According to data collected by Thinkbroadband, median download speeds on Vodafone’s fibre optic packages, normally around 30 Mbps, fell to 13.1 Mbps on Sunday. Customers also reported an increase in packet loss. Customers took to Vodafone’s Community forum to register their complaints about slow speeds and high packet loss.
Two subscribers to Vodafone’s 200Mbps Gigafast service reported receiving speeds of less than 1 Mbps on Sunday, while others were contending with speeds around a tenth of those they were promised.
Thinkbroadband recorded a particular increase in Vodafone customers in the North West running speed tests on their service, suggesting the problem may be regional. There was also a cluster of poor speed tests run by Vodafone subscribers in Edinburgh.
The collapse in service echoed the meltdown Vodafone broadband customers experienced the weekend before, when median download speeds during the peak evening hours of 7pm to 10pm fell to between 6.2Mbps and 14.3 Mbps. Speeds had recovered by Tuesday.
While there was some speculation that Vodafone’s speed problems were caused by high data usage from shut-ins enjoying the bank holiday weekend with box sets and binge watching, other networks didn’t register similar dips in performance.
Vodafone itself attributed the bank holiday troubles to “human error when carrying out routine maintenance work.”
But the ISP said the more recent woes were caused by “planned repair works” on damaged fibre cable.
“Due to planned repair works on a damaged fibre cable, some of our home broadband customers may experience slower speeds. Our engineers are fixing the cable as quickly as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused,” a Vodafone spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk.
However, the issue appears to have affected both Vodafone’s Openreach-based FTTC products and its separate Cityfibre-based Gigafast FTTH service, which points to a problem with the management of their core network routing or capacity.
Thinkbroadband said the recurrent nature of these speed traps indicates that parts of Vodafone’s core network may be running close to their limit.