C4 cottons onto net neutrality debate

A Channel 4 News report tonight will have the British Chambers of Commerce calling on the government and ISPs to pay up for a broadband infrastructure upgrade, in the face of rising online video usage (YouTube, iPlayer, the usual suspects).The net monitors at Broadband Expert have apparently surveyed 18 ISPs, finding that, shocker, people don't get the speeds they pay for.

A Channel 4 News report tonight will have the British Chambers of Commerce calling on the government and ISPs to pay up for a broadband infrastructure upgrade, in the face of rising online video usage (YouTube, iPlayer, the usual suspects).

The net monitors at Broadband Expert have apparently surveyed 18 ISPs, finding that, shocker, people don't get the speeds they pay for.

BCC DG David Frost (not that one): "It is clear that the internet is currently slowing down because of increased demand... The system needs to be upgraded; whether that is by the service providers or government, to ensure economic growth... The money has got to be found for improvements, if not the harm to the economy will be very substantial indeed."

From the press release: Dr Ian Waldon, professor of Information and Communications Law at Queen Mary, University of London, has told Channel 4 that 'net neutrality' – the idea the internet is equal to all users – will become a thing of the past as customers are forced to pay extra for the web capacity they take up [...] We get onto the internet through access networks – and there's a possibility that the capacity of those networks will be exceeded soon".

See our analysis of the situation here. I still refuse to believe this stuff about the net falling over, or the idea that net neutrality - the right kind of net neutrality - will have to go out the window. There's a lot of lobbying going on here with this web-slowdown stuff. The upgrade will happen, and consumers in particular will have to stump up, via the ISPs. It would be nice if the government helped out, though.

Grrr.

Anyway, the C4 report can be viewed here.