The BBC director general Mark Thompson, has signalled the Corporation will rigorously defend ‘its responsibility’ to distribute programmes freely to license payers by weighing into the Net Neutrality debate and coming out against paid tiers for delivery speed or quality.
Thompson said that the continued success of online TV services such as the BBC’s iPlayer could not be guaranteed if Internet service providers introduced a “fast lane” that would allow them to charge customers for receiving content more quickly.
Thompson said the “fast lane” could undermine the BBC’s responsibility to ensure its content is available to all licence fee payers over every platform. “As the web becomes a vehicle for the transport of richer and richer content, the question of whether all content from all providers is treated equally by the networks becomes ever sharper,” he added.
“We know ISPs routinely dampen speeds well below published headline rates. They also have the capability, which they have used in the past – though no ISP is currently – to convey some content from some providers at slower speeds than others.”