Skip to main content

Virgin Media CEO lambasts Net Neutrality, plans fast-lane content

Virgin Media CEO, Neil Berkett, went ballistic on the concept of Net Neutrality, which says that Internet Service Providers ought not interfere or manipulate speed at which content is being downloaded or uploaded.

Speaking to the Royal Television Society’s Television magazine, Berkett, who heads the second biggest ISP in UK, said that Virgin Media is already in discussion with a number of content companies to deliver their content faster than others; adding that Net-neutrality is a "load of b-ll-cks".

Traffic management (or traffic shaping AKA Throttling) has already been implemented by most Internet service providers in the UK, including Virgin Media. As they say on their website (opens in new tab):

"When someone is downloading and/or uploading a particularly large amount of information over a long period of time, it can slow down the Internet speed for other users who might just be checking their email or browsing online. So to make sure our service is fair for everybody, we sometimes moderate the speeds during peak times (4pm till 9pm) for customers who are downloading and/or uploading an unusually large amount at these times."

It is the first time though that the same process is applied to the content providers rather than the users; a stand-off between ISPs and public service providers like the BBC seems inevitable and could have some serious consequences for the growth of online video on demand.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.