Dear ISPs, defend me and you have my business

I’m looking for a new ISP and it’s a bit of a shame. I’ve been with Plusnet since I moved out, five odd years ago and the service has been for the most part, excellent. The customer service is the company’s best feature and it’s always prompt, polite and most notably, natively English. However, like many ISPs, it’s come under attack from media lobby groups like the BPI which have forced it to block websites like The Pirate Bay and I really don’t want to give my business to a company that won’t stand up for the rights of its customers.

Because make no mistake, the blocking of sites like the Pirate Bay and many, many others┬áis a restriction of not only our rights to freedom of speech, but our access to information. It’s censorship, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter that these blocks are laughably ineffective and easy to circumvent, they’re a restriction on internet freedoms and the ISPs should stand up to it.

There’s not even a hint of resistance by the major ISPs and Plusnet has yet to make any stand, though it’s unlikely to considering it’s under the BT banner. But it should, as there’s a chance it’ll win. Dutch courts recently rescinded the ruling that had a major ISP block several torrent websites in the Netherlands. It was a hard slog that no doubt cost the company a lot in lawyers fees, but it left a massive impression on me. If Ziggo operated in the UK, it would get my business immediately (apart from the fact that it was just bought by Liberty Group, which already owns Virgin, the biggest lobby group kowtower of the lot).

Likewise would any British ISP that was willing to fight for my rights as a customer in court and not treat me like a criminal. So I’m on the hunt for a new ISP and I’ll be researching some of the smaller ones over the next few weeks and will report back if I find any that’s got the balls to take a stand.

I can’t be the only one too. There’s got to be a lot of internet savvy folk out there who are annoyed that they have to use proxies at all, as easy as it is. We want protection and we’re willing to pay for it ISPs. You could build a very healthy business just off of showing that you put the customers first, not the wants of a media lobby that’s funded by middle-men studios and labels that hand over less than 20 per cent of all revenue to the artists.

Protect customers, let media be shared and you’ll get my business, and no doubt that of many others too.