Product Management :: Product Marketing

11 April, 2008

BBC's iPlayer traffic swamps UK's ISPs

Following my previous post about the demise of Mobile TV - due to the broadcasters enabling downloads of their shows (such as BBC's iPlayer), then the UK's ISPs have gone bleating to the BBC saying that their iPlayer is generating too much traffic on their networks.

Silly ISPs are demanding that the BBC pays for the network upgrades. Here's some of the statistics being throwing around:
  • In its first three months more than 42m programmes have been accessed via the catch-up TV service.
  • According to figures from regulator Ofcom it will cost ISPs in the region of £830m to pay for the extra capacity needed to allow for services like the iPlayer.
  • iPlayer usage now accounts for approximately 5% of our network capacity. (see this story on
I'm very surprised at the reaction of the ISPs - surely this is a perfect method to segment the market into light users and heavy downloaders... surely??!?

It appears the key point is that iPlayer streaming outnumbers downloads by 8 to 1, which, I interpret, wasn't anticipated.

Note: I originally read this story on the BBC, so the reporting may be biased.