back to article Virgin Media network goes titsup in Brum

Virgin Media customers across the west Midlands are this morning cut off from broadband, cable phone and digital TV. Reg readers in Birmingham, Solihull and Kidderminster are reporting their connections went down at about 5.40am. A update on Virgin Media's status page confirms engineers are investigating the problems. A …


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  1. Sandeep Jandu

    Not bad

    This is only the second outage in the 5 years we have been with them. The last outage we have experienced was 3 years ago.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Other outage?

    Don't know about Virgin but I'm getting a BT Wholesale Service Information page when I try to go to some websites (blackle for example). Obviously it's not my provider 'cause i can still see the Reg. I live a bit north of Brum.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you're up and trying to use the internet at 5.40, you've got bigger problems in your life than Virgin Media.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, those early flights are terrible...

      ... even if you can check they're not cancelled online.

    2. Mullerrad
      Dead Vulture

      Vermin Media

      It was 1740... there was a loss day before as well

  4. ExRLCBod


    Limited my hairy as.. donkey

    the WHOLE of Birmingham was down last night. Their call systems were just hanging up on people calling in, and the status page was as flaky as anything, pumping out http 500 errors when you tried to load it.

    Hopefully it will be back up when I get home tonight

  5. Daniel Bennett

    Not just Brum/Wolvo

    TV was down for the whole of the Midlands last night.

  6. Cowardy custard

    why the specific report on brum?

    where was the report from monday nights outage in bolton?

    no tv not tinterwebs for at least 4 hours.

    seems like virgin have some great lumbering big foot kicking cables out round the country...looks like he's moving south

  7. nickrw

    Hiding behind the real news story

    ...that I lost my VM intertube last night for 20 minutes (Glasgow).

    An outrageous cover-up!

  8. Anonymous Coward


    My Yardley based office is on a connection from CI-Net but I'm guessing it piggybacks on Virgin, or is in some way related. Conn went down 5:40 this morning, was back up at 10:38. Rumour is a fire in Worcester took our the power for a major part of the network, but I have no idea if that's true. CI-Net's status page was all green for the duration of this ...

  9. g e

    Of course you have to have an outage

    While you install the DPI trial gear for snooping on your customers

  10. Stilicho
    Thumb Down

    East Midlands since Monday afternoon

    I live in Leicester and had no Broadband from about 3 pm Monday, only a very spotty connection Tuesday and nothing again last night. Support laughably had a recoreded message saying they had technical problems at the moment (no shit, Sherlock!) and sugesting if I needed help urgently, I should visit the website.

    Someone obviously has a very warped sense of humour. Eventually got someone last night around 10.30, who told me it should be back on at 10.30 this morning. How do they work that out?

  11. Alexander Hanff 1

    Not just the last 24 hours

    Virgin Media have been suffering significant outages for the past week since announcing their plans to deploy Deep Packet Inspection. I have been trying to get in touch with Andrew Barron at VM all morning to find out if the widespread outages over the past week have been caused by the installation of CView but as yet have been unable to reach him or his PA.

    More on this here:

  12. Paula


    It went titsup about 4 hours before the analogue tv signal went, on the 1st - Bolton and Derby areas, and didn't come back until midmorning of the 2nd.

    I was still having minor problems last night, and their customer service line was completely jammed.

    It's a bit of an improvement over NTL, but given that the customers they inherited from NTL are paying a lot more for the service than new customers, I'm feeling a tad short-changed and thinking of defecting to BT.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Outage, remedy?

    I remember failing quality in the NSC for saying Outage as it was too technical a word for customers.

    Oh and remedy? That a fix, or the outage tool everyone uses?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coventry is fine, and was fine last night

    ...then again, coventry was NTL from the start, and so isn't part of the old Telewest infrastructure.

  15. Daniel Turner
    Thumb Down

    Last night

    Went down in Telford

  16. Gushy

    Not just Birmingham

    In Reading we've had problems for nearly 2 weeks. No broadband connection for days (sometimes it's only hours) then the connection will come back for a few hours - and when it does, some times it's really slow (0.1Mb - 4Mb) and sometimes I get nearer to 50Mb than I've ever had - but then it goes again.

    Had no connection for most of yesterday, it's back again this morning.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Knowing someone who works for VM, the Gas board cut through a load of pipes and this caused the disruption.

    Meanwhile about 60 schools in south birmingham were left without any internet access until about 10:30am.

  18. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    Another sexually evocative headliner

    That PC bible-thumper from a North Carolina should really have his knockers in a twist today. Readers might remember he objected to the use of the word 'cherry'.

    Register has really done it today using colloquial British language that the former colonials of North Carolina will never understand. Even a PC TV type could identify with parts of "tits-up" but the :Brum" will leave him appropriately confused.

    Keep up the good work (he likely only visits The Register to plagerise your stories).

  19. Piezor

    Teesside too

    TV was off in Billingham last night too. Broadband was up though so could still get some MW2 time in :-D

  20. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward er!

    "If you're up and trying to use the internet at 5.40, you've got bigger problems in your life than Virgin Media."

    No, Virgin / Telewest went completly tit's up. That means businesses that use their network backbone also went down, i.e 24/7 sites had no branch connections, so yes we did have a bigger problems in our life than the internet being down.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    f**k me

    they have broadband oop north (or not as the case may be)

  22. Bnjmmn

    Just spoke with a virgin engineer...

    ...confirmed electrical problem at main hub, unsure if it's fixed yet

  23. Dan S

    Regular VM outages made me buy 3g

    I don't know the annual rate of VM internet outages in my area, but enough of them are sufficiently inconvenient that I bought a 3g dongle as a (slow) backup.

    What surprised me more was when my elderly parents lost their VM telephone line for around 24hrs. I think that was about the third time this year. They aren't very good with their mobile phone so I'm not confident they'd have been able to make a call if there were an emergency. (Given my father had a heart attack a month ago, it isn't a particularly far-fetched scenario.)

    The VM status page doesn't seem particularly useful. Firstly some of their geographical areas are ambiguous and don't obviously map onto reality as I know it. Secondly it doesn't always seem to be updated, which must mean they have to handle more enquiries. If it said "Telephone outage in Town X, should be fixed by 5pm" I wouldn't have spent an hour trying to call them from my mobile.

  24. Sid_the_Kid

    Over the last couple of months...

    ...I've had a good number of outages of both TV and web in SW Leicestershire. I was okay last night though, if maybe a tadge slower than usual. I had assumed I'd just been visiting slow sites - which of course may well have been the case. I don't use the phone (I use Vonage - so of course *that* goes out with the web connection) so I don't know if that had gone down at the same time as the other services have been failing.

    The fun bit is if you phone the helpline, you'll get some nice Indian called Steve or Susan who tell you that they'll have to send an engineer to your house to confirm that there is a problem. Making a suggestion like "why don't you check to see if there are outages in the area" are typically met with a stunned silence, a "please hold" and a few minutes later confirmation that everything is down in your area but will be working again at "around 10:21am". Virgin are great! You've got to love 'em - and despite everything, the customer service is way better than in the days of NTL where an hour on hold was the norm if you wanted to talk to *anybody*.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Also problems in Bristol

    The whole thing went down yesterday for a while and the service has been very patchy for the last week or so. When it was back up last night, listening to something on iPlayer was rather annoying and the programme would cut out now and again - so much for 20 megs!

  26. CD001


    TV was out in Wolvo last night but broadband was fine oddly enough... actually ended up watching Beeb2 for a bit - when they kill off the analogue we'll be stuffed though.

  27. Gamberoni

    North East too - last night and this morning

    I had problems last night from about 8:30pm and had to reset my v+box. It came back up after a very long reset, but was v. flaky. It hung again and I tried resetting it - this time io just woudn't come back up, so I powered it off! In the meantime I tried ringing the service desk - and got the "too busy" message and disconnected. So tried the internet - no connection! Have tried powering up the v+box this morning - and it's still hanging at the same point. Very frustrated!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Error 500?

    My mate's on Virgin in Brum and is getting error 500s. Interestingly we got this happening to our users when the log drive filled on one of our transparent http antivirus proxies. While I would be pleasantly surprised if it turned out Virgin are using some sort of AV filtering to protect its customers; I suspect it has more to do with the dynamic bandwidth throttling system that supposedly uses DPA.

    1. nickrw


      The NetEnforcer boxes that Virgin Media use for throttling aren't capable of that - the worst (!) that happens if it makes a whoopsy is that traffic would go unshaped.

      ... Assuming VM have them hooked up to bypass units.

  29. Ennis Lookup

    I've been cut off for nearly a month!

    I'm in South Brum and they cut me off a few weeks ago, some silly sausage cut my cable in the cab so I need a new cable running to my domicile.

    Maybe this whole thing is an attack on me personally.....!! Its a conspiracy..

  30. Anonymous Coward


    It (Virgin TV) went down at about 6ish last night (in Brum). The internet was not affected at all.

    After trying several times to get through to "Customer Services" we eventually got through at around 10 o'clock in the evening, had a good laugh with the bloke on the phone (he said it was the whole country that was affected) as he said people were phoning him up and "demanding that he personally switch their telly back on" - (does no one own a radio anymore?).

    The Virgin Media forum had a couple of threads containing, largely, very badly worded rants from seriously childish morons all of whom were threatening "to go back to Sky" (so why did you leave in the first place you knuckle dragging motherfuckers?)

    This morning the TV was still down but the net was fine. All was sorted by lunch time.

    I've been a Virgin customer since 2000 (when they weren't Virgin) - this is the first TV Outage we've had. A more or less rock solid excellent service and still the only ISP to tell the truth about achievable broadband speeds. And no, I don't work for VM.

    Rupert Murdoch can kiss my arse.

  31. Richard 20

    London problems too

    I have been very satisfied with VM cable for several years but in the last 2 months or so, the service has been very unreliable, going down for several hours every few days. What has happened to this formerly bullet-proof service? Btw, I'm in Camden, London.

  32. Gamberoni

    The My Virgin page ...

    for my account has an interesting piece of "news".

    "Urgent customer news

    Due to a major System failure we are unable to take customer calls at the present time. We are working very hard to rectify this problem.

    we will inform you of any updates as soon as possible.

    Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause."

  33. SirTainleyBarking

    Telewest as well

    Was borked this morning for a couple of hours

  34. jubtastic1

    London too

    No service since 10:30am (almost 7 hrs ago), in South London. Network status page lists this outage but has no resolution time posted.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    Crikey, first Vermin Media piss off people who don't pay by upgrading Nagravision versions and now they piss off people who do pay by having an outage covering very large areas and lasting many hours.

    Way to go... At least if Sky screw up my phone and internet still work, so I could watch iPlayer or TVCatchup.

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