Row develops over Beeb's iPlayer

Broadband carriers in Great Britain are huffing about iPlayer, reports indicate. It would seem that Tiscali executives are grumbling about the bandwidth demands of the BBC's recently launched online video-on-demand player. VNUNet reports that the BBC is negotiating with carriers, who are seeking royalities.

The iPlayer launched in beta in July, but high-speed ISPs in the United Kingdom are concerned that it's going to take off like hotcakes once it's commercially launched. Tiscali U.K. chief Mary Turner was quoted in the Financial Times as saying the Internet wasn't "set up" for distributing video, and heavy iPlayer VOD use could slow down access for everyone.

The schism is not new. Telco chiefs in the United States made similar noises two years ago as video and VoIP traffic started ramping up, and a full blown network neutrality movement was born. The issue killed a telecom reform bill in the last Congress, and came up again two weeks ago when lyrics critical of the Bush Administration were edited out of a Pearl Jam concert streamed by AT&T.

For More:
- VNUNet provides coverage here
- Salon's Farhad Manjoo gives a net neutrality perspective here