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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yet More Virgin Media/BSkyB and OFCOM

It was noted during the Virgin Media conference call Chairman, James Mooney bragged that they had won every legal battle fought so far. I thought this was extremely premature.

In contrast on the News Corporation call, Rupert Murdoch, expressed his thoughts:
"I'm disappointed simply that the politicians chickened out and punt these things to these quangos."
Apart from fact that Rupert doesn’t seem to have much time for our beloved regulator, OFCOM, he is digging his heels in for a long fight:
"We are not worried by any of these inquiries, however long they take. We have done nothing illegal.”
As Russ Taylor from Ofcomwatch points out the hottest document in the country, which is the actual Virgin Media complaint to OFCOM, is safely under lock and key and most importantly will be kept from the prying eyes of the consumers that OFCOM purports to protect and Virgin Media are also out to protect.

Investors don’t seem to be too impressed with the latest Virgin Media results with the share price down around 10% over the last couple of days. It was a good job for James Mooney then that he sold 54,748 shares on the 30th April @ US$25.49 just before the results were announced saving himself around US$100k.

However, there is good news for the beleaguered Virgin Media shareholders Ed Richards CEO of OFCOM, on a recent jolly to the States, unbelievably said in talking about broadband -
“So we have to encourage consumers to pay more –“
Thanks Ed, glad to see someone is looking after Joe Public.

PCPro perfectly sums up the current status of Broadband Britain for which Ed thinks we should be paying more for:
So, to summarise, broadband customers aren't sure what speed of service they're buying, are suffering from slowdown at evenings and weekends, are left in purgatory when their ISP goes belly-up and, worst of all, there's no real prospect that things will get better any time soon.
In the speech Ed was basically putting forward the case that no taxpayer investment was required in broadband - with which I broadly agree. However at the same time he is still touring the UK trying to drum up support for his ridiculous taxpayer funded £300m injection into the web content industry aka the Public Service Publisher - with which I vehemently disagree.