Against all odds:
I'm actually with Tiscali on this one.
It happens that I have a tiscali broadband package, which by-the-way works fine most of the time, and even exceeds the maximum speed (280kB/s on a 2Mb line)
Now they say they offer unlimited broadband and all, with only a limit on bandwidth between 6 and 11 pm. That doesn't mean you can't use the internet, it simply means that you shouldn't use bandwidth-hungry applications, like P2P, iPlayer and so on. It's a bitch alright, but it allows everybody to experience a decent line speed in the evening, when everybody's on the internet. In France they don't usually have these requirements, and I can tell you it's a pain in the arse when there's a P2P maniac between you and the exchange. My 512 kb/s line gave me a 8kB/s trickle at the best of time (yes, it was a few years ago, but still)
Now the Beebs comes in and expects ISPs to do whatever is necessary to allow iPlayer traffic to go through without a glitch. But dude, increasing a network's capabilty is fucking expensive!! You can't expect to pay so little for your broadband package, and get lightning speed DLs with a huge bandwidth! The price we pay for broadband is in adequation with the bandwidth capabilities of the line. Then somebody walks in and expect the available bandwidth to double, well who's gonna pay for that?? I personnaly don't use iPlayer, and I would be really pissed if my package doubled in price just 'cause the BBC wants to flood the network.
And charging only those who use iPlayer wouldn't work, they wouldn't want to pay 3 times what others pay, and with a hike of only a few punds, well it wouldn't bring in enough cash.
I understand that other applications are bandwidth-hungry, but not on the same level as iPlayer. Come on, when you think about it, soon everybody will be able to watch TV, anytime, using the internet. You can't expect the current network to cope with that, and it's not fair to expect ISPs to foot the whole bill.
If a car manufacturer came in tomorrow with a car that's 6 meters wide, would you expect the coucil (and therefore the tax-payer) to widen all the roads in the country to fit that car? Hardly. Yet your right to use the roads is "unlimited"... within reasonable limits, like "you car must fit the road in the first place".
The Beebs' iPlayer service clearly doesn't fit the network, which wasn't designed to cope with that sort of traffic. Seeing how much it costs to upgrade the network, I think it's fair that everybody pitches in, not just the ISPs who seem to be under the obligation to offer lightning-fast line speeds, unlimited bandwidth, at rock-bottom prices...
In France (I'm French) they are upgrading the network to optic-fiber. Costs them billions!!!! But the government is helping them, otherwise there's no chance it could be done. The result in pretty impressive: 60mb/s for something like £20/month.
But everybody pitched in, and no-one expected the IPSs to do everything themselves.
5 years ago, in Paris, I paid less for a 20mb line than I pay NOW in UK for a 2mb line... If we expect ISPs to upgrade the network to optic-fiber without any help, I dare not imagine what we're gonna pay for broadband then...