Thanks to Ann Higgins for sending me two articles on policy and provide business – one article from the US and one from the UK.
First in the US (Free Press Offers ‘Olive Branch’ to Cable) is an update on the Free Press versus Comcast situation. Free Press complained to the FCC that Comcast was throttling traffic of BitTorrent users. After one (I think one) public session with the FCC, Comcast shifted gears and set up a partnership of sorts with BitTorrent.
Now the Free Press is kind of siding with Comcast saying that they understand that the cable companies need to manage traffic (which might lead to the appearance of the traffic throttling). But they did mention that the real problem is that the cable companies have no adequately upgraded their network.
From the UK, there was another article on the need for broadband. I can’t find the article online (A Looming Crisis—BBC & Co Overload U.K. Broadband Network from Global Insight). So I’ll have to paste a bit:
A row last week about the effect of the BBC iPlayer and similar online TV/video content websites has re-ignited a debate about the need for a new high-speed broadband network in the United Kingdom, and, crucially, who would pay to build the new one, and run both the new and the old networks.
Ofcom, which is kind of like the UK version of the FCC, has been looking into it and the expected cost for the upgrade is about £830 million (US$1.64 billion). Most people seem to feel that the ISPs should pick up the tab. Apparently, they have agreed to pay somewhat:
In November 2007, the U.K. government waded in to the debate, summoning top telecoms chiefs to debate how to fund the network. Over the weekend, the new chief executive of BT, Ian Livingston, suggested BT may be willing to invest the circa £15 billion required for a new fibre network, but challenged Ofcom to tweak the Universal Services rules to make it easier for BT to recoup its investment.
So two worlds apart but the same issue – how can the bandwidth keep pace with application and content providers?