Neil Berkett, the new CEO of Virgin Media (my ISP at home in London, along with BT) has announced that he considers Net Neutrality to be "a load of bollocks" and he's promised to put any website or service that won't pay Virgin a premium to reach its customers into the "Internet bus lane."
As a Virgin customer, I'm not paying to see those services that bribe Virgin to reach me, I'm paying to reach the entire web, whichever bits I think are useful, as quickly as Virgin can deliver them.
Theoretically, I'm locked into a Virgin plan for another six months, but as far as I'm concerned, they've just announced that they're violating the agreement by announcing that the services I can reach will be systematically slowed down unless they pay Virgin extra. That means that we're now null and void. I'll be calling to cancel today.
Who's with me?
In an interview with the Royal Television Society’s Television magazine, far from covering up their intentions, Virgin Media’s new incoming CEO Neil Berkett - who joined the Virgin Media Board just a few days ago - has launched an attack on the ideas and principles behind net neutrality.
“This net neutrality thing is a load of bollocks,” he said, adding that Virgin is already in the process of doing deals to speed up the traffic of certain media providers.
Update: Charlie Stross is pissed -- and he's convinced that Virgin drops packets if they detect a router on your network. This jibes with my experience too.
Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.
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Ray Corrigan (previously), a campaigning computer scientist at the UK's Open University, has an excellent explainer on the EU's disastrous copyright directive on the progressive academic group blog Crooked Timber (previously).
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