BT to introduce two tier web services



BT will start a new two-tier service which will enable broadband service providers to deliver internet video in a better condition to customers.

BT’s wholesale unit has developed a service which enables broadband service owners to charge more to content providers for providing high quality video downloading facility to end users.

The video downloading industry is growing at a brisk pace where customers download contents from YouTube and BBC’s iPlayer through their mobile or fixed-line telephone connections and BT is seeking to tap the market.

The new technology developed by BT will enable customers to download bandwidth consuming video contents without any disruption even at traffic heavy peak hours.

BT’s retail unit has tied up with content providers to deliver streaming video through the so-called Content Connect service. BT’s customers will be able to watch television through BBC’s iPlayer with the help of Content Connect.

However, BT’s new service may run into rough weather as Open Rights Group – a consumer advocacy organization, expressed concern that the service potentially violates ‘The Principle of Net Neutrality’ – a policy that equal access for all web traffic.

However, BT’s head of Wholesale services rejected the argument that smaller content providers will be disadvantaged because they can not afford to pay to broadband service providers to deliver their contents in better condition.

She said BT is not creating a two-tier service and all broadband service providers are improving the download speed. The basic ‘over the top’ surfing experience will be improving, she argued.

The service offers customers the option to watch live television on demand by making a payment. Broadband service providers are showing considerable interest in the new service, she added.

The new technology places BT’s servers close homes and offices, ensuring data travels lesser distances and is not corrupted by stray signals.

“BT’s plans have the potential to end up with a two-tier internet, with customers increasingly tied to bundled services (offered by broadband service providers), and a reduction in competition across the open internet”, complained Jim Killock – Executive Director at Open Rights Group.

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