Today, BT, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse (TalkTalk, AOL) and BSkyB have signed a deal with the music industry to threaten customers suspected of illegal filesharing (via ISPReview).
On the face of it, one might think this is a good thing, or that it does not apply to people who don't illegally share music. However, no one can tell if you're sharing legal or illegal content, and they can't tell if it's you, your kids, your neighbour or a virus you picked up. As a result, anyone could easily be suspected of wrong doing, yet be completely innocent. If you're a customer of one of these ISPs, be ready to defend yourself against something you didn't do, and have a degraded or partially functional Internet connection in the meantime.
This is of course a pre-cursor to the widely-expected plan by the UK music industry to sue it's own customers for copyright violations. It's also a way for the BPI to stop people performing legal filesharing - something that many software vendors promote as a way for people to get their software.
Now is the time to get a new ISP. I have first-hand knowledge that one of the affected ISPs accidentally stopped it's customers reaching their email provider for a period of about 5 days, so the idea that "because they're big, they must be the best" just isn't true. If you're looking for an alternative, Freedom2Surf is pretty good (and part of Pipex who haven't signed this deal).