| 6:11 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Good stuff - finally ISPs can't kick off "bandwidth hogs" because more and more people start to use what they paid for: unlimited connections.
| 6:49 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I fail to see any merit to the argument from ISPs. At what point is it the BBC's responsibility what an ISP's customer downloads? Presumably the ISPs quoted are also pursuing other sites that offer bandwidth-consuming resources? Or not.
| 6:50 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
HEHEHE, now that's a weird request: customer pays for service, provider provides service, middle man receives money from customer and asks provider to pay, double charging for the service.
| 7:09 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
They should offer tiered service, problem solved. I think a very easy way to go about this would be to offer plans for X amount of bandwidth each month at full speed. Once you hit your quota the service gets hobbled, for example to something like 300kbs.
But that makes too much sense so don't expect to see it.
| 7:41 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
We won't have to worry about bandwidth much longer. [timesonline.co.uk...]
edit: better link
[edited by: Tourz at 7:50 pm (utc) on April 9, 2008]
| 7:50 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
We won't have to worry about bandwidth much longer
10,000 times faster than broadband may sound fast but it might just be enough to satisfy 10,000 HD movie streams, imagine if all TV is disributed this way and everyone tunes in the evening?
Multicasting can only help you so far, plus last mile is a big problem too - ISPs just have not been investing since last .COM bubble, they priced their services in such a way that they can't make money to invest - imagine if Intel stopped investing into R&D, so current top of the line quad would cost $100, cheap, but in 3-4 years they will still sell same thing because they did not have enough money to invest into R&D.
| 7:58 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I agree with the ISPs on this one. Allow a few companies to hog the badwidth then who pays for the over charge. I can see my cost going up due to this so why should I pay for a servise someoone else is getting rich off of.
Produce a product that eats up bandwith then the one that brings it to the consumer should bear some of the increased cost to run an ISP.
thecoalman has the logical approach to the issue but I am not so sure each ISP has set up to monitor each persons usage or even if they can.
youtube eats a ton of bandwdtith but the brunt of it is being paid by Google.
BBC should allocate some of the generated revenue to help with the increased badwith used for their service why should I be held accountable as we all know the cost will be passed on to the consumer Me.
| 9:10 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Customer pays ISP for service. They should have been smart enough to ask the right price to be able to provide the service.
The BBC is also a customer where it sends the data, so they too already pay there.
Gluing the different customers together is what ISPs charge you for. If their pricing model can't sustain their business then the "darwin principle" should kick in: survival of the fittest.
Trying to get a third party -you've no contract with- to pay for what you botched up in contracts is a nice try, still they should get no cigar.
| 9:35 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I still just don't get the ISP argument. Surely they should be happy about the iPlayer? ISPs sell bandwidth, don't they?
| 9:52 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|ISPs sell bandwidth, don't they? |
Nope - they figured out that they can gain competitive advantage by pretending they sell bandwidth while actually counting on people using a fraction of it in their business plans. In the last 2-3 years they managed to stick to these plans by kicking off "bandwidth hogs", but now average bandwidth usage per user is going up and it is not even dodgy stuff like BitTorrent so they have no legal leg to stand on really. Notice how Tiscali is spearheading this attack - the ISP which expected its customers to use least of bandwidth will be hit most by these market changes, and they will be more vocal.
Would have Tiscali ever reach the number of customers they have if they did not advertise their connections as unlimited? I doubt so. Frankly my heart won't bleed if they go bust because their business approach was undermining the market. Kudos to BBC for standing up firm on this one.
| 9:57 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Overselling coming home to roost I guess, reminds me of some hosting companies.
I would guess new deals will be forthcoming when customer's terms run out.
| 10:16 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|I would guess new deals will be forthcoming when customer's terms run out. |
Humph. I suspect you are right ;)
| 10:26 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)|
If an ISP offers unlimited bandwith then they should be forced to provide it, at the shareholders' expense if necessary.
| 12:48 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Being British, I have to be of the opinion that government regulation is required.
|Overselling coming home to roost I guess |
| 12:51 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
If a business wants a T3 line it's going to cost them $3,000 per month. That's around 45 Mbps. A T1 will cost you $400 to $1,000 per month and you'll get 1.5 Mbps.
Cable companies can offer 10 Mbps at $40 per month because of the diverse load on the system. The chances of simultaneous line use at such high speeds is very low. One neighbor is at work, the other is sleeping, a third is just cruising the web, while the fourth is streaming video. We've done estimates that a cable company over-sells by a factor of 80.
If everyone were to start watching TV via the web, these companies will have to either raise prices or place bandwidth limits on accounts unless their cost for bandwidth decreases significantly.
| 1:21 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
If you buy a package of unlimited bandwidth then surely it should be honoured. Its only when people start claiming what they are entitled to that ISP's have a problem - if they cant provide unlimited bandwidth then they shouldnt sell packages with it.
I hope the BBC sticks fast on this point - i pay TV licence for services like this - i shluldnt have to foot the bill also for private companies who cant deliver what they promised me..
| 4:18 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
My ISP have been calling me recently to let me know that I am paying too much and they have a better offer which they really want to switch me too. I always said no because I am planning to switch but now I think it is because I have an unlimited bandwidth plan. They were very persistent, I told them no over 3 times before really telling them NO.
| 4:58 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
>If you buy a package of unlimited bandwidth then surely it should be honoured
I think you'll find that most of them have what they refer to as AUPs (acceptable use policies) which will allow for some kind of kick-back should the service be abused. If they haven't got it, they should fire their lawyers.
Don't get me wrong, unlimited means unlimited to me too.
| 5:36 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|I think you'll find that most of them have what they refer to as AUPs |
They have used this for years already. This no longer works because now average customers watch video so they can't kick off 1% of users that use most of network resources, the problem shifted downwards so they would lose their customer base if they start kicking off "abusers" who use legal iPlayer.
ISPs should be grateful that BBC abandoned earlier version of iPlayer that would have been P2P and this could have increased bandwidth usage further.
| 5:44 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
>so they would lose their customer base if they start kicking off "abusers" who use legal iPlayer.
And where would you go if all ISPs start adding iPlayer exclusions? Can you see ISPs accepting you with open arms?
It's going to drive up prices, imho.
| 6:20 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|And where would you go if all ISPs start adding iPlayer exclusions? |
They can but people will move elsewhere and cheapest ISPs whose business model was based on selling something they don't have will be lose a lot of customers who are not really heavy users, other ISPs that have got better infrastructure would benefit from those as well as from those cheap ISPs going bust.
Naturally prices will go up - no doubt about that, ISPs need money to invest - it is precisely why such cheap ISPs are a big problem - they destroy the marketplace by charging too little so that ISPs don't have enough money to invest into development of infrastructure.
Personally I can't live without Internet connection and I think price of 30-40 GBP is more than good, those people who think they can get away with all you can eat for 10 GBP will be disappointed.
This is good development for ISPs in the first place - the worse of them that undermined whole industry will go bust one way or another, the sooner it happens the better.
| 12:12 am on Apr 11, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|BBC should allocate some of the generated revenue to help with the increased badwith used for their service why should I be held accountable as we all know the cost will be passed on to the consumer Me. |
The BBC dont make any extra revenue from this service, its only available in the UK and the BBC site is advert free for UK users
| 2:11 am on Apr 11, 2008 (gmt 0)|
As some of the posters here have twigged this isn't so much a squabble between the ISPs and the BBC but a panic move by ISPs who have been promising greater capacity than they are able to provide.
Standard ADSL contention in the UK runs at around 1:50 which means that for every 50 customers there's enough bandwidth for one of them to use the full line bandwidth.
Whilst slow connections when there are many active users simultaneously at the same exchange is tolerated during peak usage hours, increasingly bandwidth intensive usage patterns mean that 1:50 is now insufficient for most areas most of the time. This means that actual bandwidth costs (the pipe size) need to increase on a per subscriber basis.
On one hand, the ISPs are providing their agreed service as they are fulfilling the 1:50 provision. On the other hand, customers are rightfully unhappy about the slow speeds they are obtaining.
Police-like action from ISPs has tried to target the heaviest users to ensure at least usable speeds across the exchange but it is not a solution where most users are trying to use in excess of what the contention will support.
At the other end of this are content providers who have paid their own bandwidth costs to stream content. They are not party to the contract between ISP and end user but they indirectly drive the end user to experience unsatisfactory ISP performance.
Don't forget that the bandwidth that the BBC uses is very cheap to the UK ISPs as it is locally routed traffic. It could be made even cheaper if the ISPs proactively peered with the BBC media servers directly, something that some ISPs were doing even four years ago. International bandwidth as used in many video sharing sites and internet radio stations is substantially more expensive to the ISP.
Because of the conflict of a valid contract being fulfilled by the ISP and the fact that that contract is failing to provide most of its users with performance they require, I believe that regulation in the sector to reduce contention ratios whilst capping connection prices is the only sustainable way to resolve these issues.
| 2:46 am on Apr 11, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|Don't forget that the bandwidth that the BBC uses is very cheap to the UK ISPs as it is locally routed traffic. |
Last mile charges from BT are a killer - all these traffic restrictions flow down from BT who were able to charge ISPs on the basis of traffic, which is why those of them who resell BTs stuff (Tiscali for example) are hit directly by any increase in bandwidth usage. I don't think it is so much as contention that causes the problem, it is that BT charges are not falling down while traffic usage only goes up.
It was BT that managed to win court action that challenged their "unlimited" dial-up, at the time they said dial-up is not designed for unlimited use, so they said people should move to ADSL, and when people did so BT yet again forced down metered model. There is a good article about that on The Register, but I can't post URL here.
They should have laid fiber optics two decades ago but apparently Mrs Thatcher did not let BT do it.