That should settle the matter then. Asked his opinion yesterday by MPs on the House Of Commons’ media and business committees, Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: “(The BBC paying ISPs) is not necessarily the only way it can happen and it is not necessarily the way we would anticipate it will happen. I am not convinced myself that the right answer to that is to get the BBC to pay for the iPlayer (traffic)” (via Reg). Tiscali this month suggested a “BBC tax” to accommodate extra bandwidth consumption caused by online TV popularity; smaller PlusNet has complained iPlayer triples its bandwidth costs. But, as outgoing BBC boss Ashley Highfield wrote, the broadcaster has decent relations with the ISP community. The regulator’s siding with the BBC puts the ball back in its court to strike a policy framework that incentivises BT (NYSE: BT) to build next-generation networks that they can both share with competitors and be reimbursed for.
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