On Tuesday morning, a widespread internet, telephone, and TV outage affected thousands of Virgin Media customers across the UK. Downdetector reported that over 25,000 people experienced problems with their services, with the first reports coming in shortly after 1am BST.
The reason behind the glitch remains unknown. This outage caused chaos for customers, especially those who rely on internet and phone connections for work. However, by late morning, most of the issues had been resolved.
Despite this, some customers took to Twitter to express their frustrations, with one user highlighting the difficulties of working from home during such an outage, and another asking who they should invoice for the lost income resulting from the internet service being down.
According to a spokesperson from Virgin Media, broadband services have been restored for customers, and the situation is being closely monitored as engineers continue to investigate the cause of the outage. The company apologises for any inconvenience caused.
The outage was widespread enough to cause Virgin Media’s corporate website to be unavailable for several hours on Tuesday morning. Even after the site was restored, all users were served the mobile version of the site, which was being rebuilt on the fly.
Customers who experience a total outage are promised compensation, but only on a per-day basis. This suggests that it may be at the discretion of Virgin Media whether to pay out for a sub-day failure.
As the outage lifted, some users reported being able to reconnect to the internet after rebooting their router or modem, while others found that their connection could be restored by connecting through a virtual private network . This workaround may indicate where the wider problems lie, as it is similar to glitches that caused Facebook to go offline in 2021, which were the result of a flaw in the deep-level routing systems that allow internet services to connect to each other.
To add to the frustration, the outage occurred just three days after Virgin Media increased prices for customers by 13.8%, adding almost £7 to the cost of a typical £50 broadband and TV package. This increase, which is above inflation, is typical for the broadband sector, which has faced criticism from consumer rights groups such as Which? and is currently the focus of an Ofcom investigation.