BBC vs ISPs: Bandwidth row escalates as Tiscali wades in

Anonymous Coward

Surely its a separation of roles

I pay for the BBC product already via my licence fee, and if I want product from another site, I pay the appropriate fee or suffer the advertising. The suppliers pay for their bandwidth connection to the internet, so they do bear some of the cost at their end. If i subscribe to lots of video from the US, how does an ISP in the UK intend to recover "costs" from them? Should the BBC effectively subsidise the increased capacity that will also be used by those downloading video from overseas? No.

Separately I pay my ISP for my connection. I accept reluctantly that due to the limits of the BT line (not living in a cabled area) I can only get a certain pathetic speed, and I have no real choice about this. I have checked quite carefully with my ISP and there is no cap on my usage, althought they state they will block illegal p2p (presumably legal p2p will not be blocked, I've yet to test this out), and I pay a bit more than to the bargain basement ISPs.

If the ISPs want more money, they should in my view either offer the bandwidths they state "up to 8MB" is not a proper statement, and also either set unlimited download/upload tarriffs or publicly state the caps, and the consequences of breaching them.

This could probably mean that we will pay more for our connections in the future, but it might be the chance to actually learn what we are getting for our money and force some honesty from the shadier end of the ISP market, as well as realism on the part of resellers and consumers alike. It also might lead to a realisation that we need to invest in better infrastructure (FTTH? Please) including in rural areas if our "knowledge/creative economy" (lest face it, large manufacturing is not really able to do much in the UK now) is to provide any benefit. Long live the universal service obligations (or something reasonably close to it)!

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