BBC and ISPs clash over iPlayer

A row about who should pay for extra network costs incurred by the iPlayer has broken out between internet service providers (ISPs) and the BBC.ISPs say the on-demand TV service is putting strain on their networks, which need to be upgraded to cope.Ashley Highfield, head of future media and technology at the corporation, has said he believes the cost of network upgrades should be carried by ISPs.Simon Gunter, from ISP Tiscali, said the BBC should contribute to the cost. firms clash with BBC over iPlayer

  • Rise in demand strains broadband service
  • Corporation turns down request to fund costs

More than 40m BBC programmes have been watched on the corporation’s iPlayer, raising fresh concerns from internet companies that the system’s success could halt broadband connections.Figures released by the BBC show that iPlayer, which allows people to catch up on BBC programmes they have missed over the internet, was used to watch more than 17m shows during March. Among the biggest programmes were the Apprentice, the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood and time-travel drama Ashes to Ashes. iPlayer ‘risks overloading the internet’
The success of the BBC’s iPlayer is putting the internet under severe strain and threatening to bring the network to a halt, internet service providers claimed yesterday.They want the corporation to share the cost of upgrading the network — estimated at £831 million — to cope with the increased workload. Viewers are now watching more than one million BBC programmes online each week.

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