Feeds

ISPs hijack BBC in tiered services push

How much would you pay your ISP for iPlayer?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Cash-strapped ISPs have begun a campaign to use the launch of the BBC's iPlayer on demand service to squeeze more cash from web TV viewers.

The iPlayer is still in beta and due to be fully launched in autumn. It expects to have 500,000 users before the big marketing push.

Tiscali seems to have been appointed mouthpiece for the ISPs' opening gambit, with comments in Sunday's Independent and the Financial Times today. Chief exec Mary Turner said: "The internet was not set up with a view to distributing video. We have been improving our capacity, but the bandwidth we have is not infinite."

BT and Carphone Warehouse have also been named as part of the gang.

It's the same old argument used by internet carriers who don't like carrying new internet services, but margins are tighter than ever and the stakes are higher. The BBC is a less elusive and TV a more mainstream fillip than newsgroups, BitTorrent, or VoIP.

The certain outcry if the BBC started paying carriers direct means the play for industry is to raise the spectre of being forced to tightly control access to video to stay solvent. ISPs can then create the impression of adding value with premium video packages and make their businesses slightly more viable. The twin ISP marketing conceits of higher speeds and falling price have been looking increasingly anachronistic, and harmed the industry's reputation in the last year.

The move is among the first public attempts in the UK by carriers to corral subscribers into this kind of bandwidth protection pen. Traffic shaping hardware makes it possible for ISPs to deprioritise the hybrid peer-to-peer/streaming distribution systems that iPlayer, Joost, 4OD, and other new services rely on to be anywhere near watchable.

The BBC is maintaining that it is working closely with ISPs to ensure a smooth roll-out for iPlayer. It is limiting how many beta testers are able to access the service while it monitors network performance.®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.