Computer Business Review

Virgin Media boss attacks Sky broadband services

Michael Moore

14:12, June 17 2014


Tom Mockridge was formerly deputy chairman at BSkyB.

Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge has criticised the broadband service of rival British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB).

In an interview with The Mirror, Mockridge, formerly CEO at Sky Italia and BSkyB's deputy chairman from 2012 to early 2013, criticised Sky's network connections compared to the Branson-owned provider.

"If you are putting up with a lousy broadband service, and you can't get a good connection, maybe you should go to a proper broadband operator," he said.

"Most people see through the marketing."

Mockridge took aim at his rival's new free internet offer, which gives away 24 months broadband to customers signing up for Sky Sports, stating that customers would think that Sky's broadband is not that good if it is offering the service for free.

"When someone offers you something for free, generally most customers are smart enough and realise they are paying for it somewhere else," he explained.

"You've got to think, if someone is going to give you their broadband for free, it means their broadband is maybe not that good."

Mockridge's comments came as Virgin Media revealed it was investing £1bn a year, primarily on boosting its network, as the company begins to see the proceeds of last year's £15bn takeover by Liberty Global.

Mockridge said he believed that this rate of investment would continue as a minimum, adding that, "frankly the bigger we get the more money that has to go in."

The investment has also allowed Virgin Media to offer, containing mobile, phone, TV and broadband services in so-called "quad play" bundles as a single deal, making them the only provider to offer such deals. This includes the company's top of the range "Big Kahuna" service, which provides superfast fibre optic broadband capable of 152Mbps downloads along with digital TV services for £45 a month.

Mockridge hailed the efforts of his predecessor, Neil Berkett, who guided Virgin Media through a difficult period when it was accused of having poor customer relations.

"A lot of the investment in the past five years has been about improving that customer service," he said.

"We're not perfect but we have got a lot better than we were."



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