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ISPs want BBC to cough up for net upgrade

Web can't cope with iPlayer and YouTube

UK ISPs say the BBC should be held accountable for an upsurge in online video traffic that's putting a strain on internet capacity.

According to reports, the web maybe heading for a meltdown thanks to increased demand for online video content through websites such as the BBC's iPlayer and Google's YouTube.

Simon Gunter, from broadband provider Tiscali, said the BBC should contribute to the cost f the extra capacity needed to deliver video online.

Ofcom estimates that it will cost ISPs in the region of £830m to pay for the extra capacity needed. Gunter said: "The question is whether we invest in extra capacity or go to the consumer and ask them to pay a BBC tax."

However, the BBC is unlikely to agree to such a move.

According to BBC News, Ashley Highfield, head of future media and technology at the corporation told The Today Programme: "The success of the iPlayer should be of benefit to the whole UK broadband industry, increasing those who want to take up broadband."

In his blog, Highfield warned ISPs they should not try to charge content providers.

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

Gunter responded: "Inflammatory comments about blacklisting ISPs do not help. There seems to be a lack of understanding about how networks are built. Either we are not explaining it properly or it is falling on deaf ears."

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