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Update Breaks 2.5Gbps Port on Virgin Media Hub 5 UK Broadband Router

Monday, Mar 4th, 2024 (6:52 am) - Score 15,680
1_Virgin-Media-O2-UK-Hub-5-Router

Customers of broadband ISP Virgin Media (VMO2) are reporting that a recent firmware update to their Hub 5 (Sagemcom F3896LG-VMB) router, which has the version number of LG-RDK_7.6.15-2306.5, appears to have caused the device’s sole 2.5Gbps network (LAN) port to stop functioning correctly.

The issue – as covered on Virgin’s Community Forum (credits to Paul for the nudge) – first cropped up four weeks ago (early February 2024), when an initial batch of firmware updates was issued. But it didn’t get properly spotted until around the end of last week, when Virgin Media appears to have pushed it out to more units. Not everybody will be using the 2.5Gbps port as it’s the last in the chain, thus the issue can easily go unnoticed.

NOTE: At present this only seems to impact the regular Hub 5 router and NOT the new Hub 5x which, among other things, replaces the 2.5Gbps port with a 10Gbps one and is only available to those taking their new 2Gbps broadband plan in Nexfibre (FTTP / XGS-PON) areas.

According to the feedback, the problem seems to crop-up due to some sort of conflict with the router’s handling of Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE / 802.03az) mode. The solution is to disable EEE on the network card for your desktop/laptop computer or any unmanaged network switches / other devices that you may have connected to the port. But this ability isn’t always accessible (you can do it on managed switches, but not usually unmanaged ones).

However, if the above sounds a bit too complex, then the easiest workaround – albeit far from an ideal fix – is simply to switch to using one of the other 1Gbps LAN ports on the Hub 5 until Virgin Media finds some time to both acknowledge and patch the issue. The same problem has also been picked up by Thinkbroadband, and you can find a sample of several customer complaints below.

VM Customer Dave_J1 said:

“Just got the same firmware update overnight and everything broken this morning. Resorted to a full factory reset before reading this post, so spent ages reconfiguring all the settings. I’ve switched from the 2.5Gbps port to another and all is working again (the light on my unmanaged switch show that the speed drops to 1Gbps when you switch to another port on the Hub5, so only the 2.5Gbps port offers 2.5Gbps).”

VM Customer jk1990 said:

“Looks like the 2.5Gb internet port when connecting to a 2.5Gb network card, now breaks unless 802.03az (Energy Efficient Ethernet) is disabled on my network switch (2.5gb) or my desktop direct.

You may need to go into device manager on your network card, advanced, find energy efficient Ethernet and turn it off. For my switch I’ve just gone into a gigabit port, like it’s not worth trying to fix it.

Not a great start.”

VM Customer big-luap said:

“Hardware version: 1.2
Software version: LG-RDK_7.6.15-2306.5

My 2.5 port is not working – have been told on Discord the firmware update has killed the 2.5 Gbit port on Hub 5

nb: it is pointless changing the admin & WiFi passwords as every time you perform a reset, it resorts to factory setting..”

Given that the operator’s co-parent, Liberty Global, may well be using the same Sagemcom hardware across other countries, albeit under different branding, then it’s plausible that the UK wing of Virgin Media may not be the only division to have been hit by this router bug.

ISPreview contacted Virgin Media about this at around 9am yesterday and had hoped to receive a response before publishing, but the caveats of Sunday working have probably got in the way of that. We’ll update this article just as soon as the operator can provide a response.

Sadly, Virgin Media and Liberty Global don’t currently have the best reputation for rapidly resolving annoying router bugs, but hopefully this time will be different.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
30 Responses
  1. Avatar photo André says:

    I assume this big would be present even if the router were in Bridge mode?
    It’s one of the sad facts of x-PON deployments that you’re stuck with the carrier’s equipment.
    It was quite liberating when, in the old days of ADSL, you became able to get whichever modem or router you preferred and could do away with TelCo-managed subpar devices…
    Perhaps one day it’ll come to pass with fibre as well…

    1. Avatar photo Pri says:

      This only affects their DOCSIS-provided Hub, not the one they give for people on Fibre. When it comes to XGS-PON and G-PON providers you can purchase your own SFP+ to *-PON adapters, we have threads here on the forum on which ones work with which providers and what modifications you need to do.

    2. Avatar photo André says:

      Oh, that’s very interesting.
      I’ll have a look on the forums, thank you Prii 🙂

      I think you’re allowed to buy your own DOCSIS cable modem in the US, interestingly

    3. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      and buy subpar devices at retail instead?

      I’ve used ISP supplied devices. I’ve used what people consider to be “good” retail devices (u******i). I’ve had good and bad from both. My edgerouter was far buggier than any ISP device I’ve used however, yet people rave about them and insist that it must be better than the “rubbish” their ISP sent them.

      Worth noting that no UK PON operator actually allows the use of third party equipment, and the reasons for dumping the supplied ONT are even more irrational than it might be for a cable modem.

    4. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ‘I think you’re allowed to buy your own DOCSIS cable modem in the US, interestingly’

      Yeah this is a legal thing from when CATV really did mean Community Antenna Television. The cable companies hate it and it creates a bunch more work for them so they’re doing their utmost to work around it.

    5. Avatar photo André says:

      Ivor
      Thank you for your comment.
      There are rubbish commercial devices and great ISP ones, I’m sure. The key is being able to make the choice rather than be stuck with whatever you’re given and hope you get lucky

      And as for reasons to change an ISP-supplied ONT, I dare say most of them are very rational, probably just not particularly important to you.

    6. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      not rational at all. It’s not xDSL where different chipsets can make a difference or where you may need access to line stats or parameters to improve performance.

      The ISP-supplied ONT will deliver the full service you are paying for. If it needs an upgrade to do so, they’ll do it.

      Connecting random crap to someone else’s network – a shared medium – is not rational at all. At least with xDSL you’re probably trashing your own line, not that of your neighbours…

    7. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Yes Ivor, I remember when on Openreach ADSL then for a short time on VDSL, getting my own modem chipset with Broadcom onboard because it got a higher line sync than others, than using ISP supplied router. Netgear for the ADSL at the time, and Huawei VDSL Openreach modem (Huawei cabinet). Didn’t use the BT home hub for latter.

  2. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

    Regression testing? They’ve heard of it.

  3. Avatar photo mike says:

    Does this break modem mode because that’s the port used for modem mode?

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      No, modem mode is fine on hub5 (I didn’t say hub5x)..

    2. Avatar photo No Name says:

      I’m on that firmware in modem mode and it is working fine for me.

      I’m asuming this is either only in router mode, or my EX75 Pro that the Hub 5 is plugged into doesn’t support EEE / 802.03az on its WAN/Internet port.

    3. Avatar photo mike says:

      Yeah I just checked and I’m on that firmware and the StupidHub is still working fine with my Unifi USG.

  4. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    To be fair buggy firmware seems to plagued a lot of ISP routers in the past (BT has certainly have had it on their hubs). It amazes how this stuff doesn’t show up during the testing process.

    1. Avatar photo mike says:

      You’re assuming there’s a testing process

  5. Avatar photo Richard Davies says:

    I use the hub 5 in modem modem mode only and use my own router so if that 2.5Gbps port breaks that’s a going to cause a lot of problems until they fix it. Checked my firmware and I am on that dodgy firmware and have been for 14 days looking at my uptime and so far it’s ok. Might just be a bug when used as a full router.

  6. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

    What is the best router to use with the hub 5 in modem mode?

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      That question has no easy answer. Depends on what you want from it and price you willing to pay.

      Personally, happy with Asus AX routers with Merlin’s firmware (who is overseen by Asus). Updated regularly for bug fixes and security updates for free, inbuilt botnet and virus, malware detection and isolation of infected hosts, VPN, SMBv2 server, QOS, VLAN (Pro models) and WiFi isolation (internet only not internal network), URL logging, NTP Time server, plus loads of other useful features.

      AX86U Pro and GT-BE98 are good routers, but they aren’t cheap.

  7. Avatar photo Johnathon Weare says:

    This is the second time Virgin firmware updates have broken the 2.5GbE port in the last couple of weeks. The first time, a factory reset and then redo the config seemed to fix it. This time that doesn’t work. I reported this to Virgin two weeks ago, when they seemed unaware of the issue.

    1. Avatar photo Robert says:

      Oh, they know, believe me, and they seem to want to brush this under the carpet asap. The crunch will come when more people with wired home networks upgrade to Gig1 and find that 1130Mbs (used to get 1160 myself) becomes 920-950 max.

      Their customer support is a shambles, hard to understand, always transferring you (which usually means another bout of account verification) and no worthwhile support offered. When my contract is up I will go elsewhere if at all possible. Since O2 got involved it’s been a disaster.

  8. Avatar photo Wojciech says:

    I’ve literally just had Virgin gigabit service installed last week with the Hub 5, and I have a couple 2.5GbE switches on order – I guess they will just break the port when plugged in now, lovely 🙁 I have my current AP plugged in to the 2.5GbE port and it’s working fine, but I guess it doesn’t implement the EEE standard.

    I really really really hope Virgin fixes this soon.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Don’t hold your breath then.

      VM haven’t even acknowledged an issue yet, even by VM forum staff at time of writing – this process normally takes 6 months of repeat engineer visits and hub swap outs then followed by a year wait for new firmware…

      That is of course assuming it wasn’t deliberate as they didn’t want to support switches on 2.5gbos port when in router mode.

  9. Avatar photo DeadCel79 says:

    Hey Everyone im new after stumbling on this while googling Super Hub 5 problems

    im on a 1gb plan and I noticed after within days of setting up my Super hub 5 on the 29th of feb and using the 2.5gb port on my hub in Modem mode and my 2.5GB port on my Asus RT-AX86U the speed tests went from 1110mbps to a flat 800mbps always i tested, this was so odd until i put the Ethernet port back into port 1 and started geting 900mbps give or take.

    also i dont recall seeing any setting on my Asus RT-AX86U in regards to EEE to switch off unless i have have missed it as i’m not sure where to look for a feature that comes close to resembling it

    My Question, if someone could confirm to me. is that there is nothing else i can do on my end until virgin eventually acknowledges this and fixes it some time in the years to come?

    1. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      I’m running a RT-AX86U connected to a HUB 5 in modem mode on the latest firmware and no issues here.

    2. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      Just checked using SSH and EEE is disabled on mine:

      Asus@RT-AX86U-56C0:/tmp/home/root# pwr show
      WIFI Off Disabled
      DISK Off Disabled
      PCI ASPM N/A
      UBUS DCM N/A
      CPU Off N/A
      CPU Wait Enabled
      CPU Speed Disabled
      XRDP Gate N/A
      NET Down Disabled
      PHY Down Disabled
      PHY EEE Disabled
      PHY APD Enabled
      SF2 DGM Enabled
      DRAM SR N/A
      AVS Enabled
      WLAN Down N/A
      PMD Off N/A

      Maybe related to how you have the router configured (I have link aggregation enabled, as well as dual WAN).

    3. Avatar photo DeadCel79 says:

      @carlos

      hmm it must be how i have mine configured. where did you navigate in order to see to see EEE was disabled? or to switch it off in the first place. theres so many options im not knowledgeable enough to know what im looking at exactly without a little google search i’m afraid

    4. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      You have to enable SSH:

      https://www.asus.com/me-en/support/faq/1048201/#:~:text=Wired%20connect%20your%20router%20and,in%20the%20router%20setting%20page.&text=%5D%20%3E%20%5BSystem%5D-,Step2.,or%20%5BLAN%20%26%20WAN%5D.

      From TELNET you can type ‘pwr show’ to show if it’s enabled, and ‘pwr config –eee off’ to disable.

      A bit technical to be honest, and I believe the setting reverts when the router is rebooted.

  10. Avatar photo Radders says:

    I have the hub3.0 and it’s done nothing but drop 2.5gb connections. After 9 phone calls to virgin and several factory resets over 2 weeks, I finally have an engineer booked for tomorrow.

    God only knows what they will find, but I bet they blame me!!!

    1. Avatar photo Carlos says:

      The HUB 3 doesn’t have a 2.5Gbps ethernet port.

  11. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Our Contract with VM02 is Up in August, we’ve been with them since the 2Mbps days, but if they’ve not fixed this bug or even acknowledged it by then, instead of renegotiating price in June, I’ll seriously consider switching to a full fibre provider, sure, they’re only 900-950mbps vs 1130, but with the 2.5gbe port broken and having to use a 1Gbps port, you’re limited to around 900mbps anyway, so the difference is negligible.

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