Monday, June 9, 2008

Stop VIRGIN! from taking your internet freedom.

This is a serious issue you should pay attention to - Net Neutrality. This means the internet is neutral and doesn't favor specific corporations and big business. Of course corporations want control of media and everything you see and do. If you live in the UK, this is important to you right now. If you are a Virgin, subscriber, cancel your subscription and get new service. If you are in the US and rest of the world, be aware of this issue - keep alert of what the media is doing and what your ISP is doing to maintain net neutrality.

Boycott Virgin - Don't use their media, fly on their planes, buy their music or anything else they have their fingers in.

From the "Stop Virgin" website:

Virgin has been trying to calm the internet revolt against them for saying they would limit users' internet access for commercial ends, stating "We're not suggesting there will be any denial of access to those who don't want to pay." and then going on to confirm their previous anti-net neutrality statement: "VM could offer content providers deals to upgrade their provisioning if they want to ensure best access to to broadband subscribers.". They did not comment on their earlier statements about putting non-premium content providers on their slower "bus lanes".

A BT spokesperson gave us the following statement:
"... Unlike Virgin, we think the bandwidth we provide our users should be equal for all services and if services like the BBC iPlayer put too much strain on the bandwidth, both ISP's and content providers should educate the users on that issue so that users know when and why they may have to upgrade their account for more bandwidth if it exceeds 'fair use' terms. We always bear the consumer in mind first and have no plans to prioritize traffic from third party companies. We welcome all the Virgin customers who left because of the net neutrality issue and offer 'neutral' bandwidth."

Update: Sky has now also responded to us with a somewhat vague statement: “As video usage grows, it's natural that there will be a debate about the best way to invest in additional capacity. We want to be one of the UK's biggest and best ISPs so we'll always be guided by the desire to meet customers' needs for a high-quality internet experience."
Keep Virgin from destroying the internet...

The new CEO of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett, has openly stated in an interview that they think net neutrality is “a load of bollocks” and claimed they're already doing deals to deliver some people’s content faster than others. They would then put websites and services that don't pay Virgin in the "slow lane", meaning those sites would load slowly and cause most users to give up using them, feeling forced to use whatever Virgin wants to push through their network.

This is not the first time an internet provider infringes upon net neutrality, but it is the first time that an ISP so brutally states that they simply plan to limit internet access to a television-like system in which the access provider completely regulates the content you have access to.

Virgin Media has over 3.5 million customers in the UK and the real danger is that when they start applying this system to their network, all major internet providers around the globe will soon follow the trend. Because this is exactly what major ISP's have been wanting to do for years.

But we can stop it.

If the masses of the internet react against this, we will set an example of what happens when one provider tries to take away our freedom. We will make it very clear that any ISP who tries to infringe upon net neutrality will see its popularity go down the drain because the users don't accept it. And we'll see to it that only the providers who care about safeguarding our internet freedom have our support.

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