Here’s why your internet may have stopped working last night

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 3:10 pm

Virgin Media, one of the UK's largest broadband providers, went offline for thousands of users last night (Mon 27 Apr).

The sporadic outages came just after 5pm on Monday, and coincided with the government’s daily coronavirus press briefing.

Downdetector, a website which gives a real-time outage monitoring for various internet services, recorded more than 30,000 reports of outages from Virgin users.

How long did the issues last?

While some of the reports said the service returned quickly, others claimed the issues had been ongoing for hours.

Several users, who reported continuous outages lasting into the early hours, claimed this had caused problems for online video games as well as customer service chats, which require a constant internet connection to function.

What were the outages caused by?

Lockdown has seen a surge in home internet usage over the past few weeks, as people continue to work from home, educate their children online and find much needed entertainment from streaming services.

However, according to Virgin Media, the outages were not caused by this increase in internet use, but were rather the result of a technical fault.

On Monday night, the company took to Twitter to address the issue, stating, "The issue is causing broadband connectivity to drop for a few minutes before returning again. We know that this is not being caused by increased usage or a lack of capacity - it is a network technical fault. Our teams are currently working on a fix.”

Are there still outages?

Addressing the issue on Tuesday morning (28 Apr), Virgin announced on their Twitter page that said the problem had been fixed.

Their post read, "The issue was fixed in the early hours of this morning. It was not caused by a spike in usage or a lack of network capacity.

“We know how frustrating this was for everyone and we’re really sorry for the disruption caused.”

However, in response to the post, several users have rebuffed the statement that all is now well.

“It’s still not working, it’s on and off constantly,” one user wrote.

It’s still not working, it’s on and off constantly

— Lottie Jean (@8c4e839ae57e492) April 28, 2020

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Another wrote, “If the issue has been resolved please can you explain why I still have no broadband?”

While one user commented, “It’s not fixed though is it? Mine, along with many others in the comments, is still on and off every 5 mins”.

It’s not fixed though is it? Mine, along with many others in the comments, is still on and off every 5 mins

— Michael Tomlinson (@MichaelT1994) April 28, 2020

Were any other services affected?

Downdetector has reported that several other UK broadband providers, such as TalkTalk, Sky and BT, briefly experienced similar problems just after midnight. However, it has not been confirmed whether such problems are related to Virgin Media’s recent issues.