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BBC puts the boot in to ISPs

Remember when someone destroyed the Blue Peter garden? That was ISPs. And when that lightbulb blew up behind Jan Leeming? ISPs. Yeah, and I'll tell you something else, if those ISPs want the BBC to pay the cost of trafficking iPlayer downloads... well, they'll have Terry Wogan, Jonathan Ross and Alan Partridge to deal with. Fight! Fight! Fight..!

Or, to put it another way, the BBC is somewhat unhappy with UK ISPs.

Specifically, Auntie Beeb has had enough of internet service providers bleating on about the increased cost of dealing with all the traffic generated by the phenomenal success of the BBC iPlayer.

It's even less enamoured of certain ISPs' plans to shape traffic to deal with this liberal bandwidth hogging. And now BBC new media apparatchik Ashley Highfield has told ISPs they can take their complaints and stick them up their collective Tardis. He even threatened to name and shame those ISPs he sees as the worst 'offenders'.

But ISPs remain deeply unhappy about the steep rise in the cost of carrying iPlayer traffic. And with some justification. Ofcom reckons that the P2P version of iPlayer alone will cost ISPs up to £831m.

Tough, says Highfield. It's not the ruddy BBC's job to help them. Naff off. (I paraphrase.)

"[ISPs] are already charging their customers for broadband to receive any content they want," he says.

"If ISPs start charging content providers, the customer will not know which content will work well over their chosen ISP, and what content may have been throttled for non-payment of a levy," he continues, in a thoroughly entertaining, if somewhat contentious blog posting.

Because Ashley's tirade means, dear reader, that you and I will end up footing the bill, in the shape of higher broadband bills.

But what happens if the ISPs don't toe the line..?

"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). I hope it doesn’t come to this, as I think we [the BBC and the ISPs] are currently working better together than ever," says Highfield.

So Mr I.S, naffing, P. Quit whining, pull your socks up and start charging the punters more to get BBC content - content they've already paid for via the licence fee. And if you don't, the BBC will use its enormous clout to blacklist you. It's very simple really.

To sum up, someone is going to have to pay for iPlayer content, but the BBC would rather it isn't it. So it's you and me, folks, via our increasingly stressed ISPs.

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