A graph showing Virgin Media's number of outages decreased after 8.30am BST on Tuesday.

Virgin Media restores internet service after disruptions across the UK

Closing Summary: Virgin Media customers affected by an internet outage across the UK

Thousands of Virgin Media customers across the UK experienced widespread internet, phone and TV outages on Tuesday morning.

Downdetector, which tracks outages, said more than 25,000 people have reported problems with their services, with the glitch first noticed by some customers shortly after 1am BST.

The cause wasn’t immediately clear, but it has wreaked havoc for customers, including those who rely on internet and phone connections for work. By late morning the worst of the problems had been resolved.

The company’s online FAQ promises customers compensation for total outages, but only on a daily basis, suggesting it may be at Virgin Media’s discretion whether to pay for a sub-daily outage.

Virgin Media did not respond to questions about whether it would pay compensation to users affected by the disruption.

You can read the full report here:

Thank you for reading our live broadcast today. JJ

Key events

Virgin Media confirms restoration of broadband service

Virgin Media have now confirmed what the third party data told us: broadband service has now been restored.

This means that the outages occurred over a period of approximately eight hours this morning.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media said:

We have restored broadband services for customers, but are monitoring the situation closely as our engineers continue to investigate. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Just to double-check Virgin Media, the number of user-reported outages appears to be nearly back to baseline, according to DownDetector.

Virgin Media hasn’t given any official indication that the issues have been fixed, but the chart clearly shows that things have sorted themselves out, barring further flare-ups.

A graph showing Virgin Media's number of outages decreased after 8.30am BST on Tuesday.
Virgin Media’s number of outages decreased after 8.30am BST on Tuesday. Photography: DownDetector

Virgin Orbit files for bankruptcy protection as search for buyer continues

A photo of Virgin Orbit's Jumbo Jet Assisted Satellite Launch Vehicles.
Virgin Orbit has filed for bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer for its jumbo jet-assisted satellite launch business. Photograph: Ministry of Defence/PA

It wasn’t a great day for the companies carrying the Virgin brand. Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by Sir Richard Branson, has filed for bankruptcy in the United States.

Desperate efforts to find funding for the struggling space company have failed, reports the Guardians Kalyeena Makortoff.

It comes less than a week after the company announced it was cutting 85% of its workforce, leaving about 100 employees to manage what was left of the company. The US-based company will be seeking a buyer for its assets.

Dan Hart, CEO of the company, said:

While we have made great efforts to address our financial position and secure additional funding, ultimately we must do what is best for the company.

We believe the cutting-edge launch technology created by this team will be very attractive to buyers as we continue in the process of selling the company. At this stage, we believe the Chapter 11 process is the best path to identifying and finalizing an efficient, value-maximizing sale.

The bankruptcy proceedings come three months after Virgin Orbit, founded by Branson and 75% owned by Virgin Investments, failed in its mission to launch the first satellite from UK soil in January.

The company said the failed launch, which was heralded as a historic moment for Britain, was the result of an anomaly that prevented the rocket from reaching the required altitude and was subsequently lost.

Virgin Orbit subsequently suspended operations and placed staff on furlough in early March as it sought to secure a funding lifeline.

You can read the full report here:

Signs for Virgin Media and O2 in central London.
Signs for Virgin Media and O2 in central London. Photograph: Nicholas.T Ansell/PA

The latest outage isn’t the only reason Virgin Media has come under fire in recent weeks – mobile customers this month will also have to contend with price hikes that send inflation blasting to 17.3% this year.

Virgin Mobile and O2, which have both been under the same company since 2021, raised the price of their airtime contracts, or what customers pay for calls, texts and data, by the annual retail price index (RPI) inflation rate announced this week, plus 3.9 percentage points.

The much criticized measure of RPI inflation is generally higher than other measures. The scale of the automatic price hike prompted criticism of the companies in February from Labour.

Ofcom, the UK’s telecommunications regulator, in February launched an investigation into the practice of excess price hikes across the industry.

Will Virgin Media customers be entitled to any compensation relating to this outage?

The answer is: probably not, under existing terms.

We have asked Virgin Media if it will pay compensation related to this outage, but in the meantime, the online Q&A says it will pay:

9.33 per day for a total loss of service after 2 full business days after the loss of service was recorded

Given the scale of the outage reported by third-party monitors, a voluntary decision by Virgin Media to pay compensation would likely be very costly.

The increase in the number of reports of a Virgin Media outage appears to be decreasing, according to DownDetector.

From a peak just before 8am BST this morning, it is back to near baseline.

Several customers have reported on social media that their connections are back.

It seems the engineers have finally arrived.

Virgin Media’s main website appears to offer a mobile version, and we weren’t able to access its local service checker tool.

The company’s backup status site states: I am currently not aware of any major network outages.

Alex Hern

Alex Hern

As of 8.30am BST, the Virgin Media website is back up, albeit in significantly reduced form, with some users reporting being able to reconnect to the internet after a restart of their router or modem.

Still others reported that the internet outage could be circumvented by connecting via a virtual private network (VPN), giving an idea of ​​where the broader problems lie and suggesting that the Virgin Media outage, like Facebook’s in 2021, may have been the result of a flaw in the deep-level routing systems that allow internet services to connect to each other.

You can read more about what can cause these problems here:

Virgin Media confirms broadband issues

Virgin Media has confirmed that there is a problem affecting broadband services.

Contact centers are also affected, he said in a statement on Twitter. You have so far provided no indication of the extent of the problem.

He said:

Our teams are currently working to identify and resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we apologize to affected customers.

We are aware of an issue affecting broadband services for Virgin Media customers and our contact centres. Our teams are currently working to identify and resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we apologize to affected customers.

— Virgin Media (@virginmedia) April 4, 2023

Here is the map of Virgin Media outage reports from users (again via DownDetector).

As you can see, the reports are quite widespread in the larger cities, where most of the customers for their fiber optic broadband are concentrated.

A map shows reports of Virgin Media outages coming in from across the UK.
Reports of Virgin Media outages have come in from all over the UK. Photography: DownDetector

Virgin Media users began reporting problems by the thousands after 1am on Tuesday morning, according to DownDetector, a web statistics provider.

DownDetectors data shows when outage reports cross a normal baseline. By 1:53 am the number of disruption reports had risen to over 15,000. After a lull in the middle of the night, there appear to be thousands more reporting disruptions to their morning rush to log in.

A graph showing Virgin Media's outage reports increased around 1am on Tuesday, according to DownDetector.
Reports of Virgin Media outages increased around 1am on Tuesday, according to DownDetector. Photography: DownDetector

Virgin Media users report outages

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of business, economics and financial markets.

Virgin Media users across the UK are reporting problems accessing the internet.

DownDetector’s website showed thousands of outage reports that started shortly after 1am on Tuesday morning, with a surge of reports starting around 6:30am when users attempted to log in in the morning.

Twitter users reported that they were unable to access the internet through their Virgin connections.

Virgin Media’s website did not appear to be accessible on Tuesday morning.

The company has been contacted for comment.

The agenda

  • 9am BST: Credit Suisse Annual Meeting

  • 9am BST: European Central Bank Consumer Expectations Survey

  • 10am BST: Speech by Silvana Tenreyro at the Bank of England


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Image Source : www.theguardian.com

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