The BBC has called on Ofcom to “modernise” the regulatory regime to protect net neutrality, in its submission to the Strategic Review of Digital Communications.
The public sector broadcaster urges Ofcom to “continue to work to ensure the UK continues to lead in the support of balanced net neutrality principles”.
18. When Ofcom started its last Review, no channels offered full catch-up TV services, and when BBC iPlayer launched as de facto market leader in 2007, all of its usage was over the Open Internet – i.e. 0% of access was ‘gatekept’, where that third-party had the capability to act as an intermediary between the BBC and the audience. Now 63% of BBC iPlayer use is gatekept.
19. PSB could be increasingly exposed to this gatekeeper power, as the incentives of ISPs - and vertically integrated, converged platform operators in particular – are unlikely to be aligned with PSB objectives. Such a risk is exacerbated by a regulatory regime which is in need of modernisation.
In November, the European Parliament approved Regulation 2015/2120, which imposes new net neutrality obligations on ISPs to “treat all traffic equally, …without discrimination, restriction or interference, and irrespective of the sender and receiver, the content accessed or distributed, the applications or services used or provided, or the terminal equipment used”.
For more information, see:
- Net neutrality: BBC urges Ofcom to protect iPlayer – The Guardian
- BBC’s response to the Strategic Review of Digital Communications (pdf)