CyberTech Rambler

June 2, 2009

Salvo 2 of BBC iPlayer vs ISP

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 10:42 am

“Throttling” is salvo 2 in the ISP (BT in this case) vs BBC battle over iPlayer. That is not really unexpected since ISPs had been threatening to do so if their consultation with BBC went no where.

The fundamental reason  I am blogging it here is I see this as the “Net Neutrality” debate finally hit home in UK. I see throttling “to protect other users of the service” as the first thing ISP will use to justify slowing someone’s internet speed down. It is an excuse, I do not think it is about protecting customers but a ruse to  get us used to throttling.  If it were about customers then why did they sign up to Phorm? If it were about protectting customers, shouldn’t they be installing a bigger pipe? Surely those customers that wants to use iPlayer should be protectted as well? With P2P their argument for throttling is that a  few people is clogging up the pipe. That reasoning is flimsy but in joe public’s eye, since they do not do P2P, they might just accept it. With the popular BBC iPlayer they can no longer hide behind a few rotten apples.

Their aim is to get us to accept throttling. When this becomes “accepted” by the wider community, we will start to see more commercially oriented throttling, i.e., asking Google to pay for fatter pipe to its customers for example. That is why I am supporting BBC’s battle to tell ISPs that throttling is unacceptable.

Fundamentally, I believe ISPs are simply communication providers that must relay messages from A to B without discrimination. They advertised and offer a certain speed of connection which I expects them to deliver exactly that, regardless of content. This is totally unacceptable that popular contents are throttled. If they cannot sustain that speed for popular content, then in my opinion, it is false advertising.

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