back to article Virgin Media strategy boutique boss quits

Virgin Media's managing director of strategy has quit in an ongoing shake-up of top brass, as the firm bids to make broadband cable's biggest selling point. Staff were told yesterday that Ernie Cormier has decided to part ways with Virgin Media in the new year. The departure of customer care chief Steve Stewart at about the …

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  1. Paul

    Through gritted teeth?

    Do I get the impression that the bit about VM getting more punters was done through gritted teeth?

    As to the public humiliation at the hands of sky there are many of us who do not miss sky 1 one little bit and are glad that VM stood up to sky over their excessive demands.

  2. Tony Barnes

    Usage limits

    First time I've read usage limits and how they would be implemented and actually thought "hey, they may have put some thinking into this".

    Though I do personally disagree with the basic idea of caps, even I find it hard to argue against the "greater good" nature of this sort of thing. In honesty, if you're doing a large amount of downloading, then the odds are you're technically minded to set download schedules for whatever you are using, and use the internet "sensibly" during peak hours - and with a 20meg line, you could happily grab 100gb+ in the rest of the day if you're heart was so inclined.

    I never liked having lots of stuff dl/ing whilst browsing anyway, just slows things down.

  3. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Through gritted teeth?

    Not at all, good luck to them. Strong competition is a good thing.

    And I'm glad you're happy for VM standing firm - a lot weren't though, and VM suffered two quarters losing tens of thousands of subscribers because of it, as their own statements to investors said.

  4. HeavyLight
    Unhappy

    Re: Usage limits

    With a 4Mb connection, I can barely download one tv episode during the evening without being restricted. And that's without using ANY capacity during the day when I'm away from home.

    Now if they'd set the limit at, say, 6GB per day, I could support it.

  5. Ryan Clark

    Sky Channels - don't miss them

    I thought I would being a big Simpsons fan and partial to the Stargate series too, however I haven't missed them at all. I have even seen the odd thing that I want to watch on Virgin one too.

    I find it strange that this is viewed as a loss by VM. They told Sky they were too expensive and to cut their price. Sky didn't so VM dropped their channels. VM might have lost quite a few subscribers over it, but Sky would also have lost millions of viewers which would have meant that their advertising revenue would also have been affected. Sounds like a lose, lose situation really.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thereg must stress the need for far better end user upload/upstream rates...

    Hi chris.

    its interesting that they stress the generic point of download speeds.

    "Berkett's wheeze is to put faster-than-ADSL broadband front and centre of its quadruple-play offering, and he aims to offer 50Mbit/s _downloads_ across the cable network by the end of 2008."

    however, its a shame that none of the mainstream news services seem to understand the need to educate and indeed stress the point and need for far better upload/upstream rate for the end users.

    case in point, its all wel and good splashing the 50Mbit/s download, however readers dont seem to understand that if the end user thats pre-paying for this new 50Mbit/s service were to try and near max out this speed, the upload rate required to do so will require 1.3Megabit/s of the proposed 1.5Mbit/s upload/upstream rate.

    that in effect means if you were downloading for instance the last updated linux ISO (Virgin media dont keep it anywere current BTW) directly off the internal VM html/FTP servers "ftp://gentoo.virginmedia.com/mirrors/", you will have just 200Kbit (not bytes) spare for your other multitasking web apps to use.

    is it always going to be this way?,in that the upload rate while in many cases is the most vital part of the end users connection .but they dont realise it and the news outlets are not doing anything to bring this lack of upload progress to peoples attention and help educate them in the UK?..

    it is my hope the the reg at the very least, will see this as a vital role to air and start educating the average users of UK Virgin Media and the BT networks , and the boardroom readers that they need to address this massive lack of real upload speed just as much if not more so than the headlining UK download rates.

    the upload rates are killing the real innovation and given cable and Docsis3 UPLOAD rates could potentially far outclass xDSL (hell even the current Docsis1.0 in place if managed and increased properly could RIGHT NOW) uplad speeds for the while UK network.

    the question remains, will the boardrooms and the membership in these far reaching meetings understand the real need for far better upload rates so as not to strangle any real increases in the headline download rates they and the marketeers like to push so hard.

    by the way, even after Virgin Media role out their officially stated 50Mbit/s download and *1.5Mbit/s _UPLOAD_ rate*, Be unlimited on its limited max 24Mbit/s download rate can and does to many end users TODAY far better upload rates than the proposed 1.5Mbit that VM are talking about, as much as 2.5Mbit from Be* xDSL, and thats disgraceful given VM can send a simple faster docsis1.0 cable modem config file to users kit and get far better than upload rate that right now.

    just look at the docsis1.0 and docsis3.0 spec available through your google search and see how the spec and the VM UBR's (the bit your other end of the cable plugs into)has been massively underrun since day one of the headend install.

    TheReg staff,m please educate the masses as to the fact as the download rates increase, the upload rates need to massively increase to allow the status quo, never mind giving the paying users a far better upload rate to allow for their need to use innovative new apps, both free and commercial

  7. Barry
    Stop

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out

    Was it his strategy to change the traffic shaping last week (Thu night/Fri morn) so that it broke all online game (eg. 360/PS3) and VoIP?

    In which case, would he mind un-doing it, before he leaves. He's FUBAR'd it.

    Just read the complaints at:

    http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=virgin_adsl&page=0&view=expanded&sb=5&o=7

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does anyone need substantially faster upstream?

    Yes I'm aware of ack starvation, there are many ways to address that, many of them need a marginally smarter modem/router rather than a substantial increase in upstream throughput.

    There is one other class of punter that might want megafaster upstream, but since no sane ISP wants that class of punter as a customer (as they are money down the drain, both in bandwidth terms and RIAA/MPAA hassle terms) I don't see it happening any time soon in volume.

    Which kind of kyboshes Kontiki etc as a "platform" for commercial content distribution for BBC, ITV, C4, Sky, etc. Oh dear what a shame. Not.

    . I signed up with a deal for 12 months free TV, which tbh was worth every penny. The broadband worked better than the TV, and was arguably better vfm, but many BT-based ISPs offer (for my usage) just as good vfm, without the Branson factor. So I'm back on DSL again, and cable has lost a broadband and TV customer.

  9. Kev K
    Thumb Up

    VM - Fantastic

    I love my 20mb speed

    I get most of the TV epps I need from the newsgroups & am more than happy with the traffic management - I understand that an internet hog like me can max out my BB 24/7 and upset my next door neighbour looking at her face-bebo-my-book social networking thing - with 99% of ADSL services I would have been kicked off years ago for abuse - Every serious downloader I know uses VM and use the net for "normal" stuff during peak hours - while setting their d/l queue for past midnight - its not exactly rocket science is it ?? - fair play to VM for being sensible about the whole thing.

    (More upload speed would be nice though)

  10. Julian
    Thumb Down

    Traffic Management - WE really Don't Like Traffic Jams

    I just read VM's Traffic Management and I don't believe a word of it. It's just a cover up for an appalling service and an inadequate infrastructure. A cop out in other words.

    Regardless of my usage, my connection is frequently at a virtual standstill, not necessarily limited to the peak periods, and it is so very much worse than when I joined Telewest, many years ago, on a (theoretically) comparatively slow service.

    Notwithstanding that at I am very critical of Virgin's cable broadband service, I have formed the opinion that that it is the inadequate capacity/capability of the wider infrastructure that is also at fault, being completely overwhelmed at certain times.

    The primary problem is one of inadequate investment to improve the infrastructure in order to meet the increasing demands placed upon it. Until such time that this is resolved, it is pointless to create faster packages because the systems cannot stand them unless at the expense of the slower packages. More emphasis is required on quality ,in the meantime, not speed.

    Of course, if UK does not wake up and get a decent infrastructure in place soon, we will fall behind and pay the price for it.

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