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Lockdown Brits hit by Virgin Media network problems

Virgin Media technician

Millions of Virgin Media users across the country have been facing technical issues with their broadband and phone signal during the UK lockdown, as they struggle to work from home without a stable internet connection.

COVID-19 informationFor accurate and up-to-date information on the coronavirus pandemic and UK lockdown, please consult official sources such as the UK government and World Health Organisation.

Customers in major cities including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol have reported experiencing Virgin Media network problems over the past few weeks.

The network, which recently announced a £31 billion merger with O2, saw furious users complaining of disruption to their home internet connection, while some also reported that their mobile internet connection had also cut out.

Virgin Media users struggle to work from home

The Virgin Media network problems come at a time when usage has spiked, with much of the country being asked to work from home and children using online platforms to continue learning during the day. Streaming and online gaming has also seen a rise, as bored Britons find alternatives to spending time outside in the evenings and on weekends.

Downdetector, a website which collects status reports to identify outages and service disruptions in real time, has seen a sharp rise in the number of Virgin Media network problems recorded since government restrictions were enforced. This was particularly noticeable around 9am, as users tried to log on to start their day of homeworking.

TV, laptop and mobile

Virgin TV customers have also reported having issues when trying to login to make purchases from the Virgin Media store, instead receiving an ‘invalid username or password’ message. Others have been able to complete purchases, only to be met with a ‘playback error’ screen when trying to watch downloaded movies and series.

Angry users took to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustrations about the Virgin Media network problems.

One said: “This is a joke, every day the wifi drops and I have to restart the hub. Yesterday at 9am and today at 12.20pm. It’s affecting my work as I have to carry out online training sessions.”

Another posted: “I’ve been a customer for 15 years and this is the worst yet. I can't afford to be without a connection so will have to seek an alternative imminently.”

A third added: “Their slogan is ‘staying connected’ - what a joke! I wish my Virgin Media broadband would stay connected. Twice it’s gone off today already!”

Another commented: “For the second time this month internet and TV have gone down. No apology email from last time even though it was down for 14 hours. Will be taking my money elsewhere from tomorrow as this is getting ridiculous.”

UK internet usage has almost doubled since the enforced lockdown began in March, according to data from Openreach, which owns and operates most of the UK’s fixed broadband lines.

BT, Sky and TalkTalk have also experienced outages recently, though nowhere near the extent reported by Virgin Media customers, which has been consistently included in Downdetector’s ‘weekly outage top 10’ since the lockdown began.

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'Services running as normal'

In response to customer concerns, a spokesperson said of the Virgin Media network problems: “Our broadband services are running as normal - there is no widespread issue with our network.

“If customers are experiencing individual connectivity issues they can contact our customer service team for assistance.”

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