BT: Content Connect "will not create a two-tier internet"

In a statement released earlier today, BT denied claims that its upcoming Content Connect service contradicts its position of supporting net neutrality. Envisioned as an opportunity for content providers to strike up deals with ISPs to enable faster access to their services, the service would allow websites such as BBC's iPlayer to benefit from a faster connection to its users, allowing for consistent playback speeds regardless of network congestion. Critics fear that the service could encourage the development of a "two-tier internet", but BT is adamant that this is not the case.

"BT's Content Connect service will not create a two-tier internet, but will simply offer service providers the option of differentiating their broadband offering through enhanced content delivery," the statement reads. "BT supports the concept of net neutrality but believes that service providers should also be free to strike commercial deals should content owners want a higher quality or assured service delivery."

But opposers remain unsatisfied, and Labour MP Tom Watson described the news as a "worrying development."

"Turning a broadband connection into the internet equivalent of Sky TV is not good for small businesses or consumers. I will be raising this in Parliament at the earliest opportunity."

The threat of net neutrality disappearing in the modern age is unfortunately becoming more of a reality day by day, with the FCC recently declaring mobile broadband exempt from any such rules. Net neutrality has opponents on both sides of the pond, and culture minister Ed Vaizey has backed the "two-tier internet" as being a way for ISPs to innovate and improve their services.

"We have got to continue to encourage the market to innovate and experiment with different business models and ways of providing consumers with what they want," Vaizey argues. "This could include the evolution of a two-sided market where consumers and content providers could choose to pay for differing levels of quality of service."

The Open Rights Group sees it differently though, and in a public statement, executive director Jim Killock said:

"The idea is that ISPs will deliver this stuff better and more reliably than the internet. The result could be a fundamental shift away from buying services from the internet to bundled services from ISPs, which would reduce competition and take investment away from internet companies. That would be bad for everyone."

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Seriously, this is a surprise to some? There's been rumors of this sort of development for over a decade. Now, with traffic issues starting to be noticed due to the rise in popularity in Netflix and similar broadband applications it makes business sense for the ISP and the content provider to buy a higher QoS to make sure your content experience isn't constantly plagued with pauses and quality issues. This is an inevitable evolution and history isn't going to remember or recognize the nay-sayers. It might not be what you want but you're going to have to accept that this is going to be the new reality.

BT said,
BT supports the concept of net neutrality but believes that service providers should also be free to strike commercial deals should content owners want a higher quality or assured service delivery.

Translates to:

BT actually meant,
BT supports the concept of net neutrality but we will do the opposite because we can make money from breaking the internet. We don't care in the slightest what is good for consumers, only for ourselves.

BT keep saying that they "Support Net Neutrality", but every. single. report. in the news regarding BT as an ISP is about how they're basically doing the opposite.

I guess Corporate shills will be shills.

They reversed their decision to bring Phorm into their network. I sincerely hope they do the same here.

what said,
They reversed their decision to bring Phorm into their network. I sincerely hope they do the same here.

Unlikely, unless they're forced to. The UK government haven't even got the spines to give a definite yay/nay on Net Neutrality, so the ISPs (and BT in particular) are going to take as much as they can until a decision is made. Its already becoming increasingly apparent that this government is against net neutrality though, so we're basically screwed.

what said,
They reversed their decision to bring Phorm into their network. I sincerely hope they do the same here.

Let's hope so

BT are a brilliant company. Expensive, but brilliant. They should know better than to do things like this.

This company quite literally the devil. It's not about economics, its about discrimination. If they want to throttle speeds by account subscription, fine, but determining access to content is wrong. What is that going to do in developing countries?

This is Compuserve all over again; old internet users are very well aware how it worked..... and failed when Internet became a popular penomenon. it might gain some traction at the beginning but in the long terms it will fai.

Me, as a content consumer, pay for an internet line. I choose my class of service based on the bandwidth I pay for. My download speed is the critical number I look at when purchasing. It tells me how fast I can potentially get information from content providers.

Me, as a content provider, pay for an internet line. I choose my class of service based on the bandwidth I pay for. My upload speed is the critical number I look at when purchasing. It tells me how fast I can potentially get information to content consumers.

What's being proposed is:

As a content consumer, I pay for my internet line, plus an additonal fee per service I want to receive at a faster speed. Initially, the internet line price would decrease and I can choose to accelerate certain services. If I want to enjoy the top tier that I enjoy now, I'll pay more. Soon after this gets comfortable with consumers, internet providers will say that too many people are choosing just the basic internet line and they will increase its price back up to pre-decrease level. Meaning as consumers, we're back to exactly where we are, only we pay an incredible price for top tier services.

As a content provider. I'm just toast. To stay in business, I have no choice but to pay. The same excuse used to increase the basic level service price would apply. This puts anyone who isn't a large company out of business.

We, both as providers and consumers, already pay for tiered service. This model is ideal for both consumers and providers and has led to the rapid expansion of the internet. Its let someone in college create something like FaceBook.

not to get off topic, but I thought the internet was already two tiered? We have the internet (public access) and Internet2 (priortized higher speed gov / edu internet)

neufuse said,
not to get off topic, but I thought the internet was already two tiered? We have the internet (public access) and Internet2 (priortized higher speed gov / edu internet)

Not really. Internet2 is really separate, and mostly for R&D purposes.

This is literally discriminating packets.

Did anyone really not think this would happen? Cable TV is fading, satellite TV will likely fade as well. Content is being delivered via the internet more and more and content providers and ISPs are going to want in on this. Cash cow in the making. We are a Roku house... I pay for internet only and the parent company (originally a cable TV and cable communications company) is losing subscriptions for TV left and right, hand over fist. That's a loss of revenue they will have to shore up somehow (layoffs are occurring as well).

Tuishimi said,
Did anyone really not think this would happen? Cable TV is fading, satellite TV will likely fade as well. Content is being delivered via the internet more and more and content providers and ISPs are going to want in on this. Cash cow in the making. We are a Roku house... I pay for internet only and the parent company (originally a cable TV and cable communications company) is losing subscriptions for TV left and right, hand over fist. That's a loss of revenue they will have to shore up somehow (layoffs are occurring as well).

That's right, traditional TV is failing. However,t hat does not meant we should pay any differently to the ISP for specific content. Hell, the networks make so much money from advertising, it's a wonder they charge us a subscription at all. It's like we're paying to watch adverts.

DARKFiB3R said,
I call BS. FU BT.

I can see it now: News just in - Facebook and BT sign deal to offer Facebook access on Bt total broadband options 2 and 3 with unlimited access for free! Options 1 will be charged an extra £1 on their broadband bill per month. Don't have BT broadband? you can still access facebook on your mobile!