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iPlayer Usage Effect - A Bandwidth Explosion

February 8th, 2008 at 15:13 by Dave Tomlinson

There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the BBC’s iPlayer in the past few weeks with stories on The Register such as this and this, The Guardian here and here, ThinkBroadband, Screendigest, ZDNet, and hundreds more on other places too, some of which are linked here.

There’s also been lots of talk about the availability of iPlayer, there’s news about plans for the Mac version and a US version too is apparently on the way.

We, though, can give a different perspective, a bit of insight on things and maybe explode a few myths. Here’s just a few headlines:

  • 5% growth in total average usage since 1st December
  • 66% growth in volume of streaming  traffic since 1st December
  • 2% growth in the number of customers using their connection for streaming since 1st December
  • 72% growth in the number of customers using over 250MB of streaming in a month since December
  • 100% growth in the number of customers using over 1GB of streaming in a month since December
  • Cost of carrying streaming traffic increased from £17,233 to £51,700 per month

So how did we get to these headlines? Well, through our traffic management systems we get a lot of visibility of how our customers are using their connections. We classify iPlayer as streaming so when customers look at the View My Broadband Usage tool they can see the split of traffic types and see how much streaming they’ve used. From our reports we can see that in detail across all our customers and spot patterns and trends as well as providing invaluable data about how the network performs and how customers use the Internet.

A few stats first, 23,441 of our customers used over 250MB of streaming (download only) in January, with a mean of 947MB between them. That’s up from 13,569 customers that did more than 250MB in December (with a mean of 856MB) and going back a year 12,225 did over 250MB with a mean of 781MB in January 2007.

6,083 customers streamed more than 1GB of data in January 2008 (2.2GB mean) against 3,045 in December (2.1GB mean) and 2,253 in January 2007 (2.1GB mean).

We’ll cover off some more stats below but the summary is that more people are streaming and streaming more.

Previous posts we’ve made have focussed on changing usage habits and new applications such as the aforementioned iPlayer.

This post is kind of about putting those together and looking at the effect that new applications are having on usage and where this is leading us.

We’ve been doing a lot of analysis of customer usage of late, trying to understand in ever more detail about how our customers are using their connections and also when they are using their connections.

One thing we’ve noticed is that the mean usage is on the way up and in particular the type of usage is streaming and it’s being used more in an evening.

I’ll illustrate this firstly with a little data. Each month we produce a breakdown of usage and supply it to the PlusNet usergroup (November and December’s data is here).

Just using one of the figures, the mean usage per customer over the past few months is as follows:

June 2007 6.40GB
July 2007 6.54GB
August 2007 6.46GB
September 2007 6.35GB
October 2007 6.61GB
November 2007 6.55GB
December 2007 6.42GB
January 2008 6.74GB

It’s not unexpected to see a small decrease in June, September, November as those months only have 30 days and also in December because of Christmas but the January increase is certainly a noticeable increase whichever month you compare it to. Note that the BBC launched the iPlayer on Christmas day and have been heavily promoting on TV ever since.

When you break that usage down though into different protocols, it’s streaming that’s seeing the big increase.

The following graph shows mean streaming usage (download only) across the past 3 months (1st November to 31st January) in MB per hour per customer for 5 hours of the day (each line represents a particular hour).


(Click any of the images for a larger version.)

As you can see in early November on average customers that were using streaming used around 2 – 2.5MB per hour but by the end of January that had increased to 3 – 4MB per hour.

There’s also a graph of the number of customers that used streaming in each particular hour.

We can also compare this to web browsing/instant messenger traffic with again both the MB per hour per customer

and number of customers using that type of traffic per hour.

The web traffic over the same time period is roughly static in terms of MB per hour per customer and the number of customers using that type of traffic increasing a little in line with customer growth (apart from a dip at Christmas).

(Note, this data is taken from the Ellacoya traffic management systems and will include any customer that used any amount of streaming in each hour whether that was 1 byte or 1GB or any other amount).
For another bit of comparison here are the usage graphs for P2P and Usenet

and gaming. The P2P and Usenet graphs “spike” because when the network is quieter such as Friday and Saturday nights or over Christmas when there’s more bandwidth available for these types of application. Also again the graphs include anyone that did at least 1 byte of P2P or Usenet during each hour and Usenet will include text as well as binary usage.

We also have a split of the streaming usage into each of the different products.

This graph is showing streaming over the last 2 months for one particular hour (6 – 7pm).

As you’d probably expect, BBYW 3 and 4 have the highest usage but there’s a general increase across each account type.While this graph shows the same time period but the number of customers on each product type using streaming.

 

 

What’s quite telling is that not only is there an increase over the last 2 months of customers using streaming but that there’s an increase on Broadband Plus and Premier as well as BBYW which are both accounts we no longer sell and as such the total number of customers on these products is declining.

Here’s another breakdown of the usage. Just looking at residential accounts, in November 174,779 customers had usage in streaming, using a total of 33,189GB which works out as a mean of 190MB per customer for the month.

In December 177,093 customers had usage in streaming, using a total of 31,859GB or a mean of 180MB per customer for the month. This was likely reduced from November because of Christmas.

However, in January 181,108 customers had usage in streaming, with a total of 52,970GB or a mean of 292MB per customer for the month.

That’s a total increase of 66% in January against December, 60% against November. Per customer the increase is 62% up in January against December and 54% up against November. (A combination of natural customer growth and more existing customers using streaming that hadn’t previously would account for the higher increase in the total above the per customer figure).

Ian’s spoken earlier about future developments in set top boxes and particularly of relevance here are the boxes (and TVs themselves) that can combine streaming over the Internet along with Freeview, etc. At the moment the majority of this growth in traffic will be down to iPlayer (with some 4OD, Sky Anytime and Joost thrown in) and likely most people will be watching it on their PCs. We can only imagine what the growth will be like when that majority shifts from the PC to the TV.

The growth though of this type of traffic does add a couple of factors to our product design, we design each of our products around a certain amount of usage and make assumptions about how that usage is used. For example, Broadband Your Way Option 2 has a usage allowance of 8GB which is counted over the hours of 8am to midnight. It may be though that a large percentage of the customers on BBYW Option 2 use more of their 8GB than before (or go over the 8GB and buy additional usage) and use that extra usage in the evening.

This ties perfectly in with the myth of unlimited broadband. On BBYW, as customers use more, the revenue we receive will increase. The amount of additional usage (along with customer numbers and mix of product) is one of the factors we use in determining the amount of capacity we require so we factor in the extra revenue gained from customers using more due to something like iPlayer and provision the capacity necessary.

We aren’t saying that the growth of streaming isn’t a scary proposition, and where there’s one thing there’s bound to be another thing on the horizon (set top boxes, Project Kangaroo from BBC, ITV and Channel 4, iTunes movie rentals and HD movies to name just a few of things that are on the way) but it’s got to be even more scary for some.

Dave Tomlinson
PlusNet Product Team

dave

This entry was posted by Dave Tomlinson on Friday, February 8th, 2008 at 3:13 pm and is tagged with , , and is posted in the category Plusnet News, Traffic Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


59 comments on "iPlayer Usage Effect - A Bandwidth Explosion"

LiamM

As ever, Dave, a fantastic Blog post. Great insight into usage and very well educated. I'm glad you guys are looking at this!

Is it time for a LAN FILL TAX because of all the rubish being moved around the internet!

axisofevil

If the BBC just dumped a cache of their content at Plusnet Towers, wouldn't it be more efficient (or at least faster) for users to stream/download?

Or do they still suffer from their copyright paranoia...

Mark

It may be more efficient but who would bear the cost? The BBC provide their generic content via digital or analogue transmission and the customer pays for it via the license fee. By providing it over t'internet the ISP has to bear the cost of transmission. Would they pay for the storage if it was held by the ISP? I think not. :(

Ianwild

It would make no difference whether we had the content stired on our network or whether it is served directly by the BBC. We have great peering links with the BBC and the cost of transferring the data from them to us is effectviely zero, a well a being very fast. The bottleneck is within the BT Wholesale network and your line speed.

All of the ISPs costs come from the BT Central pipes, which link the exchanges around the country with the ISPs network. Because each customer has their own 'tunnel' through this network there is no further significant efficiency to be had with the current infrastructure as provided by BT.

spraxyt

An excellent blog, very informative to see some of the numbers behind the technolgy hype.

It will be interesting to see the reaction when users realise the content might be free but the delivery ('postage and packing') charge not so.

Be3G

Just a thought... what will PlusNet do when iTunes movie rentals become available here? (Something which, according to the online Apple store, will be happening this month, presuming the store's not mistaken.) I ask because at the moment, as far as I'm aware iTunes stuff is classed by PlusNet as a download server or something along those lines, whereas the rentals are really a hybrid of both streaming and downloading - i.e. they do download, but they're supposed to be watchable after only a couple of minutes of doing so. People may therefore not want their iTunes rentals to be rate-limited too much if they're waiting to start watching a film.

Ianwild

It's a good question Thomas. Fundamentally, if people expect to use a service like that and it drives our cost up massively then I see no alternative but for prices to increase to accomadate. Hopefully though 21CN will be driving at least some price reductions by the time the itunes service becomes popular.

Maybe Dave could look at this topic for his next Blog.

Ian

Neil_A

"100% growth in the number of customers using over 1GB of streaming in a month since December"

This for me is a really interesting stat. What's it going to be in February? Seems like every time I watch TV the BBC are promoting iPlayer and that can only mean exponential usage increases. If all of our customers downloaded one programme per week via iPlayer how much bandwidth would that be? By my reckoning about 3,000 terabytes during 2008!!!

Kelly

You can begin to understand why the debate exploded in the US about ISPs threatening to charge content creators for carrying their content. i.e. If the BBC start driving a serious percentage of our traffic, levying a charge against them for that content...

I'm not suggesting this is a good idea :)

What other options to ISPs have? They can't restrict access to content, i.e. just blocking stuff like Tiscali is (allegedly) doing, as that upsets the users who, unless they've been trapped into a restrictive contract will just vote with their feet.

The key thing for me in all of this is that unlike many other ISPs in the market, PlusNet have all this data to hand and have the ability to monitor and, due to the level of sophistication of the Traffic Management Technology we have built, performance-tune the network in response to customer demands.

What we're seeing here isn't anything new; the emergence of new, data hungry applications is something that has constantly challenged the ISP industry; however, it's the way you manage your network that counts, and having access to the pertinent, up to date usage data is absolutely vital in being able to do this.

People's Internet usage demands are an ever-changing thing. The 'humble' PC has now become a dumb media delivery device and all the world's content providers are clamouring for a piece of the action (and the subsequent advertising revenue).

Right now, it is the ISP that is picking up the bill for this additional data transit, but it can only be a matter of time before this model changes...

Could we see:

* ISP injected context specific adverts could well be a mechanism we'll see in the future as a way for the ISP to recoup the cost of the additional bandwidth requirements

* ISPs moving towards to a pure Pay As You Go model

* ISPs increasing the customer subscription costs

* ...or maybe even a reduction in data transit costs from the UK wholesale provider(s)...

Whatever happens, the situation will be different in a year's time...

I often boast about having a media centre in my living room, but when it come down to it, it's just a PC. It took me a while to make that leap from having a TV card in my bedroom's PC to having all of my media managed by one machine in my living room. Now that I have, I will never look back. My computer is attached to my TV and it is there to stay until the consumer electronics industry manufactures a TV that can do everything my media centre can.

But why is this relevant? When my only PC was in the bedroom, I'd only occasionally go and use it to stream content from the internet - I didn't really often want to sit and watch videos on a 17" monitor in the bedroom. However, as most of my waking time (when I'm at home) is in the living room, having a media centre attached to my large screen TV makes it so much easier and more enjoyable to watch online content. This makes me more inclined to do so more often.

I now regularly use iPlayer, 4OD, Joost, itv.com, not to mention streaming radio using WinAmp, and enjoy them all in my living room on a large screen. Aesthetics was one of the main barriers that held back media centres being placed in the living room, however as designs become kinder on the eye, more people will be inclined to give the centres pride of place (second only to their Plasma/LCD) in their living room. Sales are definitely on the increase, and with internet ready set-top boxes (read Ian's blog - http://community.plus.net/blog/2008/02/07/the-stb-cometh/) also ready for serious launch, streaming will continue to grow.

However, who will pay for this increased bandwidth demand in the long run? There's only one person that can pay for it, and that's ultimately the consumer. It doesn't matter whether it's the content providers that charge me or my ISP, I know I will end up paying some one. But don't get me into any debate about having to pay the BBC a license fee and an online content streaming fee!

Very good stuff, thanks for sharing.

An interesting corollary for me is that perhaps the immediate success of iPlayer streaming indicates that p2p downloads is not a mass market proposition?

Now that would be some thrilling bedtime reading - p2p vs streaming on iPlayer.

It is also worth considering that the beebs original strategy of getting the user to pay for distributing content via their uplink capacity and spare disk capacity is completely flawed and the biggest winner in all this is Akamai and Adobe??

dave

Not sure what data we have on streaming vs Kontiki P2P for iPlayer but I will certainly have a dig around and see what I can find out.

notheruser

It really doesn't matter which type of contract you have with your ISP, be it PlusNet or anyone else - you pay for bandwidth usage. Go for a cheapo product which claims unlimited bandwidth, and you get rubbish performance (so forget about streaming anything at peak viewing times). Go for a good product and the more bandwidth you use, the more you pay. Matt's comment "Right now, it is the ISP that is picking up the bill for this additional data transit" is only partially true - ISP's may be paying more, but since they effectively charge their customers by the Gigabit, they can recoup it.
Ultimately those who watch will be those who pay - but unless charges fall dramatically, Freeview and Sky will be around for a while yet!

I was just hammered by the iPlayer. Did not understand where all my usage was going - until it was to late.

Kill iPlayer guys, its evil.

Media Guardian are stating:
"Other useful nuggets revealed that streamed iPlayer viewing is dominating downloads by 8:1, although the BBC expects this to level out at 4:1 in the future, with 70% of shows downloaded actually viewed."
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/2008/02/the_rise_and_rise_of.html
Personally, I suspect that a 4:1 ratio is extremely optimistic for the BBC

ChrisL

I stream a lot of BBC radio but not much TV yet. Am I right that the quality of downloaded content is much higher than that of streamed? My guess is that download will start to overtake streaming when we all have our TVs connected to our home networks through media-centres/pvrs. Can anyone watch streaming TV in full-screen lie-back mode?

One more question: am I right that p2p continues to eat up our bandwidth even after we've downloaded, and that this might become significant when the p2p network gets huge?

[...] iPlayer Usage Effect - A Bandwidth Explosion | Community Site News The net-neutrality discussion with respect to charging content providers camps will be sifting through this to see if there is an applicable metric to their own arguments. It’s an impressive collection of statistics. (tags: isp internet traffic) [...]

dave

ChrisL - Yep, the download version is higher quality than then the stream, although the BBC are thinking about improving the quality of the stream. More in the next blog which will be posted this afternoon.

I think downloads will increase when the set top boxes start using iPlayer because they could be built with the ability to schedule.

The download version does use P2P as you say (an application called Kontiki) this will upload to other people both while you are downloading and as long as the application is open. So it can use a lot more bandwidth than the actual file download.

*cough*

proxy cache at the exchanges

*cough*

What? Were you expecting usage to go down over time?

Get real PlusNet, of course streaming is going to increase a LOT of the next few years, just as every other type of net usage is. It's not really an explosion, it's just something we've all been expecting... well, except plusNet perhaps.

Unfortunately it seems that few of you are attributing focus to the cause of the problem - the BT network.

I believe the one of the problems we face in the UK is the monopolistic position BT was in, and how we are happy to sit by and let BT manage the majority of the UK's infrastructure. BT have made effective changes in recent years (spurred by OFTEL no doubt) but these changes are changes to BT's network - no one else has stepped up.

ISPs are making money and not investing in their own infrastructure. If there is a parasite, piggy backing on a network, it is the virtual ISP - the data centre only ISP.

Local local loop unbundling pushed ISPs out to customers' locality. It is a good thing - new ISPs such as C&W have brought in better switching equipment and improved their own support effectiveness. But. And this is a big but. Everything still passes, whether you like it or not, as frames on the BT trunk first.

ISPs must invest in their own POP links - that means laying wires: it means planning permission, work crews and expense.

The first port of call for any ISP really interested in their future is to start buying into newer modulation systems. Then to get on the phone and get local government interested, and have them help fund wiring at a local level.

(on a side note, who is it that has the exclusive contract to wire alongside the railways? that needs to be invalided for decent competition!)

I don't see why ISP are complaining so much. They're offering a service to their clients. If clients start using it more, just put the prices up and make them pay for their usage...

This is all kinda silly, my ISP does 500 GB/month for $48/month. An addition consumption of a mere 0.3 GB/month is beyond insignificant. Now, if 90% of the people would watch a HD feed, to the tune of 5 hours a day, every day at full HD quality, that would be a 1282 GB/month increase. At that point, costs would have to come down by 2/3rds or they might have to charge $150/month.

I clicked through to the 'myth' page, which argues that it is not possible to offer truly unlimited broadband, using this as a rationale for usage caps.

Perhaps I misunderstand the way ISPs work, but my model of it is that what they call 'capacity' is actually bandwidth, i.e. how fast they can transfer data, but no limit to how much data they transfer.

The service I would like to see, but which no-one offers, is uncapped usage with contention-restricted bandwidth (which is what I understood by 'unlimited' when ISPs first started talking about it).

So, if I share a 1Mbps line with 20 other users, I'd get bandwidth of between 50Kbps (if we're all using the line at the same time) and 1Mbps.

On no! Your customers want to actually *use* the internet as opposed to paying through the nose for a connection that spends 99% of its time idle.

Well bloody tough. It's been a long time coming and it's a bit late to start acting suprised. Buy some more infrastructure or be hnoest about what you can provide. Greedy ********s..
(expletive edited)

All BBC need to do, is develop their own caches storing their own content which they can give to ISP's to cache their traffic for their customers. Job done, nothing to see here.

[...] No surprise to anyone that the number of people streaming media is only going to increase rather than decrease. But rarely do we get any kind of hard numbers or insight into the issues that ISP’s are facing when it comes to dealing with provisioning bandwidth for their consumers. Dave from Community Plus has posted one of the most fascinating things to read about how the BBC Iplayer has altered already how people use bandwidth. This is a must read for everyone who is interested in doing anything with streaming media. # 5% growth in total average usage since 1st December # 66% growth in volume of streaming traffic since 1st December # 2% growth in the number of customers using their connection for streaming since 1st December # 72% growth in the number of customers using over 250MB of streaming in a month since December # 100% growth in the number of customers using over 1GB of streaming in a month since December # Cost of carrying streaming traffic increased from £17,233 to £51,700 per month Source: Dave [...]

dave

Sacha wrote - "The service I would like to see, but which no-one offers, is uncapped usage with contention-restricted bandwidth (which is what I understood by ‘unlimited’ when ISPs first started talking about it)."

It is the idea of what an "unlimited" ISP offers. Essentially you can either stay ahead of usage and keep your capacity above demand so no-one sees slow downs or as you they'll see the effects of network contention.

The former option can lead to costs quicky getting out of control (155Mbps of capacity costs around £17,000 per month) especially if as usage goes up your revenue stays flat (which it would do on an "unlimited" service).

For the latter, letting network contention manage the speeds people get is a choice but without some kind of prioritisation on either the types of traffic or types of customer all traffic gets impacted.

A binary usenet or P2P download will still continue downloading as the network contention kicks in but a VoIP call or online game might not because when the network gets full you don't just see a decrease in speed but in increase in packet loss and ping spikes.

dave

Michael, there's only one problem and that's the data still has to get across out network and on to BT's and then to each customer and that's the bit that costs the most. The costs of the peering link between us and the BBC are negligable when you take account of the BT Wholesale costs.

What would be nice to see (probably way down the line) is something like multicast to the exchange. The BBC or a.n.other content provider would stream to each of the 5000+ exchanges rather than to each individual and anyone that wanted to watch could because the capacity from the customer to the exchange is effectively 1:1 as it only becomes shared when you get to the exchange.

Where do your prices come from?

If a UK CoLo provider like RapidSwitch can offer 3TB of bandwidth and 1U hosting for 35 quid a month, your 181,108 customers transferring 52,970GB can be handled at the server level for less than a penny per customer with wholesale bandwidth costs. Presumably you can or do peer directly with the BBC to reduce costs further still?

So your massive cost increase must be coming at the BT/DSL end of things, yes? But don't plusnet already use LLU so you shouldn't be quite as hammered by the BT pricing structure as some smaller ISPs.

It'd be interesting to see exactly how you get to the 34,500/month increase in data costs for 52TB of data

dave

Unfortunately you can't compare the price of a Co-Lo against DSL costs.

The big cost comes from the central pipes that take traffic from our network to BT's. Unfortunately these don't come cheap, about £17,000 per 155Mbps segment. The reason is that it isn't just a link that takes traffic from point A to point B but essentially a link that takes traffic from our network to each of the 5000+ UK exchanges.

A 155Mbps segment can transfer this:

139 / 8 * 60 * 60 * 16 * 30 / 1000 = 30,024GB

(Based on a 16 hour day because that's when we charge for usage on our Broadband Your Way products and when most of the streaming is done but even then that's not evenly spread across the 16 hours) so you need 2 extra 155Mbps segments to cover that increased usage. 2 extra segments costs approximately 2 x £17,000 i.e. £34,000.

We do peer with the BBC so the cost of taking traffic from the BBC to us is negligable in comparison it's the cost of taking that traffic to our customers via BT's network where the increases are.

We do use LLU but less than 5% of our customers are on LLU now so there's some difference in the costings but not enough that it makes a big difference.

You may be interested in this blog post from Ashley Highfield from the BBC Internet Blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/02/iplayer_figures_and_feedback.html

Disclaimer - I am the editor of the blog.

Hi Dave,

Getting the data to the ISP will still cost, yes... but only once. Take for instance iPlayer using flash, instead of BT streaming unicast from outside their network (a cost to them) they can stream from within their own network (no cost to them).

History has proven that things like MBONE (the Internet's Multicast Backbone technology) do work. In 1996, NASA TV (and others for the next number of years) was successfully broadcast across the internet.

History is repeating itself, little is new here - just people have bandwidth to their homes now.

Even on demand footage can be easily pushed to the ISP's, and they simply 'interrupt' the traffic to the originating servers. P2P can also be cached locally.

Ianwild

Yep - The pricing here relates to what we pay in capacity charges to BT Wholesale, who own the infrastructure that connects us with our customers. The transfer costs on the Internet side really do pale into insignificance.

We pay £148.22 per Mbps of data transfer across the BT network. We resell that at a lot less (£9.99 for Upto 8Mbps with 1GB transfer limit for example works out at £1.24 per Mbps!). The maths of how we turn our high capacity cost into an affordable product was covered in another blog post here:

http://community.plus.net/comms/2007/08/17/broadband-your-way-blueprint/

Suffice it to say, we've done the maths!

Cheers,

Ian
PlusNet

PS: PlusNet doesn't have any LLU exchanges, but in reality the costs are still pretty high with LLU although cheaper.

Ianwild

I should add that the BT ADSL Infrastructure design means something like multicasting is unable to help in this circumstance. Every ADSL connection is delivered to us as a separate ATM tunnel from BT. That means no saving through aggregation is possible as we have to send the same stream to every customer individually, and pay for the capacity that uses each time.

As I say, the cost from the point of view of the interlink between the BBC and PlusNet is insignificant in the scheme of things.

If the cost from the point of view is the interlink between the BBC and PlusNet is insignificant, then its perhaps up to the BBC to develop a proper distribution mechanism - unicast to their servers is a _bad_ idea. By putting in caches at various ISP's, why should the costs(data) to the end user? BT...

Most people want 'on demand' over download and watch later... this where the future lies.

Unless BT and the BBC come to an agreement to haul (in this case) BBC's traffic then there will 'always' be a huge hit on the customer's bill if they have a traffic limit on their DSL connection - unless they are LLU and the ISP is more free to decide how to handle the traffic.

if IPTV is really to take off, then a second ATM tunnel would be needed - and this is more important if the BBC begin to truly broadcast decent quality (encoding... ;) live TV.

dave

It's early days right now in the IPTV world and at the moment someone has to pay for transferring the iPlayer (and all other) traffic from the ISP to the customer. At the moment that cost falls upon the ISP who then decides where the revenue comes from to pay for it, it might be through charging for usage or it may be by taking a hit in profit or by doing something else.

LLU as you note is different but there's a point where the increase in usage will put up the costs.

I guess it's like the early days of most technologies, the early adopters pay a price premium. My first DVD player was £200, I just bought a newer higher spec'd one for about £50. In the case of IPTV that higher spec'ing will be some other delivery mechanism between content provider and customer whether that's a a second ATM tunnel, multicast to the exchange, all the LLU providers coming together with BT Wholesale to build one huge network or something else I think it will happen.

[...] a few blog posts chronicling the impact of the iPlayer on its own network infrastructure. Plusnet reported in early February that the number of customers streaming more than one gigabyte per month doubled from December to [...]

Dear Dave,

Is this really a surprise? Surely PlusNet had seen this coming and surely Plusnet is preparing for an exponential rise in video traffic from now on? PlusNet users are also increasingly going to use remote terminal connections, OOMs, P2P file transfer, etc, etc,..

Like many PlusNet customers I originally signed up because PlusNet seemed tech friendly being one of the few mainstream providers to offer the full range of web toys (Perl, PHP, Databases, etc, ) without too much fuss and restrictions. Nowadays however I get about one week a month to play with new technologies before a cap is put on my account.

There is a high-bandwidth Internet revolution happening around the world. In places such as Korea and Japan where ISPs provide truly unlimited broadband connections, developers are experiencing a goldmine of creative opportunities. I think it is a crime that tech orientated ISPs such as PlusNet are depriving the UK development community of this opportunity. A crime because ultimately, developers need to be innovative to continue to be prosperous and generate the wealth that pays for our livelihoods.

See it as an opportunity, not a threat. We would pay more!

[...] Dennoch ist interessant, dass sich dort gerade erster Widerstand regt - von ISP Seite. Lesen Sie dazu den Beitrag von Telco2.0, einen Artikel bei TheRegister und dieses Statement von Plusnet. [...]

In the Netherlands, the national TV streaming-website will redirect to the ISP's streaming-server, if there is one.

The larger ISP's have there own streaming server and so there is just one stream (for live and I think caching is also used) from the national broadcaster to the ISP and from there it's distributed to the customer endpoints.

And I think they, the dutch national TV, is even connected to an Internet Exchange, you can peer with them (so no transit costs, just hardware/connections).

I'm no expert, but wouldn't charging, say a penny for every email help? It is cheap enough not to harm most users, but would deter the bulk spammers and free up a lot of bandwidth.

[...] are also looking at this and have put out some figures based on measurements from Plus.net. I’m not going to reproduce the figures here, so I’d advise having a look over them [...]

[...] I found this whole blog particularly fascinating, as it is not usual to find an ISP that is this open about their business (a number of their other entries are well worth a read, particularly this one on the impact of the iPlayer on their streaming traffic). [...]

[...] boosted the average Internet consumption of those people as they watch more video than ever<>. This is costing ISPs money <>. If the BBC doesn’t give the ISPs the money to match [...]

@ Lennie

You said "And I think they, the dutch national TV, is even connected to an Internet Exchange, you can peer with them (so no transit costs, just hardware/connections)."

Some people who posted here needs to re-read what the staff are saying, They HAVE to pay to send the data from PlusNETs network OVER, note.. OVER BTs network, which is where the cost is!!!

Too many people have re-said the same thing over and over again here without reading what the staff have had to repeat!.

[...] in December of 2007. Early indications were that it had done well from the very beginning, and now this blog from UK ISP Plus.Net show that traffic has spiked significantly this year. The per-user streaming [...]

So lets get this straight, BT Wholesale has a monopoly on backhaul. The isps have no other options but pay BT's charges. BT is making a massive profit from this, but has not seen fit to upgrade its backhaul network to provide more bandwidth and less cost / GB. Isnt this a case for the ISPs to take their concerns to OFCOM, instead of just whining about customers using the service they have paid for?

[...] ISPs started noticing large jumps in bandwidth usage by the public. One ISP in the UK, PlusNet, reported the following surge for January usage vs. [...]

[...] ISPs started noticing large jumps in bandwidth usage by the public. One ISP in the UK, PlusNet, reported the following surge for January usage vs. [...]

Simple innit? Supply and demand rules. Use more bandwidth, pay more money! Want to watch that missed program? Either buy a PVR, wait for the repeat or pay through the nose.

I think we are getting used to a cheap internet and expecting too much of it. Soon we'll have HD streaming with dolby 5.1 and unless there is a cosst per byte per minute business model, we'll be having this discussion again in two years.

I agree with Doug Rice. It's all too much!

Fascinating statistics, by the way....

I have heard that iPlayer still UPLOADS files even when turned off due to a backend process that stays running?
Is there a way to
a) schedule iPlayer
b) be able to stop all streaming traffic from iPlayer
?

This is really interesting stuff!

Would it be possible to upload some more detailed usage stats showing subscriber numbers by download volume before and after iPlayer? It would be really interesting to see if the averages refered to are being skewed by a small number of very heavy users...

hehehe well the iPlayer is really the best internet service I've used so far. Quality is gawjuss and the possibilty to download contents is unbeatable.

I mean I replaced by Apple with a Samsung because iPlayer didn’t support Apple

[...] In December of 2007 England’s BBC launched its very successful iPlayer. From this single launch a ... [...]

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