BBC threatens ISPs with blacklist

The BBC is warning that it will name and shame any ISP that tries to "traffic shape" iPlayer content.

Traffic shaping means controlling the volume of traffic being sent into a network in a specified period or the maximum rate at which the traffic is sent.

The BBC is concerned that ISPs are going to employ traffic shaping methods in reaction to the number of internet users downloading material from the iPlayer.

It comes after ISPs have complained that the extra traffic caused by the iPlayer has tripled their overhead costs.

Ofcom has estimated that the cost of improving infrastructure to cope with the demand could reach £830 million by 2011, and ISPs want the broadcaster to pay a "congestion charge".

But the BBC's director of future media and technology, Ashley Highfield, has hit out in reponse saying that a charge is not the answer and ISPs should just offer completely unlimited broadband services.

"They are already charging their customers for broadband to receive any content they want. ISPs should be clearer in their marketing. Unlimited broadband should mean unlimited", Highfield said in an official blog.

"Content providers, if they find their content being specifically squeezed, shaped, or capped, could start to indicate on their sites which ISPs their content worked best on (and which to avoid)", he continued.

"I hope it doesn't come to this, as I think we (the BBC and the ISPs) are currently working better together than ever."

Highfield did, however, add that the BBC could make things easier for ISPs by "book-marking" shows so that episodes are automatically downloaded during "off peak" evening hours.


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