BBC Player Strains Bandwidth

The British Broadcasting Corp. is under fire from Internet service providers over how its new multimedia player may cause an increase in demand for bandwidth, placing greater stresses on the infrastructure of ISP's. It's the latest controversy to erupt over the BBC's iPlayer, an application in a public beta that lets people download and watch programs broadcasted within the last seven days. The iPlayer uses peer-to-peer technology, which allows bits of content to be download from other users, at speeds that enable up to 300M-bytes of data to be downloaded per hour.

A BBC spokeswoman said on Monday the broadcaster is in regular discussions with ISPs regarding the costs of downloading video. In a statement, the BBC pushed the issue back to the ISPs, which it said are responsible for pricing, monthly limits on how much data can be downloaded as well as acceptable use polices for their users. "Inevitably, some ISP packages will be more suitable than others for the download of large amounts of data," the BBC said in a statement. "All broadband is not equal."

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News source: PCWorld

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I'd just be happy if people in rural areas could get decent access without having to pay their local phone monopoly $40 a month for 768k DSL.

From Telegraph article:

Mary Turner, the chief executive of Tiscali UK, an Internet Service Provider (ISP), said: "The internet was not set up with a view to distributing video. If the iPlayer really takes off, consumers accessing the internet will get very slow service."

Maybe on your underprovisioned crappy service. Perhaps if you'd thought about the ramifications of saying "have free broadband if you have our telephone service" you wouldn't be in such a position.

i still pay £30 a month for bt and i dont get squat!
others get a phone and tv (i live in LONDON and in a NON CABLE AREA)
they should really provide more stuff for free and better quality!

UK ISP's are tight *******. They won't even upgrade their infrastructures so we can have a broadband speeds that compare with the rest of the world. They need to get their act together and stop trying to pass the buck on, and stop trying to penalise their customers for it too.

ziadoz said,
UK ISP's are tight *******. They won't even upgrade their infrastructures so we can have a broadband speeds that compare with the rest of the world. They need to get their act together and stop trying to pass the buck on, and stop trying to penalise their customers for it too.

Acually no... most ISPs go through BT network.

It's BT that are slow at upgrading the infrastructures which means ISP can't do anything until BT do something.

typical uk thing, and it isn't going to be solved. people flock to the cheapest ISP to save barely any money, so that ISP gets overloaded and can't afford to upgrade the networks without upping prices. in which case, everyone jumps ship and an ISP is left with a nice huge upgraded network not being used and wasted money.

That's somewhat mischaracterising the problem. Although things are gradually changing, we're still the nation who dislike complaining, and remain notoriously bad at switching services/amenities for financial gain. What has been different in the context of the DSL "boom" is that there have been a lot of poorly-planned startups coming onto the scene to catch broadening adoption of the technology and a sudden perceived advantage in getting a company started (local-loop unbundling courtesy of BT and Oftel). Many of these companies have foundered for the reasons you outlined, but one might reasonably assume that that particular lesson has been learned by the few that have weathered the storm (and by the big telco-owned outfits who never had much to worry about to start with; they can take bigger bullets, and their customers tend to be the epitome of the make-do-and-don't-complain British disease anyway).

Choice is diminishing in the ISP marketplace; even more established outfits like Nildram and Pipex are getting swallowed every week by the big fish "convergence"-obsessed ones. But the bigger the company, the less excuse for not investing in decent p|-|4t p1p3z. Here's hoping Oftel can just keep the survivors from any price-fixing shenanigans.

Havin_it said,
Choice is diminishing in the ISP marketplace; even more established outfits like Nildram and Pipex are getting swallowed every week by the big fish "convergence"-obsessed ones.

I may be wrong here but didn't Pipex buy Nildram?

Roger2 said,

I may be wrong here but didn't Pipex buy Nildram?

You are correct. Pipex swallowed Nildram (a company quite similar to itself in historical and market terms) among a swathe of other smaller ISPs in the period a year or two ago, just after they'd bought the first (only?) UK WiMAX license and looked very much like they were becoming one of the aforementioned large piscine animals. In the end their "convergence" dream didn't come together and they got bought by Tiscali, a relative newcomer.

They were just the first names that came to mind, one of them (well both in a sense) being my own ISP until I realised what utter w*nkers they were.

I can't wait for it's proper release, then the ISP's wont be able to claim everyone using a lot of bandwidth are pirates, and will have to get their acts together!

Not the BBCs problem... 4oD works fine and uses a similar idea.

Its the ISPs that need to provide better services.

The ISPs either need to increase their capacity or kick users breaching their AUP.

The BBC shouldn't come under fire for providing a service like this; it's the ISPs who are too cheap to invest in providing their service.

M2Ys4U said,
The BBC shouldn't come under fire for providing a service like this; it's the ISPs who are too cheap to invest in providing their service.

+1

If the service ISPs offer isn't profitable enough then they need to change their business model. The only way they've got away with such shoddy services so far is that most people barely use them and they've just been raking in the profits. Now, at the first sign that customers might actually want to use the service they're paying for, they start to panic. They either provide an unlimited service, in which case the bandwidth issue is THEIR concern (and theirs alone), or they provide a capped service, in which case customers that reach the limit will either upgrade their package, limit their usage or move to another ISP. Either way this is how business works and the BBC doesn't owe them squat.

M2Ys4U said,
The BBC shouldn't come under fire for providing a service like this; it's the ISPs who are too cheap to invest in providing their service.

Too right, the ISPs are finally getting the kick up the arse that they deserve, there have been years of under investment and they have simply been screwing the customers by providing a crap service and charging for it. Oh and make sure you read this part:
The rift with the BBC over bandwidth may be a red herring, where the real issue is that the BBC's content will eventually compete with content offerings from ISPs such BT Group PLC and Tiscali U.K. Ltd., Coham said.

Now put 2 and 2 together! Funny that it's the BBCs fault for providing the service, when both Tiscali and BT have their own Pay IPTV service which will come under threat from the iplayer.

Good.

An increase in demand for bandwidth over there will cause just that, an increase in bandwidth.

And if that happens, the US will seem even more pathetic, and hopefully get its act together.

MioTheGreat said,
Good.

An increase in demand for bandwidth over there will cause just that, an increase in bandwidth.

And if that happens, the US will seem even more pathetic, and hopefully get its act together.

I'd rather have 6Mbit uncapped internet as opposed to getting 20Mbit internet and only 20GB a month download...

MioTheGreat said,
Good.

An increase in demand for bandwidth over there will cause just that, an increase in bandwidth.

And if that happens, the US will seem even more pathetic, and hopefully get its act together.


I have 15 Mbit uncapped which is better than 20Mbit capped. I like being able to download several gigs of data a day.

neufuse said,

I'd rather have 6Mbit uncapped internet as opposed to getting 20Mbit internet and only 20GB a month download...

I have 20Mb uncapped as a download speed and 5Mb uncapped as an upload speed. I really love free market economics. It brought me Verizon Fios.