Miro Internet TV Blog

Got Virgin ISP? Cancel it.

April 15th, 2008 by Nicholas Reville

Cory Doctorow (PCF board member) has canceled his internet account with Virgin in response to comments by their CEO that net neutrality is “a load of bollocks” and that they will be slowing down traffic from sources that don’t pay extra. These companies need to hear from the public and this is the language they understand.

Cory writes: “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?”

Got Virgin for internet? Cancel it and tell them why.

At our Worcester office, we have a Charter cable internet connection. We’ve been noticing that they appear to be restricting BitTorrent traffic and we’re canceling our service this month. Miro, of course, supports evasionary encryption to get around such blocking, but a technology arms race is no substitute for real public protections.

Cory’s full post.

Update: Folks have been asking what Cory is going to switch to. He tells me:”I’ve got two lines at home, BT and Virgin, so when I manage to kill Virgin, I’ll keep BT for the rest of the year, then have a look around… I’m not fond of BT (they’re participants in Phorm), but I’m locked into them, too.”

At the PCF office, we have both Charter and Verizon. We’ll be using our Verizon account for now, as they seem to be more neutrality positive so far.

14 Responses to “Got Virgin ISP? Cancel it.”

  1. Stephen says:

    As for a decent ISP does anyone know if Verizon DSL, the 3MB service, restricts bittorrent? We are going to move in a month and plan to cancel Comcast, but our only option is Verizon DSL.

  2. Tom says:

    Verizon is actually pretty good, and gawker did a writeup on this recently:


    it’s good stuff

  3. JD says:

    Good to hear! I hope enough Virigin customers cancel – and word gets around the internet. stumbleupon, reddit, digg, fark, here I come!

    I also have charter here in worcester, ma, and the same thing is happening to me wrt torrents.

  4. kayzai says:

    Very strange!!!

    I was planning on cancelling my Virgin UK broadband this week, too.

    They’ve trottled the bandwith to a point where my 8GB broadband spead is now 8kbs (YES 8kbs).

    Anyone know of a better ISP in the UK?

    I have been a longterm virgin customer (since dial-up 4 years ago), but time for us to part ways.

  5. Justin says:

    unfortunately I have no choice in sticking with Comcast as for my home is the only service avaiable (Charter and Comcast have very strategically laid out a regional monopoly all over the area where you get one or the other). I’m really hoping the “224Mbps for $1.50/mo) through power lines to become the new standard soon. As it will certainly throw a wrench in the plans of Mega-ISPs constantly screwing it’s consumers and dishonoring net neutrality.

    you can read the article here on Digg

  6. Adam Chavez says:

    I predict that within 5 years the entire country will be one big wi-fi hotspot.

    This problem of “slowing down sites that don’t pay” will be gone — akin to AOL’s lock-in environment that went away with the advent of new technologies.

    That “wi-fi America” is a disruptor that I am patiently waiting for.

  7. Ben says:

    I’ve used Eclipse internet here in the UK – one of the best ISPs i have used in a long time. Great service and customer support was always helpful (for the rare outages we did have; problems with the local exchange usually). They also had ‘flex’ where you could temporarily upgrade your bandwidth for a small charge.

    And only 30days for notice of cancellation! Was great when we were students.

  8. DevilPliers says:

    I love speakeasy.. this would never happen there.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Who runs these ISPs?

    If it was not for the content suppliers, they would have no business. They need to get their heads straight and realize they are servicing their customers, not the content suppliers.

    Content providers already pay the costs their end (bandwidth, server costs, storage etc) to make this available for whoever wants to access it (being consumers). The consumers then pay the ISPs to get access to this content, so why are the ISPs not giving them (timely) access to the content they wish to access….

  10. Dan says:

    I’ve been signed up to virgin for about 6 months with the people I share my house with. After initially taking 2 1/2 months to install our cable (while local friends who signed up two days before got installed in 3 days) the speeds were ok for 5 people sharing a 4Mb connection. But since the new year torrent speeds have been reduced to 6kbps max through most torrent programs, and other perfectly legitimate download services (such as 4od) have seen dramatic reductions in DL speeds to the extent that they are barely usable. Not impressed at all by Virgin, any suggestions about the best way to avoid/evade these illegitimate sanctions without changing ISP (locked in for another 6months)…

  11. Paula says:

    FREE internet (ok, so it comes with the phone line), reliable and friendly…TALK TALK. With no restrictions either.
    I have tried Virgin & BT and both suck in comparison to TT.

  12. Doug Rosbury says:

    There’s your precious internet. Why is it so easy for companies to control service quality?
    Because users have no guts to withdraw membership. Shut down the internet and do without it for a time while it can be re configured to put it into the hands of those who can pass laws to prevent
    control by special interests. Anyone have a better idea? It’s an old and familiar story. What
    have we not done to prevent this kind of arrogant intrusion into our happy internet activity?
    Let’s figure that out and , like Nike says,”JUST DO IT”(!!!)——Doug Rosbury

  13. Steve says:

    I’m with virgin mobile right now, and I’m cancelling and selling my phone. I won’t support a company that doesn’t see how neutrality built the net, and how basic freedom of speech, including the freedom to speak out against your ISP isn’t precisely what makes the net a worthwhile cultural resource.

    They’ll not get another nickel from me.

  14. phuxake says:

    I have also been with virgin for a long time but now i’m not getting the service i’m paying for… I’m out. I need an isp that will provide download speeds that arn’t restricted. Anyone know of any? If anyone is even considering going with virgin… Dont do it! Getting my mac code at the moment is hassle enough ‘oh i’m sorry we sent your request to the wrong department’ how incompetent.

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