Net neutrality needed in UK?

Written by Phil Cogar

August 14, 2007 // 3:35 p.m.

Tags: #bbc #internet-video #iplayer #net-neutrality #on-demand

Many of us enjoy services such as YouTube, Joost, and BBC iPlayer. UK ISPs, however, don't. And in a recent statement, one of the biggest has offered a glimpse of what's ahead. It appears that net neutrality may not be a US-only problem, after all.

"Our position is that high bandwidth content services like iPlayer are being launched without proper attention to the cost of delivery," said internet service provider Tiscali. "As these services become more popular they will undoubtedly cause congestion. It is only broadband operators that can increase bandwidth and this comes at a cost."

Because of this future "congestion," ISPs are threatening to limit access to services or to just outright charge a company more for using more bandwidth. That, of course, would mean a higher price for you, the consumer.

Some internet users out there are already feeling the pains of being traffic limited as ISPs put traffic shaping procedures into place.

"Peer to Peer traffic is the first to be affected at peak times making downloading slower but not limiting it with any caps," Tiscali said. "iPlayer traffic would fall into this category, although at present would not be specifically targeted."

So what we have here is an ISP acknowledging that there could be congestion on the internet in the future. But instead of making sure that its equipment and hardware can handle the copious amounts of traffic with ease, it's putting the blame on companies who are actually listening to what their customers want. Go figure.

Where do you stand on the issue? Are you all for net neutrality or should people and companies who use more bandwidth be charged more? Let us know in the comments section below or over in the forums.

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