Feeds

BBC should not pay for fibre, Ofcom tells MPs

Never really an option

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The dog and pony show over whether the BBC should contribute to distribution costs for iPlayer rolled into Westminster yesterday, with Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards telling MPs he doesn't believe forcing Auntie to cough up for a fibre network is the best plan.

Appearing before a joint session of the Commons culture and business select committees, Richards was asked whether content providers should contribute to the cost of upgrading the national broadband infrastructure.

He said: "It is not necessarily the only way it can happen and it is not necessarily the way we would anticipate it will happen. I am not convinced myself that the right answer to that is to get the BBC to pay for the iPlayer."

Richards was on safe ground. Few in the ISP business would suggest that the BBC and other content providers should pay for a next generation infrastructure while BT sits on its hands, waiting for Ofcom to allow it to raise wholesale prices and ditch the universal service obligation.

The committee session skipped the more fraught row between Tiscali and departing BBC tech chief Ashley Highfield. The ISP's beef was that the iPlayer is hammering its business model on the existing copper wire infrastructure, not a call for BBC investment in a next generation network.

In reality of course, the BBC and ISPs are already working together to ensure quality of service for iPlayer over the current network, which necessarily requires resources from both sides. Auntie's techies are actively exploring building a content delivery network, and direct peering with big providers such as Virgin Media to avoid the public internet altogether.

Meanwhile, public philosophical posturing over "net neutrality" conceals the fundamental problem with current ISP business models: they're selling bandwidth that doesn't exist. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.