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back to article BBC vs ISPs: Bandwidth row escalates as Tiscali wades in

Outspoken broadband provider Tiscali has crossed swords with Ashley Highfield, the BBC's top technology executive, over calls he made for ISPs to lump the potentially devastating effect of the iPlayer on their business. Since the launch of the popular streaming service, the iPlayer is costing ISPs dear, with one reporting a …

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RE: By Kevin Gurney

You can do that. Do what I did, and work out how much you use, and then find a package that is not unlimited. I find my BT service is very good, always fast, and cheaper than most of the unlimited ones, as I do have a cap but don't use it all (very often). By fast I mean 8 Meg service normaly runs at 6.5-7 Meg. Not perfect, but close enough to me to not mind especaly as most of my use is 6pm-9pm.

Although I do not know what I am going to do now as I am leaving them, thanks to the Phorm crap, although that is a diffrent matter.

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Stop

@Emj

"It would be like Ford producing a car (the Focus for example) and then the Government demanding Ford pay for the roads for the car to go on because people like that car..."

Yeah nice one, just wait till Gordy hears that.

Another Nu Blah tax!

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title

This problem land square at the feet of ISP's.

You give them money to provide an internet connection at a given speed (Ignoring the "Up to 8 megs" crap for this excersise), with a given amount of data. If they've priced the product so low that if people do use the full given amount at full speed, it makes a loss, then they've created an unprofitable business.

Face it: It's time to price broadband at the right price, so you can make a sensiable profit, users can get reasonably uncontended services,

I think the BBC are taking a sensible stance - this isn't their problem: Like YouTube, Google, or eBay, they've just created a web app that people want to use. Still, instead of sticking two fingers up to ISP's, they're trying to work with them to fix the problem.

I got BT Business broadband at home, because I know I'm a heavy user, and am lucky enough to be able to pay the £38 a month for a connection that, contention aside, is no better than the £19 BT Home Broadband I could have got. I'm sure there must be a reasonably large class of users like me that a middle ground service could be offered to - Kinda "Home Professional" Broadband.

You get what you pay for, but only if the ISP's will let you pay for what you want.

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And who's going to pay...

All the bandwidth charges for people saying the same damn thing over and over and over. Read the comments then post people.

Oh and to the guy saying 'Doesn't the BBC have to pay for bandwidth' I suggest you look up how P2P/Torrents actually works.

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Alert

Both right and both wrong.

The BBC traditional delivery method as a radio transmission was paid for by them and so it is false to claim that they shouldn’t be paying for delivery. When you are watching BBC on Freeview they are paying for the transmission. But no other internet content provider would expect to subsidies the ISPs for delivering it’s content.

On the other hand ISP are supposed to deliver whatever content we request over their networks. It’s a bit ridicules to ask for a premium or subsidy just because someone came up with a popular product that uses a lot of bandwidth.

There are only two ways this is going to turn out;1) We say goodbye to unmetered internet access; or 2) The networks step up to deliver the bandwidth that is demanded.

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Unhappy

Only themselves to blame

Sorry but the ISP´s have only themselves to blame, if they hadn´t spent the last 10 years playing the "my service is cheaper than yours" game, and insead concentrated on supplying quality at a premium over quantity then they wouldn´t be in the mess they are now. They have seen this coming for a while but done nothing about it, hoping technology advances would save them before it became a problem.

As for Auntie Beeb, as a content originator they do pay significant chunks of the licence fee money to several major ISP´s to put the Data on the internet in the first place (I have been involved in the sale of several these pipes to the BBC) so they are paying their fair share. Its now up to the end users and their mickey mouse ISP´s to pay theirs.

Internet bandwidth has been a commodity with a falling price for too long now, sorry to tell you all but like house prices this is something that is going to under go a "correction" in the near future.

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Who pays for TV transmitters?

The BBC say they are not in the business of distribution yet I'm fairly certain that no-one has ever had to queue up outside Television Centre to collect their edition of the Nine O'Clock News. Using licence payer money to invest in their own content distribution network sounds like a good idea - no-one would mind if they used that money to upgrade broadcast antennae.

More and more people are going to be viewing TV this way in the future so it makes sense for the BBC to start putting in their own system now so they don't end up relying on the vagaries of the market. As more and more companies try to distribute this amount of content, it's only a matter of time before one of them does a deal with an ISP to ensure that their content isn't shaped like their competitors'. After that, the flood gates are open.

If the BBC starts early and invests strongly, they could even end up with spare capacity to sell on.

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Law
Paris Hilton

RE: BBC naming and shaming?

Because to the average consumer it would look as though it was the iPlayer service that was slow and crap (not that it isn't) - rather than the ISP limiting the crap out of it.

Naming a shaming is a start - ISP's should be only offering what they can provide - if that means them stop using the term unlimited in all their packages then that's fine by me.

I don't want to BBC subsidising any ISP's - I pay more than most on broadband because I go with an ISP that delivers what they claim, thats the premium I pay. Why should a portion of my license fund ISP's that I avoid because they don't deliver?!

Let the bad ones die, the good ones live... and the customer's finally get what they ask for!

What next, charging the top 10 ranked websites for being popular... I can see Flickr/YouTube/Facebook turning round and spitting in the eye of any ISP who would dare suggest such a thing!!

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Fixed Rate

Remember the halycon days of 56k modems on an 0845 number? Back then "unmetered" internet was but a dream, but the charging was fair. You paid by the minute, if you were on for 10 minutes you would be charged the connection fee (5p) and 1p a minute, so it cost 15p for 10 minutes internet access.

Then game 0808 numbers and "unmetered" internet, 56k modems could be connected without having to pay BT £300 a quarter, of course there were tiers, 5 hours a week, 50 hours a week and you paid for what you used.

Then along comes ADSL and again the market changed, now you had "true" unmetered internet access, able to be online 24/7 without your ISP cutting you off every 2 hours and 30 minutes of engaged tones.

The problem with that was there were no tiers, someone who only used the internet for an hour a week sending emails, was paying as much as someone who used their DSL 24/7 downloading every hentai they could find.

Therein lies the problem, ISP's have to reintroduce tiers. If you want to download tentacle squid machine fifteen from some Japanese p2p application, you should be willing to pay your fair share, you shouldn't expect to be subsidised by Granny Smith who sends photos of her cats and rude turnips to Uncle Peter in Australia.

The ISP model does have to change, the entire range of products have to change, the people who use their internet connections have to start paying for what they use. We have to go back to the 0845 model, only instead of being charged per minute, we are charged per GB.

Yes there would be lots of "gimme my MAC! X ISP is offering unlimited internet access!" at the start, but then X ISP would go bankrupt unless they switched to a per GB pricing model, if you want to download 100GB/Month, you better be prepared to pay £200 for it instead of £8.99.

Would this change the market? Yes it would, companies which invest heavily in LLU and can support an "unlimited" model would start to offer heavy competition to BT's model, BT would be forced to change their network to remain competetive with LLU suppliers, ISP's would be able to lower their costs per GB and pass the savings onto their customers and we would end up with a healthy broadband infrastructure which is able to cope, not only with current SD content, but future HD content where bandwith needs will double? Triple? Quadruple?

If ISP's are unable to cope *now* with the issues that the iPlayer had introduced, what hope do they have on future projects? None. they need to stop blaming the BBC for what is pretty much the fault of their own creation, they need to start fixing it and introducting fair pricing, and until they actually put their house in order, the industry as a whole will suffer quite badly.

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Flame

ISPs can sod off

.... they knowingly oversold - and come-a-crying when people want to utilise what they've paid for. That said this should be a doddle if they managed to sort out decent peering agreements in the UK.

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Open Message to Simon Gunter of Tiscali

Dear Simon,

I think it is a bit rich to criticise the BBC as the cause of the ISPs discomfort is your failure to correctly provision your networks to meet the usage brought about by offers of “unlimited broadband”.

You are caught by your own misdeeds, and I amongst many others I am certain have absolutely no sympathy with the uncomfortable position that you now find yourselves in!

I use an ISP that has a “Fair Usage” policy of 50GB per month (Demon) and I believe that I pay a fair price (£24.99) per month for that service.

When will you fools learn that following each other down the slippery slope of ever cheaper misleading offers for service will inevitably lead to pain like this.

ISPs for years have been moaning about the lack of content – now you have high quality content from a world class supplier you cannot handle the additional bandwidth and you moan again!

Why did you not lobby BT back in 2003/2004 when they altered their pricing structure for your backhaul products and central pipes from a capacity based model to a throughput model. I saw this at the time, and was incredulous as it appeared that virtually none of the ISPs protested this retrograde move brought about by Ofcom’s total mishandling of the Broadband scene, and now those tariffs are coming back to haunt you.

Tough!

Regards

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Stop

This is a joke ... right?

Tiscali! I cant believe they have the brass neck to start whining about this when they run probably one of the most crippled + throttled networks in the UK. They took an ailing Pipex - already dragged down by GX and drove a stake though it.

Any company that thinks it can sell "unlimited" broadband for the rediculously low sum they charge is asking for trouble - and a new dictionary.

Anyone who thinks they can but a quality "unlimited" broadband connection for less than a tenner a month needs lobotomising.

Tiscali, and the other "happy cappers" have ruined the UK broadband market with unrealistic pricing, and advertising double speak that brings no credit on them, their name is a joke in knowledgeable circles, sadly thier service is very Un-funny for the customers trapped on it. For them to be lecturing ANYONE on the provision of network capacity is an insult to our intelligence.

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Anonymous Coward

He asserted providers should offer unlimited bandwidth - a pipedream in the most literal sense.

Apparently Tiscali have managed it though...

" Superfast, reliable broadband from just £6.49

Unlimited downloads"

@Kevin Gurney

>Maybe the ISP's could bring out a new package that doesn't have this

>traffic shaped and charge extra for it so you only pay if you want to use it ?

Try Firefly, nice and quick, you get a base amount then you pay per GB

Personally I have no problem with the ISP's having BBC access as an extra option you can buy, they could save a bit more bandwidth by filtering out everything from doubleclick while they're at it.

Hmm.. My telly needs electricity maybe the beeb should be chipping in to the national grid a bit more too.

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Unhappy

Lots of Wrath - No common sense at all

The ISPs designed their service around a model of what the average user would download/upload a month and charged their users accordingly.

There was always a danger that some technology or service would come along which would blow this model out of the water.

And guess what. Its happened again.

First Peer-Peer users were the first to feel the 'Wrath' from their ISPs.

Now it's users using online video players.

BBC, Ch4, ITV, CH5 they're all offering video on demand.

Even YouTube is about to go Hi-Res, so no doubt they'll be getting some of this 'wraft' too.

Come on UK ISPs, the British Internet user is growing up. Whilst a few years ago they were quite happy to email each other, now they want to watch videos.

If you run a business and your basic supply costs go up to provide the same level of service then you charge your customers more ffs!

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How ironic

Virgin Media is currently rolling out a speed upgrade for its 4Mb broadband customers. As part of the advertising fluff, the new higher speed is touted thus:

"We're always looking for ways to make your service even better than before.

So if you've got Broadband Size: L from Virgin Media, we'll be upgrading your service from 4Mb to a supersonic 10Mb - absolutely free. Whoosh!

That means you can now download a MP3 track in 4 seconds or an episode of your favourite TV show in just 5 minutes."

(From http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/existingcustomers/faster/current_service.html)

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Alert

Tiscali marketing

An offer still on Tiscali's site today (and extended to 21 April) is:

£6.49 a month

For 1st 3 months then just £12.99

* Up to 8Mb download speed

* Unlimited downloads

* Free wireless router

* Free set up

* Free weekend UK and international calls*

They do impose a "fair usage" scheme, but their business model must assume users will not take the offer at face value. It is no wonder they have a problem...

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Thumb Down

Tiscali

...just wants to get their fat snout into the Licence Fee trough with all the other ISP pigs. A much larger concern for us punters is the bandwidth bills the BBC must now be paying.

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Anonymous Coward

download rates

Yes AC , " If the customers aren't happy with the download rates their ISP offers, they have feet" except it wasn't until I visited my parents, used their Broadband, and fell asleep that I realised that non-technical users can be left with a contended/concentrated 256K ADSL line, I had to phone up and query why XXX had 'forgotten' the free upgrade to 640K, so after hassling they gave 3 months free subscription and also dropped the subscription rate back to the same as a new subscriber. I think many Broadband customers (the STORM Botnet?) haven't got a clue what a byte is and associate traffic with the M25. in the good old days, the telecom industry that I worked for always made a profit and had fixed backbone and transmission costs tending to zero, therefore had a choice of either trebles all round or a bit of infrastructural investment each year or both. Is FTTH happening or even planned yet in the UK??

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Flame

since when........

did Tiscali ever have good business sense anyway?

Tiscali has to be one of the worst isp's in existence, growth only consisting of takeover followed by packages that dont live up to the hype that surrounds them

I am in a right pickle, left tiscali after they bought worldonline, who had bought screaming.net (remember those?)

of course becuase a free dialup service suddenly cost more than broadband.

now having been with pipex for many years, they get pipex and start to kill the service.

aaarrrggghhh

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Happy

Looks like this one's going to run and run

There's only one way to settle this without everyone getting bored;

FIGHT!

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Silver badge
Linux

Avoiding the license fee

When I got tired of the BBC, I tuned my TV and Video away from all the stations, removed the antenna and cables, then stopped paying the license.

If I tried that now, I would be in trouble I have equipment capable of receiving the BBC's transmissions over the internet.

I would happily use one of the ISP's named by the BBC so I could avoid paying the license fee, and so I could avoid paying for other people using Kontiki.

The license fee is worth about 28 DVD films or 140 episodes of a series per year. Decide for yourself how long it would take for your DVD collection to give a better choice than BBC+commercial channels.

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Thumb Up

What a good idea

and the car manufacturers can pay for all our road upgrades, my printer mfr can pay for all the paper I use, my bath mfr can pay for all the water I wash with - hey, why can't tesco pay for my new kitchen, and my kitchen supplier pay for all my groceries? I *like this....

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Cost shifting

What strikes me is the fact that the ISPs are claiming that the cost of upgrading should not be passed onto the consumer and that the Auntie should help with the costs.

Hmmm, where will a publicly funded company get that kind of revenue?

ISPs are trying to gather public sympathy as they know that the license fee has been somewhat of an issue in the past. Why are they not going after the likes of YouTube? I read somewhere that YouTube used that same amount of bandwidth last year as the entire Internet did in 2000 so why are they not making a fuss about that?

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Anonymous Coward

Blame BT and Ofcom....

ISP's base there business cases on an "average user". This in turn allows them to cost out a product and price for their services. The ISP game is very competitive and their isn't much margin - trust me!.

Therefore, a significant surge in usage will make much of an ISP's portfolio loss making as there network costs will increase - especially if the ISP is on the capacity based charging model that BT provide. The BBC iplayer has driven up usage and the ISP's are hurting. It's neither BBC's fault for providing a service that attracts users to sign up with an ISP or the ISP's fault for a shift in network usage.

So the ISP is faced with either increasing prices - making them uncompetitive in the market or traffic managing bandwidth (ie. throttling bandwidth) to fit the existing cost model - causing the perceived quality of service to fall in the eyes of the user.

Of course somebody always gains - BT. In the present situation they can only gain if ISP's have to order more capacity because of the iplayer service. They charge 10 times the cost for bandwidth in the UK compared to many other countries such as Sweden and are allowed to by a weak minded Ofcom. Maybe it's time BT's costs were pegged to what other countries pay for the same services!

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Their are people who support the ISPs

I find it genuinely suprising that anyone here thinks the ISPs are actually right to want money from the BBC.

The BBC already pays to upload the content (in the case of streaming which is claimed to be 90% of use), and the user is already paying to download the content.

The single and only issue here is that ISPs are advertising a service they cannot afford to provide, they dug their grave now they can get in it.

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Paris Hilton

Highfield not aware of what his organisation does.

"Highfield today said the BBC should not be expected to pay for distribution. "I don't think that's what the BBC is funded to do," he protested"

http://support.bbc.co.uk/support/network/

The license fee payer already pays for the BBC to distribute their content globally. Only recently did Auntie have adverts for international users to recoup some of the cost of providing this content delivery network. Highfield wouldn't be the first civil servant not to be aware of all activities his organisation is involved in, open his trap and complete tit of himself.

The BBC cannot expect to pump tens of Gigabits of traffic into carrier networks for free. Compromise should be reached and the cost shared.

Paris, because the BBC doesn't have presence there.

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Anonymous Coward

To be fair to tiscali

I work in broadcast doing IT support, and broadcast engineers don't have a clue about networks or bandwidth (though they think they do). It is a very frustrating industry to be working in from an IT/network support perspective.

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Black Helicopters

May cause an increase in ISP Prices

As a tech aware crowd we all know the ISPs have been selling bandwidth promises greater than they can provide and I personally believe priced accordingly.

It’s like a gym. Everybody who joins has unlimited rights to use the gym, but if everybody turned up everyday the gym would go out of business as their costs would be so high or their quality of service would be so low.

Now the ISP costs are going up due to their unlimited offers to customers but pay per use charges from BT they need to find a way to stay in business.

Effectively, getting paid from both sides is a double win for the ISP and I can’t fault them for trying. It’s just business.

I don’t think the BBC will pay them anything and so there is the potential for higher prices for broadband, special premium services for heavy users appropriately priced or at least caps on usage to ensure the ISPs stay in business.

The reason I think they are going after the BBC is because it is affecting British ISPs and it is a British service, so there is more leverage than with a US based content provider.

For the record I’m on TalkTalk which clearly states I get 40GB per month. I’m not a heavy user, so I come nowhere near the 40GB each month so I am a happy customer. If I do get into watching/downloading movies then I may need to find a new package.

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Alert

Required Title.

At home I run Be Pro service 24Meg £22 no limits no problems.. how? because they have thier own fibre backhaul from thier own servers in the exchange they don t pay that rip off monoploy known as BT for bandwidth.

Please ISP's Lease a Line run your own network dont by bandwidth from BT!

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Linux

What are license fees for?

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the BBC is a bit different from Youtube etc, as you have to pay their TV tax even if you never watch any of the BBC channels.

Yeah, the ISPs have screwed up by lying to us and failing to invest, but since the iPlayer site doesn't ask you to enter your TV license number every time you want to watch something, those of us with TVs are funding those who have no TV and just use iPlayer instead.

I think the ISPs should get some money from the beeb, especially if it means there's less gardening shows and more Dr Who repeats on their channels...

Tux, cos he's sad at the lack of iPlayer support for Linux...

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@Will Leamon

I was thinking of the flash based player, seeing as I run Linux, it's the *only* version available to me. Yeah, so they also use P2P, so go for the Bitorrent stolen music/pr0n/software guys instead before the BBC. Oh, that would be a bit too tricky - at least they know where the BBC is (are?).

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BBC v Tiscali, get tickets now.

Perhaps if it had been a sensible, caring, user-friendly, supportive, efficient ISP the reactions might have been different. But Tiscali........!!!!!!!!!!!

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Happy

simple answer?

ISPs should charge a fair price per-megabyte and in return provide a guaranteed level of service. If they fall short (say by providing less than advertised bandwidth) then they would be forced to refund their customers with free megabytes.

That way everyone (users and content providers alike) pay for what they use and more efficient use of bandwidth is encouraged by default. Pressure from bandwidth consumers who are actually paying for what they use should encourage..

* ISPs blocking spam and dds from traversing their networks.

* The production of operating systems that don;t rely on a 200MB download every Tuesday to keep running 'safely'.

* A cleaner web with less crappy adverts cluttering it up (ironically increasing the visibility and impact of those ads that remain)

* Less PTP piracy.

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Re: Who pays for TV transmitters?

"The BBC say they are not in the business of distribution yet I'm fairly certain that no-one has ever had to queue up outside Television Centre to collect their edition of the Nine O'Clock News. Using licence payer money to invest in their own content distribution network sounds like a good idea - no-one would mind if they used that money to upgrade broadcast antennae."

Erm, except the traditional broadcast model is totally different from a public internet based one. Sure, the TV distribution network is partially funded by the Beeb. But that would be because it was entirely established for TV broadcasting and it something that anyone else can send stuff over. And we pay them to do that for us.

The internet has been there for a goodly number of years, happily passing packets around, and last time I checked actually pay my ISP for *any* packets floating about that are addressed to me to be delivered to me. I don't recall any caveats suggesting that only certain packets were going to be delivered, depending on whether the person who sent them had also delivered a sack of cash to my ISP. They've been paid to do it already. Why should the Beeb be paying them for me to receive their data?

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Linux

ISPs have made the bed

and now they need to sleep in it.

They've been offering ridiculously cheap broadband contracts and are now finding themselves tied in for a year while consumers start using more and more of the bandwidth they've been sold. And now the ISPs are whinging because they're actually having to provide it?

The ISPs shouldn't be advertising unlimited bandwidth at up to 8Mbs when they're not willing (or able?) to provide it, regardless of the infamous fine print and fair use policies that slip in.

I'm with the BBC on this.

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Heart

For the hell of it.

To continue the car analogy :

Ford, in their infinite wisdom and deep pockets decide to manufacture a huge vehicle, let's call it the Humdinger. Paid for by licence payers money, so they give them away free.

Millions of em, 40 feet long by 20 feet wide. They prove popular, the new Chavmobile of choice. "It's free, so i'll have three." they drone. (Whine / whinge for the proud and fortunate owner of a topiary head resembling a onetime drummer.)

But the Government "pipes" ( roads ) are not wide enough. They can't all be used at once ( not a problem to most chavs as they seem to think the roads belong to them and only them at any one time).

So do the Government "throttle" roads by way of congestion charges ( now there's an idea Ken/Boris/yellowy pinky Brian ) or do they, at their own expense, invest massively on new roads.

I don't think so.

And isn't it about time that amongst all the calls for new avatars the most important one missing is the light switch.

Will the last one please switch . . . .

A satisfied Tiscali user, i pay for what i get, i get what i pay for.

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Joke

Absolutely Hilarious

Asking someone to pay the cost of the internet service they're supposed to provide?

Further confirms what a ridiculous ISP Tiscali are and why no one in their right mind should pay for an internet service from them.

The opinion of the BBC may well be going down in the view of consumers, but the way Tiscali have seen this as an opportunity to rip money from them (or rather our television license fees) is truly awful.

You have to wonder what goes through their minds. Oh we probably already know, "operate as a company that gains profit through dirty tactics and consumer ignorance", unfortunately for them there just happens to be people out there that realise. We are the people that will never recommend such ISPs to our friends and families.

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Stop

Someone needs to sit down....

...and figure out the bandwidths of various web apps.

As has been pointed out remorselessly - YouTube/SilverlightScreen etc use a humungous amount of bandwidth...

iTunes uses a wodge of bandwidth..

Doubleclick probably eclipse them both, particularly with the ever increasing use of flash adverts.

How does the BBC's usage compare with them? More bandwith per file, but a damn sight fewer files served than YouTube, I'll bet. The BBC is just a very large handle for whiny ISPs to attach a generalised whinge to, and presses several useful buttons (the BBC being a publicly funded body, for example).

Alas though, we're either going to have to pay more, or watch the Internet be transphormed, and personally, I'd rather pay more (although, 26pounds for a very unreliable 4Mb from VirginMedia is already paying more)

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Joke

Canada anyone?

Maybe the ISP's should go on strike and demand more of that "Internet money".

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I'm generally a fan of the BBC but...

Highfield is being a total arse over this.

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@ Flocke Kroes

actually you only need the licence for equipment that recieves LIVE tv broadcasts the iPlayer does not do this and hence does not need a licence. happy watching!

(just make sure that when they do broadcast live you remember to buy a licence! - which is really going to shock the people with PC's and no tv at all.. afterall TV licence is considered a tax now.)

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Go

It's a good thing if you want decent connections

When the dust settles, this will probably mean that ISPs start having to be transparent about exactly what you get for your money. This is a good thing for everyone - there will be cheap packages available with less data allowances and there will be more expensive packages available with higher data allowances. However, you will *know* what you're buying when you sign up for it.

This will allow ISPs with a decent service to sell more connections at a higher rate - something which currently is limited to the market of customers who have a clue about what they want from a network.

If you want to see ISP transparency in action, take a look at entanet and their resellers.

Hopefully we'll see the available options blossom - no longer will the only comparison point be headline price.

I'm looking forward to it.

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Tom

Why should i pay?

I for one have absolutely zero desire to watch tv, either streamed or transmitted. Why should I pay extra to finance the extra bandwidth?

It seems logical to me that if you want to watch a tv programme, you do so on your tv set. The internet is too valuable a commodity to be wasted on streaming poxy soap operas etc.

Just out of interest, I wonder where this sits with regard to tv licensing. If one were to watch streaming bbc content, would one need a tv license?

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Coat

Gimmie what I pay for!!!

Oi Tiscali, I pay my ISP for unlimited access to 'tinternet for whatever purpose I choose. If I spend my time watching YouTube and iPlayer, downloading from iTunes or Audible, communicating via messenger, skype or webcam that's up to me, and that's why I have selected the uncapped broadband package I have.

The supplier of the _content_ is free to charge me for it (such as iTunes with their tv shows/music videos) but not for it's distribution. That's what I pay the ISP for. If you can't get your pricing model right, and can't make good on your promises, then don't cry about the people making you look bad.

If anyone else offered a service at below cost, they'd go bust. If you can't afford to provide the service, increase your rates, or shut up shop.

As for the pic, it looks to me like a pick pocket or thief. Not entirely unlike a supplier who sells you the earth, charges you for it, but can't actually provide it. Sound familiar Tiscali?

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And what about the elephant in the room

Its a bit rich ISPs taking a pop at the BBC which is merely one of thousands of content providers or for that matter users for daring to use their broadband connection.

They should be addressing the real villian of the peace, BT who under invests in their network and grossly overcharges for both backhaul and their final mile monopoly.

Most of the final mile is over copper wire never intended for data transfer. Most people wouldnt dream of using twisted pairs of that poor quality for a 5 metre network cable let alone using it for 6km runs to the nearest exchange, burying it in the ground and letting it rot for 50 years and still expect it to carry 21st century data services.

ISPs should be complaining about BTs pricing, demanding the upgrade of the final mile to fibre in the first instance to the street cabinets and the cost and rollout speed of unbundled exchanges.

Alarm bells should be ringing as BTs 21CN upgrade is too little too late and compaired to what some countries are doing, already 10yrs out of date and fails to address the delapidated final mile.

ISPs should be well aware that demand and expectation for bandwidth is going to track the advances in IT, moores law and should structure their network upgrades and pricing accordingly and BT should be beaten over the head to do the same.

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i'm sorry, i'll read that again...

"When I got tired of the BBC, I tuned my TV and Video away from all the stations, removed the antenna and cables, then stopped paying the license.

If I tried that now, I would be in trouble I have equipment capable of receiving the BBC's transmissions over the internet.

I would happily use one of the ISP's named by the BBC so I could avoid paying the license fee, and so I could avoid paying for other people using Kontiki."

iPlayer is a catchup service - a licence is only required for kit that can "record television programmes as they're being shown on TV" http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp

[News24 live on the web muddies the water a bit though]

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Re: Albert

ISPs aren't really comparable with gyms. You're right that both rely on their customers only using a proportion of their "unlimited" offer, and if that proportion suddenly rises they're in trouble. But with gyms that proportion is more or less fixed. People are not suddenly going to become able to exercise for longer before becoming exhausted. And people are unlikely to suddenly become more motivated and start using dormant gym memberships in greater numbers. So when gyms 'oversell' their service, they can rightly feel secure in doing so.

The increasing demand on broadband connections, on the other hand, was totally predictable. Everyone with a clue knew that once bandwidth got big enough we'd start using it for video, and high-quality and streaming at that. Companies like TalkTalk who were offering cheap unlimited broadband deals as if our use would remain constant were stupid, ignorant, short-termist or all three.

If a garden shed scientist suddenly came up with a pill that allowed people to exercise for longer without becoming exhausted (or bored), and gyms were overwhelmed overnight, I'd feel sorry for them. On the other hand, if that pill had been in development for 10 years and newspapers had been full of stories about its exciting potential, and gyms had done nothing to expand their capacity or reduce their membership in preparation, I wouldn't.

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Stop

Nice....

Get the BBC to subsidise their networks while at the same time relying on content providers like the BBC to drive uptake of net connections! Can no-one see the glaring problem here?

I would suggest that Tiscali and the ISP's are the ones who don't know their own businesses. I paid for my internet connection, there's no use whining when I actually want to use it!

I think it's time we saw a new pricing structure across all ISP's, clearly they can't provide anything like they're advertising claims... Hell, VM's service is virtually unusable it's FUP terms are so draconian.

ISP's, Offcom and the ASA... these are the real problem parties here!

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Unhappy

ISPs can ram it

ISPs have been selling me this content for years. Now the content is finally available they can't afford to do it?

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Bronze badge

No-one's EVER gonna read this far down, but...

Who pays for the radio transmission infrastructure we all use to broadcast the Free-to-air TV and radio stations?

If that's paid for out of the public purse, then I'm not sure it's fair for the BBC not to offer some similar subsidy for Internet 'broadcasting'.

Unless of course, they see a future where most content is delivered by IP pipes. If they can transfer the costs of those to either the ISPs or the end users, they can ultimately divert the money they currently have to pay to broadcast into content instead. So we'll end up paying for what was once free (at least the point of reception).

Canny.

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