Bad news for some Virgin customers who are hoping to do some serious online shopping or film streaming over the festive period: your internet connection might be too slow to make it any more than an exercise in frustration.
Virgin customers in some areas of the UK have been complaining of regular internet outages during peak browsing periods and, in a statement to the Daily Star, Virgin Media has revealed they shouldn’t expect to see a fix until mid-January 2017. Virgin has said it's "working hard" to resolve the issue, though it hasn't been clear how exactly it will be done. It has said before, however, that it's planning improvements to its fibre optic network.
The problem seems to be worst in south west London. However customers from other areas of the country have been taking to Twitter to complain to the provider so it’s unclear just how many people are affected by the issue.
Need for speed
This isn’t really a great look for Virgin, especially considering it’s recently put up its prices in order to offer its customers an experience that’s “bigger and better than ever before.”
It can, however, probably rely on the fact that its customers aren’t going to run off to a competitor any time soon since another main provider, BT, recently faced similar issues.
Earlier in the year, BT’s connection problems caused such an outcry, Ofcom hit out at suppliers for their “unacceptable” service, saying “much more” needed to be done.
The festive period is probably one of the worst times these problems could hit Virgin customers. With many receiving internet-connected home devices like the Amazon Echo, even more people using the holiday period to binge watch Netflix and Prime Video content, and let’s not start on all those people looking to shop online on boxing day, a reliable internet connection is the basis of many a happy holiday.
Your only option might be to curl up and read a good book. Wait, you can’t update your Kindle? Sorry.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.