The BBC's current iPlayer beta has attracted a lot of comment in the blogosophere -- mostly about DRM and the Windows XP limits of the beta version -- but real story here is that ISPs in the UK have chosen this announcement as an occasion to make political points about capacity issues. These complaints have the strong potential to be heard elsewhere in the world also as more and and bigger video files transit the Web, especially via P2P networks, legal and otherwise. Here is a summary of stories about this development.
Jeremy Penston, iPlayer Politics: Behind the ISPs vs BBC row. Link: The Register.
Chris Williams, BT rubbishes BBC bandwidth throttling reports. Link: The Register.
Jack Schofield, ISPs warn BBC over iPlayer bandwidth use. Link: The Guardian. Included mostly for its links.
Bobbie Johnson, Bandwidth threat as on-demand TV grows. Link: The Guardian.
Om Malik, Broadband ISP's Fear of the Web Video. Link: GigaOM.
Tim Ferguson, BBC iPlayer a Bandwidth Hog? Link: BusinessWeek.
Robert Andrews, BBC iPlayer Bandwidth Concerns - More Investment Needed, Regulator Says. Link: paidContent.
Update 20 August 2007:
William Cooper, Broadband service providers threaten to throttle iPlayer. Link: Informitv.
Then, to put this into some perspective, also read Om Malik's Online Video To Boost Internet Protocol (IP) Traffic. He writes:
It should come as no surprise: the big and fat video files are one of the main reason why the bandwidth glut created by overbuilding in the telecom boom of 1990s is evaporating. The good news is that the demand for bandwidth is not going to end any time soon. ¶ A report released by Cisco Systems (CSCO) predicts that consumer-related traffic running over IP networks is going to grow at a compound annual rate of 58 percent from 2006 to 2011, and will end up totaling 17 exabytes per month by 2011. ...
Link: NewTeeVee. --Dennis