My letter to Neil Burkett, CEO of Virgin Media.

15 04 2008

Sent this this morning.

Dear Neil

I have been a loyal NTL/Virgin Media customer for the last five years and have, until now, had nothing but praise for the speed and value of service offered by your  company and its predecessor. I work in  IT and media and consider your broadband service to be a vital and valued service in my daily life.

  Thus it is with great sadness that I read your uninformed, disparaging and offensive criticisms of the concept of net neutrality and your intentions regarding Virgin Media and your future plans to “put any website or service that won’t pay Virgin a premium to reach its customers into the ‘Internet bus lane.’”

  Your attitude (“Net Neutrality is ‘bollocks’” – is this appropriate language for a prominent CEO?) and your demonstrated understanding of the principles that have made the Internet the economic powerhouse it has grown to be are very disappointing.

  Net Neutrality is, I concede, a somewhat conceptual controversy and I also concede that the current economic environment make the idea of premium content appealing. However, this argument is flawed; the Internet is valuable because of its breadth and its democratised base of information and this egalitarianism has led to the growth of internet phenomena such as YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia; cornerstones of the modern online experience.

  Conversely, I would argue that recent attempts to create a network which favour content from larger players at the expense of the little guy have created such dismal failures as the Compuserve and AOL systems of the mid 1990’s, the failure of WAP to engage the public’s interest at the beginning of this decade and the anaemic level of content many mobile providers provide for online surfing (compare the average level of online content use on mobile service provision with the massive take-up offered by the iPhone).

  People like the Internet because it is free, because their opportunities for exploration are vast and they can do what they want in a way that is hard to compare with any other electronic medium that preceded it.

  Virgin Media has a reputation as an innovator and pioneer in the broadband service it offers its UK customers and your exclusive access to the cable system means you have much more to offer. You can use this potential you have to offer your customers the service we want and keep us happy, or you can squander our trust in order to make a few short-term content deals. The choice is yours but I urge you, let history be your guide.

  I wish you well.

  Regards

Toby Jones.  

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8 responses

5 05 2008
me

The comments were misreported …

31 01 2009
terry

Toby
From where did you obtain the whereabouts of Mr Burkett??. I also wish to write to him about his useless organisation but so far have been refused his address.
Please oblige. By the way you are spot on with your views.

Terry

12 05 2009
terry smith

Hi Toby can i have Mr Neil Berkett address so i can write to him thanks Terry.

8 10 2010
Robin Brownsell

Neil,
I agree with your commnets and I am also about to write to Neil to advise him on some areas of customer service issues .I hope they will be taken constructively !

I went into a Virgin shop yesterday and was given this address for Neil :

160,Great Portland Street
London
W1W 6

If this is not correct perhaps Virgins blog followers can let us know as I have failed so far to find it on their web site.

8 10 2010
Robin Brownsell

Neil,
I agree with your comments and I am also about to write to Neil to advise him on some areas of customer service issues .I hope they will be taken constructively !

I went into a Virgin shop yesterday and was given this address for Neil :

160,Great Portland Street
London
W1W 6

If this is not correct perhaps Virgins blog followers can let us know as I have failed so far to find it on their web site.

25 11 2010
Double Headboard

most broadband services are crappy, they can’t maintain high data transfer rates ;”;

21 01 2012
V/M Employee

Great Portland Street is no longer available. V/M’s head office is now in Hook,

9 10 2012
billy smith

hook address is
Communications House
Bartley Wood Business Park
Bartley Way
Hook
RG27 9UP
quessing thats where he hangs out as its head office

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