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Thread: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Here's a brief breakdown for those not up to speed:

    Shortly after BBC's iPlayer launch, some UK ISPs noticed monthly streaming costs jump 20% - and for some that was 5% of their total running costs for the month.

    ISPs are now suggesting that the BBC should help foot the bill.

    The BBC says that's ridiculous, and that if the ISP networks aren't up to it then they should improve their networks, advertise their products better, and charge appropriate prices for appropriate services.

    The ISPs didn't like that much, saying that the BBC has no business telling ISPs how to go about their... business.

    So what do you think? Vote above!

    --------------------------

    And separate from the question itself, here are my thoughts:

    Firstly, ISPs are sh... rubbish. All of them. Well, most of them. You pay for something, and you only get some of it. In some cases, you pay for super-fast broadband, but if you use it for anything that actually benefits from super-fast broadband, you hit your usage cap in next to no time.

    Essentially, ISPs are putting off actually providing us with a decent amount of bandwidth for as long as they possibly can.

    The BBC iPlayer is creating more demand for that change, so ISPs need to invest. The BBC is funded by our license, and as the corporation moves towards more online-distributed content, shouldn't it use some of that funding to improve the distribution network?

    But if that's the case, there are two problems. First of all, we have iPlayer traffic getting preference over 4OD traffic, YouTube traffic and so on, because the BBC helped pay for the networks delivering the content... but of course we are the ones that helped pay for the network, really, so enough of that tiered Internet traffic bull.

    So what of the other video distribution services? Should Google pay to help ISPs deal with YouTube traffic? Should Channel 4 - which is ad-funded - help too?

    Without having to unravel a tapestry of awkward questions, it should be pretty clear already that such a system simply won't work.

    You pay whoever provides your pipe. Once your data's on the pipe you've paid for, it's on the Internet - and with the Internet, the idea is you're pretty much guaranteed the data will get where you want it to - you don't have to worry about it after that. If you start having to pay for somebody else's pipe so that they can receive your data... well the Internetwork becomes an Internotwork.

    Now for the hard hitting bit... ISPs, listen up:

    If your users want iPlayer and your network isn't up to it, upgrade your network infrastructure. To compensate for the expense, either save on outgoings somewhere else, pass on the costs to the customer, or a combination of the two.

    If your network is up to it, but your bandwidth costs are going up, well you still have to deal with the expense in much the same way.

    Some people will leave because they don't like the higher charges. But they'll come back once they realise that everybody's got to do it. And for those that don't do it... well you'll lose all the customers that actually want to make use of a true broadband connection.

    Oh look, I managed to solve the whole problem without creating a non-neutral net. I rock.
    Last edited by Steve; 09-04-2008 at 09:32 PM.
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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    I'd like to see ISP's try and bill Microsoft each time they release a service pack or IE upgrade.

    ISP's should fork out for equipment they need to provide a service, if they need to bill the customer more so be it.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    no.. no they shouldnt, would start a bad precedence

    if isp's need to charge more then so be it, thats fine.
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Its the typical UK ISP mentality: Give the broadband as cheap as you can, tie in a few small print conditions like 'fair use' and throttling, then moan when things don't go your way.

    I don't think most people have an issue with paying a few quid more for a better service. I've lost count the number of times I've almost gone to Zen for this reason, but their download limits are too low for me.
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Quote Originally Posted by manwithnoname View Post
    I'd like to see ISP's try and bill Microsoft each time they release a service pack or IE upgrade.

    ISP's should fork out for equipment they need to provide a service, if they need to bill the customer more so be it.
    yep
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Just had a better idea - if the iplayer causes such as issue for an ISP all they need to do is block it - everyone wins the: ISP crappy infrastructure is not hammered so other customers can use the internet, if the customer wants to use iplayer then they can change ISP.

    tbh I think a lot of the whining is from Simon Gunter of Tiscali, might be something to do with iplayer free and Tiscali TV costing money

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Definetly not.

    Should we get Mc Donalds to cover medical bills because some people are obese?

    Should we get tobbacco companys to cover cancer care costs?

    This is not how it works tbh.

    There should be no reason why broadband is so expensive in this country when it goes for peanuts in the likes of sweden and korea.

    BT etc are just money mad and need to sort it out. Sick of paying through the nose for everything these days and getting pretty much shafted with inferior products and packages than other parts of the world for a higher premium than they ever have had to pay.

    Enough with the stupid wars and silly spending. Lets sort this country out!
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    I'm assuming BBC has a huge ISP bill too, i mean you can't just get that bandwidth for free right?, surely the BBC's hosting costs are large in the first place. I mean I'm fairly sure hexus pays very large amounts of money for keeping the bandwidth available for hexus.tv.

    So content providers do pay for this already, maybe special case with BBC that they are large enough that can somehow do a deal like with some of their server architecture that they get it at a reduced rate.

    But If i download Iplayer stuff which I do, I think its fab and believe the quality and speed is absolutely fab. I'm on Virgin media and have had 0 issues with slow downloads. But i don't expect to pay extra to get it, i pay for the connection, not what i download over it. I just want a pipe to download what i like.

    Also i would argue that the situation with ISP'S getting fed up with legal content flies in the face of their categoric refusal to police P2P software, such as talktalk.
    They don't seem to complain about 80% of their network being taken up by illegal content and spam e-mails but have borked at 3-5% taken up by iplayer? OH MY!.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Surely increased demand means the general user base is going to pay more for the "premium" broadband packages?

    So in a way they are covering the ISP's costs anyway.. at least that's how i see it.

    Obviously as has been mentioned, the BBC is right on by saying that they should improve their networks. I mean, i personally think it's outrageous that a single kilometre makes the difference between 8mb and 2mb, i mean that data is travelling at the speed of light (roughly) down those cables, so the distance shouldn't mean jack. Either sort out the noise issues or cough up for fibre optics.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    'The BBC says that's ridiculous, and that if the ISP networks aren't up to it then they should improve their networks, advertise their products better, and charge appropriate prices for appropriate services.'

    ^^This seriously ISP's should actually get there act together and reinvest in there own infrastructure.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiternoise View Post
    Obviously as has been mentioned, the BBC is right on by saying that they should improve their networks. I mean, i personally think it's outrageous that a single kilometre makes the difference between 8mb and 2mb, i mean that data is travelling at the speed of light (roughly) down those cables, so the distance shouldn't mean jack. Either sort out the noise issues or cough up for fibre optics.
    Given that I know a bit* about communications engineering, I can say it's not easy getting high speeds out of ancient twisted pair. And even if you're in a place where you can get cable, or good ADSL, that's not the real battle... the real battle is the rest of the ISPs network and its upstream ISPs.

    *but I should say the best modem I can build would probably top out at 1Kbps unless you let me get some off the shelf mod/demod chips
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    It's absolutely absurd for the ISPs to even suggest that (which ISPs was it?)

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    BT etc are just money mad and need to sort it out. Sick of paying through the nose for everything these days and getting pretty much shafted with inferior products and packages than other parts of the world for a higher premium than they ever have had to pay.

    Enough with the stupid wars and silly spending. Lets sort this country out!
    Yeh, AFAIK the cost/performance of our net connections all boil down to BTs network/BTs charges to the ISP, and unless you are lucky enough to be in a cable area, then a BT phone line is the only reasonable choice. Lots of people complain about VM though.

    BT are absolutely raking it in and they will continue to do so, because they have no competition. Maybe WiMAX will provide some competition, but i read somewhere that a trial of it in Australia didn't go very well.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    of course they shouldn't. I pay for my licence fee and i dont want any of it to go to the isp companies - it would be like paying for the ISP service twice.

    perhaps these so called companies should innovate a bit more and actually invest the revenue that the receive from their customers - kaizen springs to mind. not sure which isp were protesting but it amazes me that some retail companies come up with these stupid comments/demands.

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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnets View Post
    Maybe WiMAX will provide some competition, but i read somewhere that a trial of it in Australia didn't go very well.
    Yeah, I read the same thing - complaints about poor throughput and massive (1 second) latency, which is a pain when VoIP is one of its pushed uses. Latency isn't such an issue for on-demand video, but I'm still not sure current gen WiMAX would be up to it.
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    oh, and the numpty that pressed yes was me
    i pressed the wrong one... too.. many... choices....
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    Re: So SHOULD the BBC help cover ISP costs for iPlayer?

    I'm surprised that the ISP's haven't simply gone, look enough is enough, you have x GB and have to pay when you use more. It wouldn't be *that* hard to impliment and would free them up to actually get on with improving the service.

    I'm not convinced that either the BBC <b>or</b> the ISP's should pay for iPlayer's increased bandwidths, personally I think it should come out of our pocket, providing that also means that improvements will be made to the overall service. After all, you pay for electricity, gas, phone and often water depending on how much you use, why should data be unlimited?

    Better yet, why not have a two tier package? You pay a fixed fee for basic 512K connectivity, plenty for basic surfing, when you want to download a file, or watch a movie on iPlayer/Youtube/your favourite porn site, you engage a better mode that costs a few pence an hour, when you're done, you turn it back off.

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