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Virgin Media CEO Says Net Neutrality Is Already Gone 378

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-not-your-internet-sonny dept.
Virgin Media CEO Says Net Neutrality is "A Load of Bollocks". Anyone here been shaken down by their Internet Service Provider? "The new CEO of Virgin Media is putting his cards on the table early, branding net neutrality 'a load of bollocks' and claiming he's already doing deals to deliver some people's content faster than others... If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane.'"
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Virgin Media CEO Says Net Neutrality Is Already Gone

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:17PM (#23056862)
    ...is every one of his Slashdot-using customers running to cancel their accounts and find 'net access elsewhere - even if the data gets sent down a wet piece of string.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Unfortunately, his Slashdot-using customers probably wouldn't make a dent if every one of them dropped him. Furthermore, many of them won't, because the ISP will be the only one available in some areas.

      Maybe his bombastic words will provide good ammo to use against others like him, at least.
      • by nbannerman (974715) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:32PM (#23057020)
        Just FYI - whilst Virgin have the cable market in the UK sewn up, we're lucky enough to not have a situation whereby ISPs are limited to any particular area.

        Of course - the only other alternative for digital TV would be freeview (limited channels) or Rupert Murdoch's Sky.

        However, if enough people got wind of this, it would be possible to give Virgin a bit of a kicking financially.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jimicus (737525)

          the only other alternative for digital TV would be freeview (limited channels) or Rupert Murdoch's Sky.

          Would that be the freeview which has a number of channels available free which you have to pay extra for with Virgin (such as ITV3, E4)?

          Or the Sky whose flagship channel, Sky One, is no longer available on Virgin?

          Ever since Telewest and NTL merged they've been going merrily to Hell. As far as I can gather, they've done an HP/Compaq - taken the worst aspects of each company and thrown away the best.

      • by gigne (990887) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:38PM (#23057054) Homepage Journal
        In the UK Virgin Media represent the largest cable company, meaning that most people have the option of a BT line and ADSL.

        I personally use Virgin cable, and although it is throttled its still 2x faster than any ADSL provider. I really don't like the idea of people messing with my packets, but when the only other option is DSL providers, who don't tell you that they mess with your packets, cable still makes sense. At least they are up front about it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nursie (632944)
          How fast is it?

          I have 24Mbps service from bethere.co.uk

          Sure, it suffers from real speeds bein anywhere from 13 to 20, but that's still a good chunk.
          • by gigne (990887) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:17PM (#23057362) Homepage Journal
            I am currently on the 50Mbps trial, but most places get 20Mbps. The contention is fairly high so it seems to max out at about 14-6mbps at the quietest times.
        • by twitter (104583) * on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:41PM (#23057552) Homepage Journal

          It's only faster until they decide to shake down your favorite site or service. Then you might as well have dial up.

          Their brazen admission of these practices is not better than alleged shameful practices. Both are wrong and both lead to the same place if the other companies are determined to rip everyone off. The practice can't be hidden for long, so what you have is a choice between ignorant leadership that may be evil or plain evil. Both suck.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I don't like what he's saying, but at least he's straightforward about it.

        That is a breath of fresh air.
        • by Le Jimmeh (1086671) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:40PM (#23057542)
          So it's all right what he's doing, as long as he's honest about it?

          Honestly, it annoys me that someone can do something as bad as this and be honest about it yet receive no repercussions. I don't know whether this says more about Western civilisation in general or British ignorance towards the internet. Internet neutrality seems like a much bigger deal over than than here.
          • by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:53PM (#23057610)
            Well, it makes it considerably better. It seems far more nefarious to be perpetrating these acts against paying customers in secrecy, than doing it in the open. You know exactly what you're paying for, when it comes to this guy...

            So it's all right what he's doing, as long as he's honest about it?
      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        the ISP will be the only one available in some areas.
        What happened to the American spirit?

        Was a time when the idea of a single provider of anything in a given area was considered an opportunity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Le Jimmeh (1086671)
          Well, considering it's a British Company the "American spirit" was never really there. Regardless, it's not that we're treating the lone provider as an "opportunity", but rather we have no choice. What do you expect us to do, make our own cable company?
          • by QuantumG (50515) *
            Duh, yes.

            You say this like it is impossible. How do you think the cable companies got started? One cable at a time.

            Never mind that there are other technologies available now.

        • Was a time when the idea of a single provider of anything in a given area was considered an opportunity.

          It is as long as you can get government permission and can afford to string up or lay the infrastructure needed. Even today most places don't have a choice as to who provides landline phone service. In most place there's only provider. It's the same with cable. I'm hoping wireless technologies will open up choice in broadband.

          Falcon
        • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @08:11PM (#23058126) Homepage Journal

          1/ This isn't in the US.

          2/ (In the US, at least) These companies tend to have government-granted monopoly status, where you're not allowed to compete with them. This is why US broadband sucks so much.

      • by Romancer (19668)
        This is actually a really good thing. Now every case that needs an example of the need for net neutrality can just point to this. It's like a precident present! All the BS about how it's not needed goes completely out the window since you can just point to this. So I for one say thanks and hope he tips the boat over for all the other ISPs out there that have lobbied and bribed their way out of this for so long. Now all those arguments that sounded like responses to chicken little are gonna get crushed by th
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jbb999 (758019)
      So go find an honest ISP like this one [aaisp.net]. Yes they have some limits on how much data you can use in a month but they don't secretly block or throttle stuff are completely up front and honest about it and don't pretend you can get unlimited usage when it's a complete lie like most ISPs.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:51PM (#23057168) Journal
        Unless I'm reading something very wrongly, holy crap they're expensive! I know you have to pay for good service, but those per GB charges are insane. You'll certainly pay more for a 'real' connection than you would if you went with TalkTalk or Sky, but you don't have to take it to the extremes of what these people are charging.
        • by levell (538346)

          Those per GB charges are during office hours, I'm at work during them so it's not a problem for me. A&A have given me absolutely excellent customer service, I can't recommend them highly enough (if your net usage pattern is like mine).

          My previous ISP (Tiscali) on the other hand were absolutely abysmal, if Virgin are pulling stunts like this, it wouldn't surprise me a number of other dubious ISPs are too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by FoolsGold (1139759)
      Don't be hating the wet string, it probably will have more bandwidth than what Virgin Media provides.
    • by mikael (484) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:31PM (#23057454)
      Already have done - After Virgin Media decided to unlaterally drop Sky One and Sky News from their channel selections, 44,000 subscribers switched to Sky. Others like myself decided to cancel their premium rate channel subscription, and pay only for broadband service. The first sign of trouble was when Virgin decided that they wouldn't "bamboozle their customers with technical details", but instead to refer to all service options using S, M, L, and XL.

      Digital Spy forums [digitalspy.co.uk] have in-depth discussions about Virgins financial status. In particular "Virgin Media TV channels have posted a loss for the past two quarters." [digitalspy.co.uk]

      Not surprisingly, Virgin are in the process of increasing their service fees (a +1 pound/month surcharge for paper bills), and an increase for daytime telephone calls, (from 3.25 pence/minute to 4.00 pence/minute) for anyone doesn't have an XL service.

      Trying to extract some revenue from their content producers seems to be the next moneymaking scheme.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sockatume (732728)
        It wasn't all Virgin's decision to drop the Sky channels. Sky's contract with Virgin came up for renewal and Virgin refused to pay what Sky were asking for the channels (which included a "no matter how many people subscribe, you must pay us this minimum charge2 clause). Of couse it sucks if you're a customer, but Sky would just as happily exist in a world where we all used ADSL, had £60-per-month basic satellite subscriptions, and most of the hardware support was provided through really dodgy ou
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Charcharodon (611187)
      Cancel?! I would run out in a second and RE-SIGN up for a Virgin cable modem. The garbage that BT peddles as internet service is so horrible that I'll take Virigin's offering again in a heart beat, but unfortunately if you are not "in town" (aka London/ or 1/4 mile from your local high street(main street)) pretty much BT is all you get.

      Having BT service is like having the honor to pay someone else to fuck you in the ass. Sure the internet is cheap ($40 for up to 8mbps, well it's never been faster than

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by xaxa (988988)
        My parents just signed up for bethere.co.uk. They live in a village of 2000 people.

        The previous tenants in my flat had Bulldog (i.e. had disconnected the BT line). I rang BT, they said that because of this they'd change me £X to reconnect the line. I said I'd use Bulldog then. Oh look, suddenly the reconnection fee is £0.
  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:17PM (#23056866) Homepage
    The point is not whether companies can get higher bandwidth by paying more. What has people angry is the idea that their cable provider might deny them the full bandwidth that they paid for when they connect to certain content providers or use VOIP.
    • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan.jared @ g m a i l.com> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:29PM (#23056982)
      I don't know about other people, but it angers me greatly that an ISP that has already been paid by me for the bandwidth I use, gets to turn around and extort money from the providers that I access. Overselling bandwidth and net neutrality are two separate issues. I can deal with the overselling of bandwidth for longer, because overall it doesn't limit the amount of content available to me, it just makes me wait a little longer. Allowing ISP's to charge providers for a transaction that has essentially already been paid for is dangerous and downright wrong. It's not unthinkable that this could lead to payment disputes between companies where some major providers are only available on certain networks, in fact it's probable that this is the end result.

      Make no mistake, what this guy is talking about makes me very angry.
      • by Zeinfeld (263942)
        I don't have a problem with what the Virgin guy says because in the UK there is a competitive market and as you point out you do have a choice. In most of the world, 'network neutrality' is not an issue at all. There will be budget ISPs that try to work a business model where the content providers subsidize the cost of distribution. Again, nothing wrong with that, if I am distributing a movie to a customer who only pays for a 1mb/s connection, seems fair enough for me to be able to pay a dollar to temporari
      • This coming from Virgin, a brand whose business model and valuation depends entirely on its coolness factor... I am speechless...

        Napoleon used to say: "I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets."

        I hesitate between thanking this guy to state openly what the other ISP's have worked hard to disguise and warning him to watch the speed at which his brand will disintegrate...

        Because, indeed, as the parent implies, Virgin's scheme means the end of the Internet as we know it, and we are r
  • Unfortunately... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by woot account (886113)
    it's not a battle we're going to win. This is the United States, where the corporations control the government, entertainment controls the people, and the people control nothing.

    Hell, ask the average Joe Sixpack if they'd like to have their American Idol episodes download faster at the expense of a bunch of pasty faced nerds not being able to access Slashdot at the same speed, I'm sure they'll be quite happy about it.

    • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:5, Informative)

      by pdbaby (609052) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:24PM (#23056932)
      Actually, old bean, this is the United Kingdom we're talking about in this article :-)
    • The fact of the matter is, most people have absolutely no idea what route their data takes to get from its origination point to them, and vice-versa.

      All they know is that "Gee, the internet seems slow today." They might even call and complain to their ISP, but it might not even be their ISP causing the throttling delay. So in the end it's going to become a big finger-pointing game, and the customer at the end of the day will still have no idea where the bottleneck is or who is responsible.

      All the wire ow
    • by Arthur B. (806360)
      Yup, companies produce what the consumers want to buy, not specifically what you want. Shocking, isn't it?
    • and the people control nothing.... Hell, ask the average Joe Sixpack if they'd like to have their ....expense of a bunch of pasty faced nerds not being able to access Slashdot at the same speed, I'm sure they'll be quite happy about it

      What you are really saying is that the you do not have control over the vast majority of people want. In America, corporations cater to what people want, or they die and die quickly. Consumers are fickle and they want what they want. So, if Americans want an internet, which
  • Meanwhile... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:19PM (#23056882) Homepage Journal
    An anguished, collective shout of horror and surprise emanates from Virgin Media's PR department: "Nooooooooooo!!!"
  • Bus Lane? (Score:5, Funny)

    by WombatDeath (681651) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:20PM (#23056892)
    "If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane'."

    Let me see if I've got this right - if I don't pay him money, he'll put me in the subsidized lane that contains no other traffic?

    Errm, OK. Much obliged!
  • by jrumney (197329) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:20PM (#23056894) Homepage

    If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane'.

    Isn't the whole point of bus lanes to keep the buses moving in rush hour traffic? Not the best analogy for a Virgin wannabe-mobster to be using to coerce content providers to cough up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      He's a wealthy CEO. He owns a big condo near the corporate office and uses a limo between them. His other home is in the country. He may never have even been on a city bus.

      Speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised it its true.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602)
      I think he's referring to the publicly usable curb lane on streets that do NOT have reserved exclusive bus lanes, the ones which are soul destroying to be in, because the bus in front of you stops every block to pickup/dropoff people, and moves much slower than the lanes to the left which aren't plagued by busses constantly parking.

  • Virgin? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Soko (17987) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:20PM (#23056896) Homepage
    I doubt it.

    "You wanna do it without a condom? It'll cost you..."
  • by OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) * on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:22PM (#23056918) Homepage Journal
    Ok, summary and title have virgin, internet, balls (bollocks), and media in it. Alright, all we need is MS, conspiracy and goatse before we have and uberstory.
  • by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:23PM (#23056928)
    Finally a company is honest enough to admit that net neutrality doesn't exist. Here in Canada, almost every ISP is throttling torrents, throttling DSL 'nodes', circumventing advertisements for their own, prioritizing certain web pages, and worse. This is rarely publicized until some intelligent people discover it and bring it to light and since there's no rules or laws, it's perfectly acceptable by everyone but the consumer.
  • by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:25PM (#23056946)

    Virgin Media CEO Says Net Neutrality is "A Load of Bollocks"
    "The best we can do with p2p is try to slow it down."

    ...he's already doing deals to deliver some people's content faster than others...
    IANAL, so does anybody know if these kinds of deals might have the effect of invalidating an ISP's 'common carrier' protections?

    If so, I vote we prosecute him for downloading child porn, as a modern-day equivalent of walking the plank, and a warning to the other ISPs...

    Yarrrrr!
  • Refreshing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sanat (702) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:26PM (#23056950)
    In one way it is refreshing to hear a CEO describe in truth what is going on whether one agrees with him/her or not. Usually a CEO stands behind innuendos and words with double meanings to avoid a head on collision. Not so with this one apparently.

    It happens that I believe that all should have equal access but then I do not run an ISP. It seems clear that multiple levels of service can be commanded by varying levels of payments. Sort of like steak or hamburger.

    It will be interesting to see how all of this finally works out.

  • I don't get the reference to the "internet bus lane"... He said: If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane'.

    But should it not be the other way around? Paying separately gives you the privilege to ride the congestion-free public transport lanes where each full bus frees up several tens of cars from the streets, while not paying forces you to keep tugging along in the traffic jam of private motorists?

    • by jrumney (197329)
      I suspect this corporate bigwig has a smug feeling of superiority every time he crawls past a bus that is stopped letting people off as he commutes alone in his Chelsea tractor. This feeling is so powerful to his CEO ego, that he misses the 5 buses that drive past him seconds later as he sits in typical London traffic going nowhere. No doubt he is looking forward to the £25 congestion charge in the same way that he believes content providers should be looking forward to paying him for the privilege o
      • by tjstork (137384)
        No doubt he is looking forward to the £25 congestion charge in the same way that he believes content providers should be looking forward to paying him for the privilege of carrying their traffic on his oversubscribed network

        No, he just will relocate his corporate offices out of London. What's the point of investing in a city if it costs more than 50USD just to get to it. I mean, is London really worth 50USD a person? Probably not!
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:27PM (#23056958) Homepage Journal
    This blatant confession by Virgin Media is the best news yet for the Net Neutrality movement. Because the main argument of the enemies of Net Neutrality (who are therefore the promoters of Net Doublecharge) has always been that "equal access is never threatened", while usually contradictorily also saying "unequal access will be necessary to pay for increased capacity". Now Virgin Media is just admitting that's all a bunch of BS, and they're so hellbent on destroying the equal access for everyone that they already do it.

    This is an industry claiming we don't need our equal access protected. And now, at the same time, telling us that it's gone, and we're whining too much because they've already destroyed it.

    The enemy has blinked. There now should follow a backlash that will guarantee that we don't continue to give away our most profitable, most strategic global asset, that the public paid to invent, and build and promote, to those crooks who will say anything to steal it. And evidently are now so arrogant that they'll even admit they've already stolen it. Even though they haven't, or at least not so much that we can't take it back.
  • Berkett then turned on the BBC and their iPlayer service, telling them - and other public broadcasters like them - that if they don't pay a premium to gain faster access to Virgin Media's customers, their service would be put into "bus lanes".

    Assuming he means "slow lane", this seems an odd decision to take. "Join Virgin Media and get iPlayer running slower than anywhere else". Can't imagine many ISPs holding on to too many of their customers when it's explained that their favourite services will be cripple

  • by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdotNO@SPAMjimrandomh.org> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:32PM (#23057018) Homepage
    Net neutrality means you can't bill your competitor's customers. This is absolutely essential to a free market.

    See, there are actually four parties involved. The end user, Bob, buys a connection from an ISP, CableCo. Meanwhile, example.com, buys a connection from a different ISP, ExampleOnline. CableCo and ExampleOnline are competitors, but they have a peering agreement, which means that they agree to share the costs of a connection which lets Bob visit example.com. What's happening here is that CableCo is trying to get money from example.com. But example.com is ExampleOnline's customer! If ExampleOnline's customers are generating traffic which CableCo can't handle, then they need to renegotiate their peering agreement, not go after ExampleOnline's customers. That's unethical and possibly illegal.
    • by dachshund (300733) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @08:08PM (#23058098)
      This is a very good point. I would also point out that CableCo has most likely been granted advantaged access to a large pool of customers (if it isn't actually a legally-mandated regional monopoly). What it's trying to do is leverage its "ownership" of this customer base to extort money from service providers (like your example.com).

      This significantly distorts the market, since example.com can't just go elsewhere to access these customers. If CableCo is the only way to reach them, it basically has to pony up whatever CableCo asks for, or just give up that section of its customer base. And ultimately it's CableCo's customers who wind up paying for it, since--- to stay in business--- example.com will just past the additional costs along to its customers (e.g., the cost of premium services gets boosted so that CableCo can make its competition-free profit.)

      If you were to consider an alternative model where CableCo offers tiered services, but the end-customer foots the bill for using these resources, you'd have a much healthier situation. If CableCo charges too much, then there's pressure on it (via regulation or competition) to lower its prices. In either case, the customer has an accurate perception of how much their ISP is charging them, and they're not subject to all of the hidden charges.

      Which is, of course, exactly why companies like CableCo want to do things this way. It's much better to extract a rent from your customers without their knowing it.

    • In a neutral network, each content provider has to negotiate only one contract with their connectivity provider. So if there are N content providers, there are N contracts.

      If you ditch net neutrality, each content provider has to negotiate contracts with every connectivity provider. So if there are N content providers and M ISPs, the system needs up to M*N contracts to function. That's a huge market inefficiency. Since ditching net neutrality doesn't magically create more bandwidth (it only prioritize

  • If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane.'

    That'd strike me as a rather weird turn of phrase, since the "bus lane" is a desirable place to be. Indeed, you can get fined if you're in it during rush hour, as it's the lane with the least traffic so that the buses can get people into town quicker.
  • by MLCT (1148749) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @05:45PM (#23057110)

    he's already doing deals to deliver some people's content faster
    Typical bit of marketing here - this shouldn't be allowed to stand. Deals aren't being done to deliver content "faster" - deals are being done to deliver other content slower. Bandwidth is a zero-sum equation.

    Assuming (since I am not an expert on this) that the prioritisation of content is being done by some sort of prioritising of packets then it is a mutually exclusive situation. The line is only so fast - the line contains only so much bandwidth. If all providers pay to have their content prioritised then nothing moves any "faster" than it is with neutrality. If only one pays to have their content "faster" then all they are doing is degrading all other traffic.

    ISP provisions need to be revolutionised - the current crop are perfectly happy as a hegemony of providers - do what they like, charge what they like. There is "competition" in only a very superficial sense.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jschen (1249578)

      he's already doing deals to deliver some people's content faster

      Typical bit of marketing here - this shouldn't be allowed to stand. Deals aren't being done to deliver content "faster" - deals are being done to deliver other content slower. Bandwidth is a zero-sum equation.

      But bandwidth isn't a zero-sum equation. New bandwidth can be added. I have no clue what size deals we're talking about, but what if it actually is enough to financially justify the cost of additional bandwidth?

  • A market solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What if Google stopped responding to requests from Virgin customers? I think Virgin would cave in pretty quickly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _KiTA_ (241027)

      What if Google stopped responding to requests from Virgin customers? I think Virgin would cave in pretty quickly.

      Isn't this more or less the same thing that we're fighting against? And the same thing that Microsoft did to Dr DOS?

      In all seriousness though, I would love to see Google sneak in a special version of their adwords. Every time a Virgin ISP user is served a Google ad, make sure one says:

      Attention Virgin Media Customer
      Your ISP is slowing your connection down to extort money out of you! Click here for more information!

  • "The new CEO of Virgin Media is putting his cards on the table early, branding net neutrality 'a load of bollocks' and claiming he's already doing deals to deliver some people's content faster than others... If you aren't prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane.'"

    Well, it's always nice when the idiots paint a nice big "Class Action Lawsuit Bullseye" on their foreheads, ain't it?
    • >Well, it's always nice when the idiots paint a nice big "Class Action Lawsuit Bullseye" on their foreheads, ain't it? I'm not sure we have those in the UK - I've certainly never heard of one.
  • by The Mutant (167716) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @06:02PM (#23057274) Homepage
    We're on Virgin ADSL. About one month ago, someone hacked our WEP and started leaching. It was all my fault - I'd replaced a router, didn't lock down by MAC address, and they locked on.

    We noticed slowdowns / issues but didn't call Virgin until my wife determined these always happened after 4PM. This was after some three weeks of slowdowns.

    Called Virgin's "pay as you go support", where a technician cheerfully told us we'd been capped due to a violation of AUP.

    Ok. Someone had leached our connection. Our fault. But it took TWO weeks to get uncapped.

    All this after several weeks of leaching - which impacted ALL customers on our local net mind you - no email, no call, nothing. Until we incurred expense calling their "pay as you go support".

    Virgin's shaping is poorly executed, and heavy handed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e4g4 (533831)
      Slightly OT, but if someone is savvy enough to hack a WEP encrypted network, they'll be savvy enough to sidestep MAC address restrictions - use WPA2, or even a RADIUS/VPN solution if you want real security.
  • I used to be a customer of Telewest which became Blueyonder bfore Virgin took them over. Back then it was a great service. I used to laugh at my usage capped ADSL using friends with their flaky connections and bandwidth that went up and down while my Cable went flat out 24/7 downloading as much as 200Gb a month. The TV box was great too - better picture than Sky Digital, neat facilities etc. I was really gutted when I moved house to an area that didn't have Blueyonder cable and reluctantly signed up with Sk
  • CEO's don't know jack shit about the technical aspects of the business they work for, they also twist the truth a hell of a lot. if he is talking about peering arrangements then this isn't a bad thing.
  • Message to Virgin Media's new CEO from British Telecom:

    Mr Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media

    Dear Neil,

    Many thanks for your honest thoughts. It's just what we needed at BT for our next meeting with Oftel.
    Yours sincerely,

    British Telecom.

    Life is good.
  • "[quote]he says he'll put you in the Internet 'bus lane.'"

    I'd love to put him in a bus lane.
  • counter attack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @07:11PM (#23057716)
    If I was some content provider like a youtube knock off or something and I got some bullshit shakedown letter asking for money or they'll limit the download speed at my site, I'd note the ISP sending it and put a blatent note on every video playing page that said "If _____ is your ISP, they're purposely slowing down video streaming on this site. To view videos at full speed, switch to another ISP." That would really burn their ass. You get enough of those messages around the internet on high traffic sites and everyone will get a really bad image of that ISP really fast and switch like crazy. That would be the end of that crap and it would force net nuetrality faster than any law would.
  • The government builds and operates the interstate highway system for the common benefit of all. It's not much of a stretch to see the advantages of them building and operating a public data network, too.

    As a bonus for the security-minded, if the government operated the public network, they wouldn't have to go cap-in-hand to the private sector for permission to monitor traffic. There are cameras on all the major highway intersections, and no one complains. The same could be done for a data network.

    Governments aren't as cost-effective as private enterprise, but they have the terrific advantage of operating more in the public eye. For a public resource, this is an extremely valuable characteristic.

    The fact is, telecom doesn't operate in a free market, so almost none of the normal arguments for letting private enterprise take the lead are valid. Competition doesn't truly exist, so corporations are free to invent ever more resourceful ways to make us pay more for less.

    At the very least, a publicly-run network would be more responsive to ordinary users who at least have a vote. As it stands now, we really are at the telecomm's mercy.
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @09:36PM (#23058662)
    The service was great while my ISP was Blueyonder, but then the "Bearded Demon" (Richard Branson) and his hooded Virgin Media hordes took them over. Now I can't download a single TV program from ITunes without being throttled into oblivion. What's the point of broadband when you just get throttled when you use it?

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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