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By: MarkJ - 22 February, 2011 (11:56 AM)
virgin media uk superhubvirgin media uk best broadband ispCable operator Virgin Media has confirmed that some owners of its new SuperHub (NetGear VMDG480) broadband ISP router, which comes with their latest 100Mbps, 50Mbps (XXL) and 30Mbps (XL) packages, are being affected by a "data throughput" issue that can slow their internet access speeds.

A number of customers have also reported connection and website loading problems since changing to the new kit. The issue is especially annoying for those who have just lashed out £30 for the privilege of upgrading from their old XL speed of 20Mbps to the new speed of 30Mbps, only to find sub-20Mbps performance as a result (especially at peak times).

Customers on Virgin Media's Support Forum further claim that the operator has so far managed to blame almost everything else under the sun rather than admit that the fault might be with their own kit or network.

Virgin Media Customer, Harold Allen, said:

VM responses so far

1) It's your equipment's fault

2) your anti virus is causing the problem

3) you shouldn't use 3rd party websites to test connections as since upgrading to the 50 meg service they are now lying to you

4) their (VM's) network is absolutely fine and are not showing any faults ( Pete_R from VM is frequently telling people this is his responses to posts)

5) you need to have a technician sent to your house to check your connection and they cannot find any problems with 'their' kit

6) you are getting very poor support from VM in this matter

7) the hub is so fast that your equipment can't deal with the info

It's understood that some of the connection problems can be resolved by un-ticking IP Flood Detection in the SuperHub's advanced settings (services tab). However this does not resolve the speed issues and others have reported that the difficulties return if you reboot the device (i.e. turn it off and on). Thankfully The Register notes that Virgin Media has now coughed up to the issue and promised a firmware update in the very near future.

Virgin Media Statement

"Whilst the vast majority of customers are unaffected, we are actively investigating reports of reduced performance under some configurations. Testing is under way, and we expect to resolve the issue by a firmware update which will be automatically pushed out to SuperHub users as soon as a fix has been confirmed."

The bad news is that there's no firm ETA for when this update, which will be applied to SuperHub's automatically, will actually happen. However, one of Virgin's forum support managers did recently offer a rough indication about when it might become available, but affected individuals aren't going to like it.

VM's Help and Support Forum Manager, Mark Wilkin, said:

"We're currently planning to release the latest SuperHub firmware update, which will include "Bridge Mode" which enables you to use your own router alongside the SuperHub plus with a number of bug fixes, in May.

If you're interested in helping us test this firmware we'll be looking for volunteers from the forum for testing in April. We're not looking for volunteers just yet, if you're interested keep an eye out for an announcement closer to the trial.

These dates are only provisional at the moment, but we hope to confirm them in the next few weeks and will update this announcement when we do."

May 2011 is a very long time to wait for your broadband performance to be fixed and in the meantime affected customers may feel as if they are paying a premium for a service that is performing well below its expected level. Separately a number of customers have also reported performance and coverage problems with the new hub's wireless ( Wi-Fi ) capability.
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