Dear Virgin Media: if Net Neutrality is "bollocks" then you can get stuffed

Last month, Neil Berkett (the new CEO of Virgin Media, one of my ISPs in London) announced that Network Neutrality was "bollocks" and that Internet services would have to pay for premium connections or be relegated to the "Internet bus-lane." In other words, rather than giving me the sites I asked for as fast as they could, Virgin would henceforth deliver the sites that paid bribes faster than other sites (Virgin tried to spin this by saying that the sites that paid would get priority traffic — but how do you prioritize one service's packets without de-prioritizing other sites' packets?).

I said then that I would resign my Virgin account over this, and now that I'm back in London, I've been able to look up my account number and send off the following letter (they have 28 days to respond, and I'll post their reply here too):

Virgin Media,
PO Box 333,
Matrix Court,
Swansea SA7 9ZJ

May 7, 2008

To Whom it May Concern:

We are writing to you today to cancel our Virgin Broadband account, having read the remarks of your new CEO, Neil Berkett, in which he described the idea of Net Neutrality as "bollocks," promising that any Internet service that failed to pay off Virgin to deliver its packets would be put into the "Internet bus lane."

We contracted with Virgin Broadband to provide us with access to the Internet, on the implicit understanding that Virgin would supply us with the packets we requested at the highest speeds it could manage. We did not sign up to be used as tokens in a tawdry game in which Virgin demands back-handers from the world's websites in exchange for access to us. We want to access the Internet, not be traded to another inmate for two packs of cigarettes.

We believe that this is a material violation of our agreement with Virgin, that Virgin has substantially altered the nature of the service we are paying for. Therefore in accordance with your own terms and conditions, para, J4, "If we and/or Virgin Media Payments break the terms and conditions of this agreement, you're free to end this agreement" we would ask you to terminate my contract without any penalties or fees.



See also: Virgin Media CEO: Net neutrality is "bollocks," promises to breach agreement with customers