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    Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer

    This is a discussion on Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer | Media | The Guardian ISPs could wield ‘gatekeeper power’ in conflict ...

    1. #1
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      Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer

      Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer | Media | The Guardian
      ISPs could wield ‘gatekeeper power’ in conflict with public sector broadcasters unless regulation is modernised, it warns

      The BBC has called for stronger protection for digital TV services such as iPlayer to make sure internet providers treat them fairly.

      In its submission to Ofcom’s once-in-a-decade review of UK communications, which was published on Thursday, the BBC said the communications regulator and Ofcom needed to modernise regulation and ensure incoming net neutrality rules were enforced.

      The corporation said as technology advanced, and more public service content from broadcasters such as BBC and Channel 4 was consumed over the internet, there was a greater chance of conflict with those who provide the connections for them to reach their audiences.

      “Public sector broadcasters could be increasingly exposed to this gatekeeper power, as the incentives of ISPs – and vertically integrated, converged platform operators in particular – are unlikely to be aligned with PSB objectives,” warned the report. “Such a risk is exacerbated by a regulatory regime which is in need of modernisation.”

      The corporation also said rules guaranteeing public sector broadcasters’ prominence on linear TV guides should be extended to the web, and internet providers should not be able to charge public service broadcasters for making their content available over the internet.

      The UK’s biggest broadband provider, BT, is investing heavily in its own TV service while dominant pay-TV provider Sky is moving aggressively into broadband. James Murdoch, who returned as chairman of Sky last month, has publicly criticised the BBC, saying its size and ambitions were “chilling”.

      The growth of Netflix in the US has also raised concerns about the power of internet providers over content companies, after cable TV and broadband provider Comcast began slowing down connections to Netflix until the web TV company agreed to pay for fast access.

      Ofcom believes that demand for BBC content means providers are incentivised to offer high-quality access to content from public service broadcasters, in particular the BBC, and says there is no evidence they are abusing their position.

      It said in the review that, although the role of ISPs as gatekeepers was not currently a significant concern, it recognised that developments in technology could change the balance of power.

      The regulator is setting up a monitoring programme to track developments in the sector, and will be on the look out for signs that providers are being discriminated against.

      Ofcom will have greater powers to enforce principles of net neutrality from April, when an EU-wide framework comes into force.


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      Re: Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer

      James Murdoch, who returned as chairman of Sky last month, has publicly criticised the BBC, saying its size and ambitions were “chilling”.
      Pot, kettle, black comes to mind.
      lettice, marjohn56 and gymno like this.

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      Re: Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer

      if the eu actually passed net neutrality we wouldnt be in this position would we

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      Re: Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer

      Quote Originally Posted by Shonk View Post
      if the eu actually passed net neutrality we wouldnt be in this position would we
      Eh, passing it would be a step in the right direction but it's optimistic at best to think that alone would prevent such arguments. Passing legislation is pretty much nothing more than signing a statement of principles the key is to figure out getting the enforcement right to make it stick that's the only way that said principles are going to be worth the paper they are printed on.

      After all we have data protection laws and rules governing advertising too doesn't stop companies from pushing the boundaries where they believe that the potential cost savings/profits from doing so will exceed the perceived costs/risks of getting caught with their pants down. In the case of backdoor anti-net neutrality deals such could potentially be highly lucrative which is quite a carrot so ofcom will have their work cut out to prove themselves capable and willing to wield and equally big stick for those that tried such practices.

     

     

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