendns and own mail servers) - as a rule I dont have any issues with VM or the NTL Biz service much - I mean MUCH better reliability than BT in these parts.

    I had my own email server when I was on ZEN Internet and it worked fine, but I moved house and had to use VM due to cost but it turns out that NTL had so many bots/spammers etc that their entire IP range is on almost all the block lists. Makes using your own mail server almost impossible :(

  57. Alex Brett

    Re: Aircon

    In any sensible DC the aircon can be supplied by the generators (not normally the UPS, as the brief interruption while the generators start isn't really a problem) - what's the point of having generator backup if everything's going to melt if you leave it running for more than about 10 minutes!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    For me this is the last straw, the email system has been dead since the early hours, at least three bloody important email messages have vanished, tech support are still saying there is nothing wrong with the network; as of lunch time I requested a Migration Code.

    Anyone know of a reliable ISP (OK, sily question)?

  59. eJ2095

    OOnly had it go down once in the last two years

    So not too bad (Even the clone stays on longer)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    OK in London N1 ......

    .... and has been all day for me!

    Still hate the *u**s though.

  61. This post has been deleted by its author

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Demon goes down with Virgin

    Demon also flakey today.....

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They've probably got UPS's to feed the comms equipment, but what's the use of that if there's no backup supply for the aircon!

    Seems like someone's screwed up in the power supply design.

    I doubt UPS 's fed from banks of 12 volt batteries would be enough to feed the aircon for long, they'd need a diesel powered generator.

    Convenient, blame it on the power supply, when the real culprit is their poor utility services design.

  64. Munkstar

    Calm down

    Why do all get so excited?

  65. GrumblingAgain
    Thumb Down

    Virgin then Demon

    Yep Demon has been down for 6 hours now, trying to beat Virgin's down time I guess!

    I've got accounts on both. Just worked around one, to be stopped by the second! The whole day has been wasted working around both failures.

  66. Annihilator

    Wrong assumption

    I expect most people just assumed that the throttling had kicked in early today.

  67. 3G

    Virgin Media status page

    Look at the Virgin Media status page every day and you see outages in towns and cities throughout the UK, something happens in 'London' and people are all over it like a rash.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The outage hasn't happened in London! It's happened in the South East, it's happened close to Reading actually.

  69. peckham

    Demon too

    it was Demon two days ago - out from mid-morning till 11 at night.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Its absolutely fine here!

    Getting great speed, reliable access to web/email etc.

    But that's probably because I'm not with Virgin.

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