LN None: Virgin’s patchy Lincoln broadband

Internet users in the LN1 area of Lincoln have been experiencing problems with their Virgin Media broadband connections due to excessive service sign-ups.

LN1, the code for areas such as the West End of the city, has seen an increasing number of switchovers to Virgin’s broadband servers.

Virgin internet service is tempting in LN1 due to users being able to reach connection speeds up to 50Mbps with the provider’s XXL package.

The internet service provider’s (ISP) fibre optics links have also been named the fastest broadband of 2011 throughout the UK by OFCOM.

However, in recent months the service has being failing LN1 users, with connections constantly dropping, or worse — not connecting at all.

Due to a large amount of complaints from users, engineers have been out to address the issue, but claim that the problem will not be fixed until April.

The error has occurred due to a large amount of sign-ups in the LN1 area of Lincoln, despite the fact there are only three servers in the entire city.

Only one of these servers is able to handle internet speeds of up to 50Mbps, which a lot of people with the complaints have signed up to.

Samuel Cox (22), a postgraduate student who lives in the LN1 area, said:

“I’ve been having the issues since I upgraded to 50Mbps in November. I’ve had numerous engineers out which didn’t help the problem.

“Last week I got through to someone at Virgin who knew what they were saying.

“There’s two 20Mbps servers in Lincoln and one 50Mbps.

“As more and more people are signing up for 50Mbps, they move off the 20Mbps servers and pile onto the 50Mbps one.

“I’m having to resort to 3G tethering 90% of the time now.”

Virgin Media claim the issues are due to no download limits on its service and dealing with the high traffic, which sometimes causes the problem.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “Unlike other ISPs, we don’t have download limits, or charge customers for usage beyond predetermined levels.

“However, as we are the fastest UK broadband provider, we have a unique challenge in managing traffic.

“Like most other ISPs we operate a traffic management policy at peak times to ensure the top 5% of customers don’t spoil the experience for others by temporarily reducing their speeds during peak times – in most cases this automatically helps protect the experience for 95% of users.”

“However we are aware of a recent internet speed issue affecting a small number of customers in the LN1 area of Lincoln.

“This is the result of abnormally high network usage from a handful of customers which is affecting the broadband performance for others in the area.

“We automatically upgrade areas according to usage patterns and the necessary upgrade work is already underway, due to be completed in a few weeks.

“We apologise for any temporary inconvenience.”

Lincoln Virgin users may also be experiencing problems if they have bought or upgraded to the new Virgin Media Super Hub.

Virgin admitted recently that there is a data output issue causing the hub to load website pages slowly; a firmware update should soon be available to fix the problem.

Until the problems are fixed, Virgin has a few small suggestions to help:

“As the congestion is only evident during peak times, if customers have large downloads they need to carry out, we would recommend doing these outside of peak hours when usage is less busy.

“Restarting the modem or router can help sometimes, however the upgrades will automatically start to alleviate issues automatically over the coming weeks.”