"...The moves by Virgin and other ISPs will simply spur the development of new ways of sharing files, just as the clampdown on Napster lead directly to the development of the current generation of peer to peer networks..."
He's right, that's what will happen...and Virigin will lose business initially if they are the one leading the way. But it's only a matter of time before the other ISP's do the same thing.
Virgin is of course a media company (say's so in the article anyway and we already know that)...it's in there interest to stop people sharing files for TV shows/music/films they distribute through their own retail channels.
The other ISP's will sit on the fence for a wee while, but as I said they will go the same way eventually. Most I would have thought will not want to get involved in the short term anyway pointing out the illegalities to their own customers....I mean customers are customers at the end of the business day.
The ISP isn't bothered about the legality of the content in question, that's just a nice cover-up for the real reason: Bandwidth.
Bandwidth costs ISPs money, and with more and more people actually using the Internet to download MP3 music files, Episodes of Lost they missed last week, and sometimes full-length movies, the ISPs are being hit hard with the cost of bandwidth.
New services like BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 OD, and Zattoo.com are costing the ISPs money, and they don't like it. It's very noticeable if you stream a full hours worth on a basic 4mb package with Virgin, after around 35minutes, you'll see the stream buffering. This is where their secret weapon comes into force. Throttling.
If you exceed over X amount of data within the hours of Y to Z, your top speed will be Throttled to A. Meaning, if you're on a 4mb connection and you go over their limits, then your 4mb connection goes down to 0.5mb for a duration of time.
Unlimited, no... in my opinion that is a limit. The courts disagree though.