A row about who should pay for extra network costs incurred by the iPlayer has broken out between internet service providers (ISPs) and the BBC. ISPs say the on-demand TV service is putting strain on their networks, which need to be upgraded to cope. Ashley Highfield, head of future media and technology at the corporation, has said he believes the cost of network upgrades should be carried by ISPs. Simon Gunter, from ISP Tiscali, said the BBC should contribute to the cost. He said the BBC did not understand the issues involved.
The popular iPlayer service lets users download or stream programmes to a PC. In its first month of launching, the catch-up TV service saw 1m people download more than 3.5m programmes. According to figures from regulator Ofcom it will cost ISPs in the region of Â£830m to pay for the extra capacity needed to allow for services like the iPlayer.