The BBC has an article online regarding the fact that BT is broadband throttling the iPlayer traffic of customers taking “Option1”. Option1 appears to be BT’s cheapest broadband package at 8Mbps with a 10GB download limit.
I’m afraid that it is a fact of life that ISPs cannot afford to keep providing the services they do at the prices they do without some element of constraint over what consumers can download.
BT’s website does have a long list of caveats for its broadband service. They are quite open about the fact that they “network traffic manage” P2P and video streaming between their peak hours of 5pm and midnight although you might argue that the fair usage policy has become quite a complex one for people to understand. Also whilst openly promoting the fact that users can watch online TV they fail to mention that only the lowest quality iPlayer setting is accommodated at these peak times.
The problem is about to get worse as higher speed 21CN connections become more prevalent and trials about to begin on 40Mbps services using Fibre To The Cabinet. Customers will expect to be able to get high quality video streaming with these services. Indeed video and likely HD video, will be one of the drivers for uptake of faster broadband.
Note whilst checking out the BT website I observed that the company sells its 10GB download limit as the equivalent of 2,500 music file downloads, 14 videos or 25 hours of streaming iPlayer a month.
This riles the music industry no end. Does anyone believe that consumers download 2,500 “paid for” music files? Is BT inadvertently helping to promote illegal P2P filesharing here?