I needn’t have got too worked up about the BBC’s iPlayer not being available for Mac despite it’s retro Apple-like name as it looks like cross platform porting and availability is the least of users worries as ISP’s start to foam at the mouth over its potential increase in use and how they may be able to restrict or better still, charge for use of the iPlayer application.
Throttling Awkward Innovation
The danger is that as more and more ISP’s use bandwidth throttling and shaping to control high bandwidth activities they will throttle the very technologies that require a fast Internet connection (hurray say the ISP’s and follow up with a convoluted legalise that explains that when they said ‘Unlimited Internet’ , they meant ‘always on’, not ‘Unlimited Use’). The ISP’s would love to charge you and I extra for using these technologies but competition may prevent that model from being employed.
But they knew it was coming?
The ISP’s were consulted during the development of the BBC iPlayer and knew that Ofcom would expect them to invest more money in their infrastructure to cope accordingly but currently 61% of ISP’s still delivering via ADSL are using BT’s wholesale IP stream instead of their own Local Loop Unbundled (LLU) equipment. And don’t think that cable is up for the iPlayer challenge as Virgin Media would rather its customers accessed iPlayer content through its TV and on demand options than crippling their Internet service. Certainly the Beeb are now exploring as many delivery channels as possible (cable, MySpace, Beebo, YouTube) and may find their Internet delivery plans somewhat stillborn by the actions of many ISP’s.