ISPs Don't Like the iPlayer


Recently, many ISPs in the UK have been complaining that the – maybe surprisingly large – success of iPlayer is putting strain on their networks. Now they want a slice of the TV license fee payed by the UK households.

This is ridiculous.

BBC already pays a considerable amount of money to feed their programming into the backbone. And it’s the ISPs, therefor the consumers, who need to pay for it to be delivered on our screens. What they’re asking is a bit like asking your corner shop keeper to pay – on top of his store rent – your rent so you can have a place to eat at.

Video has become really big on the Internet in the last few years and that of course is more consuming for the ISPs to handle than just standard, often relatively light-weight, webpages. ISPs perhaps didn’t see this coming and instead of preparing for winter, prepared for the Mega Wars and started advertising ever higher download speeds. All the time knowing that there is no way of delivering it if most or just many customers peaked at the same time.

ISPs now have to continue to invest in new hardware to increase their capacity which on the other hand we may not see as increased advertised bandwidth but as more reliable and consistent service.

One questions still bothers me. Why are they pointing their finger at BBC and iPlayer? I’m pretty sure Youtube still consumes more more bandwidth than iPlayer. Is it because it’s harder to go after corporate money (Google) than public money (BBC)?


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