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Virgin Media outage hits London customers

Subscribers left without broadband access

Virgin Media customers in North London have been left without broadband services twice since Friday, the company has confirmed.

The first problem, which lasted between 10 and 12 hours, was caused by a faulty broadband router card and was addressed before the weekend, but Virgin's broadband services went down once again at 3pm on Sunday. Macworld UK reports that it was still down this afternoon. Some digital television customers have also been affected by lack of service.

Virgin Media is the new owner of NTL (formerly Telewest). The latter firm was particularly active in London, and drew wide praise for the reliability of its service.

"Since the merger of NTL and Telewest, we have been undertaking a major programme to improve the reliability and on-going maintenance of our vast network," said Virgin Media spokesperson, Michelle Gordon.

"We always aim to identify and resolve any faults in the network as quickly as possible and to minimise any disruption to our customers. This remains a priority for the company and we are working hard to ensure we deliver the best possible service."

However, North London's Virgin Media broadband users would disagree, arguing that their broadband services have been unavailable for around 30 hours since Friday, including the problem fixed by 6.15pm on Friday.

Users are also angry that the company now charges customers calling its broadband support helpline.

"I rang them up only to find out it was a problem they had," one user said last night, "but I had to pay to find out they had a problem."

"I miss Telewest," another user said. "I liked their branding and their service seemed rock-solid. Since Virgin Media took over the service seems less robust," another user explained.

It is worth noting that in situations in which the Virgin Media network is at fault, call centre staff are authorised to credit support calls to a customers bill, but only on request.

Virgin Media customers are already angry at the company's recently-imposed move to limit data transfer speeds for its heaviest users in a move the company euphomises as "traffic management".

Under this, customers downloading in excess of 100MB of data during peak traffic periods have been warned to expect service levels at speeds far below those they have signed-up for, once they have exceeded that 100MB of data.


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