ISPs surprised to find people use internet to download stuff

Internet Service Providers have suddenly woken up to the fact that it’s not just BitTorrent users etc who want to download stuff from the internet. Now that established brands, most noticeably the BBC and their iPlayer, are offering free, legal downloads, the ISPs have suddenly realised they haven’t quite got the infrastructure and, well, that clearly has to be somebody else’s fault – namely media companies for supplying all these downloads and, as such, the BBC should pay for it.

Come again? This is a bit like a small venue putting on a one-off gig from, say, The Smiths, then getting surprised when thousands of extra fans come along, then trying to charge the band and their management for the cost of roping in extra staff to do the security and work the bar.

David North has an excellent analysis:

“I can’t see the ISP’s case here at all essentially they have fallen behind the new technology appearing – some of which has been around sometime. Certainly the move to video isn’t much of surprise so why haven’t they tried to keep up?

By trying to trying to pass the buck onto content providers means these companies aren’t going to be so willing to innovate new technologies because of the costs that might be passed on which could effectively clip the UK’s ability to keep on the cutting edge.”

And, as he points out, it’s not just the BBC who provide this service, and many more companies will join the field.

If you’re not willing to invest in the extra technology, then somebody else will and your ISP will get left behind because it’s slow, inefficient and doesn’t give the customer what he or she wants, and no amount of whining to the government and stomping your feet like a Big Baby will change this.


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April 2008
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