Are you for or against the BBC's iPlayer

As a publishing business, I guess the debate over the BBC’s iPlayer (which in a quick straw poll in our office is a highly rated service) and who should pay for it is a particularly interesting one. The figures are a testament to its success.


BBC online reports today that:

In its first month of launching, the catch-up TV service saw 1m people download more than 3.5m programmes.

According to figures from regulator Ofcom it will cost ISPs in the region of £830m to pay for the extra capacity needed to allow for services like the iPlayer.

Mr Gunter is leading the call for the BBC to help pay for the rising costs.

But who should pay for it…. ?? Well if you look at the comments on the BBC’s technology blog it looks like the vociferous feel that the Beeb is being a touch arrogant and should be contributing to the costs of replacing bandwith used by its service.

I guess we’ll all end up paying for it the end with our ISP deals changing to reflect increasing video use online… could this impact on business? I don’t know, but if the size of the bandwith pipe doesn’t improve then I guess it could.

US analyst firm Nemertes Research, has warned of net gridlock in just two year’s time as networks struggle to cope with the amount of data being carried on them.

But the BBC believes that the growth is “manageable” and estimates that currently the iPlayer is having between 3-5% impact on the network.

Interesting debate though. What’s your view?

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ISPs who have made 'all you can eat' promises to their customers should not be surprised when an application turns up with the appetite of Shrek. The fact it is because the BBC has triggered this 'crisis' is purely incidental, this was always going to happen. The age of free or low cost broadband has come, gone all in the blink of an eye.

We all know Moore's law but we should never forget Parkinsons Law
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I think the BBC should hold firm with their stance against ISP's. It's people like the BBC, and products like the iPlayer that help to build and shape the technological landscape. The technology needs to be the catalyst to the infrastructure, not the infrastructure stifling the technology. This is the way the world works, and always has, not least in the world of technology. People wanted the internet in their pocket, and now we have Blackberries and iPhones. It's a simple case of supply meeting the demand, and the figures speak for themselves.
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Absolutely against. There is far more than the web can cope with as it is, why put tv on? Leave that to the mobile phone companies if they want to provide both the service and the technology. They could then provide the beeb with an income stream from it too, since they will charge for viewing.
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why should my tele tax ( licence ) be used by the BBC to fund the web service I would like the money to be used for content and a better signal

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Thanks for all your comments. I can understand people getting anxious about their license fee and how the BBC chooses to use it, but I agree mostly with Andrew and Ian. Technology will continue to develop regardless of whether its the BBC or another broadcaster as the demand for video online is huge.... the infrastructure therefore must be able to support this development and not stifle it. I don't expect the ISPs will alter their business models to reflect a consumer's appetite for video online.
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