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BBC Trust says open internet is crucial

DigitalTVEurope - UK ISPs that market internet access services should offer unrestricted access to the web, according to Diane Coyle, vice chairman of the BBC Trust, which oversees the governance of the UK public broadcaster.

Her comments are in response to last week’s publication of an Ofcom paper intended to open up a discussion on how the communications regulator might address traffic management concerns and what stance it should take on any potential anti-competitive discrimination amongst ISPs. “If the wrong approach is taken to net neutrality, the results would be bad for consumers,” said Coyle.

The BBC finds itself at the centre of the debate on net neutrality due to the popularity of its online platform iPlayer.
“Internet service providers (ISPs) feel they are being unfairly blamed by consumers for a sub-standard internet experience due to network congestion or poor coverage. They need to pay to upgrade to the speeds that consumers expect, so they are considering asking the content companies, whose services – like the BBC’s iPlayer – drive web traffic, to pay for a faster service for their content,” said Coyle. She said that the burden of upgrading fibre and 4G networks to deliver faster internet access need not fall entirely on ISPs. Content providers, for example, are investing in technology to reduce the bandwidth required to view videos.