ISPs expect content providers to pay extra because consumers use iPlayer...
As we mentioned last week
, UK ISPs' run-in with the BBC reminds the world what began network the neutrality issue: ISPs trying to get a chunk of content provider revenues even though they're already being well paid for bandwidth (and
constantly creating new revenue streams
). ISPs are annoyed that the BBC has developed a player that actually uses bandwidth, so they've threatened to throttle or block the player unless the BBC pays them a "congestion fee."
Last week, the BBC proposed that content providers who find themselves facing such threats should "name and shame
" ISPs. Major UK ISP Tiscali apparently didn't like that suggestion, and this week complains to UK outlets that the BBC was making "inflammatory comments about blacklisting
." Things might soon get "worse" for UK ISPs, given the BBC is working on a version of the player for the Nintendo Wii
The service will be offered as a beta via the console’s Opera-powered Internet Channel web browser at the regular web address, even though Nintendo will next month enable dedicated third-party channels via its WiiWare programme. Wii had previously been unable to run iPlayer due to its out-of-date version of Flash, so the BBC is re-encoding shows for Flash 7.
The same ISP animosity toward content operators (and their ad income) exists here in the States, with U.S. ISPs equally terrified of becoming "dumb pipes." Still, there haven't been any fights quite like this one -- yet. It seems like DirecTV's new VOD model
, which uses competing ISP bandwidth to deliver HD content, could spark similar fisticuffs should it prove popular.