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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 13:31 GMT
Virgin broadband outage resolved
Clip from on demand Virgin TV service
Virgin Media has 3.6m broadband customers
A nationwide broadband outage which affected thousands of Virgin Media customers has been resolved, the firm has said.

The problem hit UK customers on Monday night during a "routine maintenance process" a spokesperson said.

Some customers were re-connected within 10 minutes, while others had to wait several hours.

Virgin Media has said it does not know how many of its 3.6 million broadband customers were hit overall.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "It is difficult to establish the exact scale of the affected customers. Some customers may have noticed a loss of service as short as a few minutes, many may not have seen any loss of service at all, depending on when they were online."

"Most of the problems occurred in the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands and the majority of affected customers regained their service shortly after midnight."

The problem was caused when the routine maintenance caused Virgin's set-top boxes and modems to lose their "leased" IP address, the unique number that identifies them on the internet.

The set-top boxes and modems automatically attempted to "renew" the lease, but demand for potentially hundreds of thousands of new IP addresses hit Virgin's own routers which handle the requests.

Most of the network hubs had been reset by Midday on Tuesday.

"The problem affected different parts of the network, but was rectified swiftly as the routers re-established internet addresses," said the spokesperson.

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