Virgin Media and Standby Power

Dear Richard Branson. Whilst I am pleased to see that you’re spending $3 billion on combating global warming you may wish to look at how difficult one of your companies is about to make it to save energy and still remain within the terms of use. Following a number of complex manoeuvres NTL (my ISP), Telewest and Virgin Mobile are merging and relaunching as Virgin Media. As such in the latest bill we received a handy booklet with new Terms and Conditions enclosed within a very Virgin branding. Part 4.D.5 needs quoting in full (so I shall):

If a set top box or a cable modem forms part of the equipment, you should take reasonable steps to make sure that, while it is not in use, the electricity supplied to it is not turned off and that it is in a standby or rest mode (unless we advise you otherwise).

Ah yes, that’d be the infamous standby state. The existing version of the NTL terms of service is currently here (October 2006 revision) and does not contain any such stipulation so it’s a new Virgin addition. Part of being a well respected brand and company is that people expect you to have a coherent worldview and carry that across everything you do. Currently they’re not.