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Virgin Media CEO attacks net neutrality

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Virgin Media CEO attacks net neutrality

Neil Berkett

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett has attacked the principle of net neutrality, whereby internet service providers do not interfere with or degrade the speed at which content is delivered from websites to consumers, branding it as "b****cks".

Berkett's cable operator ranks as the second largest internet service provider in the UK with approximately 3.6m customers.

In an interview with the Royal Television Society's Television magazine, Berkett said that "this net neutrality thing is a load of b****cks", and revealed that Virgin is already in talks with unnamed content providers about paying to have their content delivered faster than others.

Feeding into the debate between internet service providers and the BBC over iPlayer, Berkett even warned that public service broadcasters who choose not to pay for faster access to Virgin's subscriber base would end up in "bus lanes", effectively having their content delivered to consumers at a lower speed.

Thus far, Ofcom has made little comment on the network neutrality debate. In 2007, long before the current iPlayer discussions, the then Ofcom policy chief Douglas Scott indicated that the regulator planned a "hands off" approach to the issue. Scott has since departed the regulator for Channel 4.

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