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BBC iPlayer bandwidth concerns

BBC iPlayer LogoThe amount of bandwidth consumed by the BBC iPlayer is causing alarm at UK Internet service providers according to an article in yesterday’s Independent by Andrew Murray-Watson:

Some of the largest broadband providers in the UK are threatening to “pull the plug” from the BBC’s new iPlayer unless the corporation contributes to the cost of streaming its videos over the internet.

The likes of Tiscali, BT and Carphone Warehouse are all growing concerned that the impact of hundreds of thousands of consumers watching BBC programmes on its iPlayer โ€“ which allows viewers to watch shows over the internet โ€“ will place an intolerable strain on their networks.

Some of the companies involved have told the BBC that they will consider limiting the bandwidth available to iPlayer โ€“ a process known as traffic shaping. The measure would limit the number of consumers who could access the iPlayer at any one time.

A spokeswoman for Tiscali said: “The potential for iPlayer to suck up capacity is a concern and we need a better dialogue with the BBC about that.”

A senior insider at BT added: “It is certainly a live debate between ISPs [internet service providers] and the BBC. If the BBC gets the numbers it wants for iPlayer then network capacity could become an issue.”

Company representatives have expressed their concerns to Ashley Highfield, the director of new media and technology at the BBC.

Read the rest of the article here.

One reply on “BBC iPlayer bandwidth concerns”

If ISPs start limiting access to iPlayer, they’ll lose customers to those that don’t. The ISPs simply need to upgrade their systems and if that means charging more for their services, then so be it. I don’t see why the BBC should pay. They’re already paying for the upstream bandwidth. It’s not their fault they have finally succeeded in finding a compelling use for “broadband”.

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