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Tom Mockridge, formerly CEO at Sky Italia and BSkyB’s deputy chairman from 2012 to early 2013, has called Sky’s broadband offering “lousy”. Mockridge, a blunt-speaking New Zealander, is now running cable company Virgin Media for John Malone.
BSkyB is offering subscribers ‘free’ broadband for two years if they sign up to Sky Sports.
Mockridge, in an interview with the UK’s Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper, said “When someone offers you something for free, generally most customers are smart enough and realise they are paying for it somewhere else. 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. 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.”
Mockridge claimed that under its new owners, Virgin Media was investing £1 billion a year mostly on boosting its own network. He admitted that his predecessor at Virgin, Neil Berkett, had stabilised the business after it was hit by shoddy service. “We’re not perfect,” he said, “but we are better than we were.”
Virgin Media has debts of some $9.3 billion, and 3.7 million TV subscribers (and 4.4 million broadband subscribers).