Last week, Virgin Media, a very large United Kingdom ISP, fixed a configuration which was preventing some of their customers from choosing OpenDNS.

The history: last summer, we heard from various NTL customers (Virgin Media was previously known as NTL) that OpenDNS was not an option for them to use, for unknown reasons.

My thanks to Adam Ford in the Operations team at Virgin Media for reaching out with the note below, which he kindly gave me permission to post here. Our thanks, too, to those Virgin Media customers who raised the issue.

I’m impressed by the proactive steps taken by Adam and his colleagues. Giving your customers choice is good business.

The note from Virgin Media

I work in the Operations team at Virgin Media, and we’ve been made aware of an issue regarding some of our customers using DNS services off our network — and directed to your blog. This most certainly shouldn’t be the case, so we looked and corrected a configuration issue on a core router in Cambridge.

Whilst we do currently have in place DNS caching techniques in order to speed up response times for customers, this should ONLY affect traffic to our own DNS servers. (This ‘DNS caching’ method is currently being replaced.)

The configuration error meant some (not all) customers in the Cambridge area would have been forced to use our own DNS servers (transparently redirected).

One of our customers has kindly tested this for us since we made the configuration change and confirmed it is now working as expected.

Hopefully this ends the story: we always permit use of external DNS servers on our Cable/DSL services. I’d be grateful if you could update your blog to ensure customers know the up to date information (ie, it should work fine :o) ).

On behalf of Virgin Media I really do apologise for the disruption this has caused, as it should not have happened. This type of error should be near impossible in the future as mentioned above– the current system is being replaced.

Many thanks,

Adam Ford
Principal Internet Systems Engineer
Virgin Media Engineering & Operations

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