back to article BBC technology chief bounces on to Project Kangaroo

Ashley Highfield, the BBC's chief technology executive, is to quit the corporation to take the helm at Project Kangaroo, the cross-broadcaster internet TV venture. It turns out that his "get stuffed" to ISPs is a parting shot of his reign as director of future media and technology. Project Kangaroo, which will offer TV catch- …

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  1. paul
    Linux

    From Bad to worse?

    "The BBC project was saved last year by a series of high-profile hires who have been instrumental in its resurgence since the launch of the web streaming version. The new guard include former Microsoft man Erik Huggers"

    As el reg thinks Huggers will be the new chief, I am wondering if he is responsible for the flash version (well done if so) OR he is the man responsible for the M$ download version (boo hiss).

    As the quote above says, the cross platform solution saved iPlayer. Hopefully we will have some better quality cross platform OPEN solution.

    Dont give me grief about using M$ - they are a company that looks to make profit whatever the consequences. Tux cause he isn't interested in his profits (only yours).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    paying for content delivery

    Presumably Project Kangaroo won't want to pay for access to the Internet, either.

  3. s. pam

    £5er says...

    he'll have something better than iPlayer, flog it to the Beeb who'll buy it for £1squazillion, a PPI will form, bankers get rich, more Labourite promises of the latest-digital-next-thing, then house prices will plummet and blame apportioned everywhere

  4. Big_Boomer
    Flame

    Bandwidth hogs

    It seems to me that a great many people are living in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

    Bandwidth costs money and the sooner the content providers, ISP's, wholesalers AND end-users wake up to this fact the better.

    All internet access should be based on a per Gb (or whatever) price structure. If you want to download videos and programs and such then you pay, same as you pay for the phone calls, gas, electricity and water you use.

    If your ISP chooses to "bundle" some Gb in your package great, but after that's gone you pay by the Gb.

    The sooner these "free-tards" wake up and learn that NOTHING is free the better. Free is a word used by con-artists (otherwise known as Marketing-tards) and has NO MEANING as nothing is ever truly free.

  5. Ryan Morrison
    Thumb Up

    Pay per use

    Big_Boomer - completely agree. Broadband should be closer to the mobile phone model. If it costs £1.50 (including your profit) per GB per user then charge that user £2.00 per GB.

    An ISP could offer a £30 per month package that included 15GB data for high end users or a £10 per month package that includes 5GB of data for low end users.

    Either way - we then pay for what we use and people realise the value of bandwidth.

    Oh and Ashley Highfield will be missed as head of FM&T he's been good for the Beeb and was the man to put FM&T at the centre of the corporation.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @Big_Boomer

    Quite why people continue to rant about paying based on usage I don't know - that's exactly what everyone is already doing.

    I think you'll be hard pushed to find a contract that *doesn't* work like this.

    The really cheap contracts make you pay explicitly for your usage, generally per GB. This is also known as the 'pay as you go' model.

    The more expensive ones have a fair use limit, with increased allowances of 'fair use' as you buy more expensive versions of the service. So you're paying for 5GB, 10GB, 50GB or whatever of bundled allowance. This is the 'contract' model.

    The allowance may vary but there are generally sanctions for exceeding it.

    There are some truly 'unlimited' contracts out there but they're few & far between, and you pay a lot to get them.

    That the ISPs are incapable of fulfilling the contract and actually supplying the contracted service is their problem. If they can't cope, they should either put their prices up to reduce demand, or maybe *shock* invest in their infrastructure.

    So the problem isn't the customers & their expectations, and it isn't the content providers, it's the ISPs.

    If they really had a problem with things like video chewing bandwidth they'd have blocked Youtube. As it is I suspect the only thing they really have a problem with is not having access to taxpayer funding. I have yet to see anyone ask ITV (for example) for funding to carry the Catchup service - possibly because they know they wouldn't get any.

    Oh yes, and you used the term 'freetard'. So you're clearly an idiot and should be removed from the gene pool at the earliest opportunity.

  7. Steve Brooks

    perGb usage charges

    Good idea, then you can all join the poor fools in AU who still use Bigpond as their provider, 20Mb download speed, 200Mb usage allowance, $150.00Gb excess usage charges, $15,000 monthly internet bill!

    And no, I'm not joking, these plans are still being sold to grannies and OAP's

  8. Ash

    TV catch-up?

    TV replacement! I haven't watched a single program on TV since this application launched. Why would I? It's the program I want, when I want it (within 7 days).

    I may as well drop the TV in the skip and save myself a Television Tax^H^H^HLicense.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @paul: Erik Huggers

    "As el reg thinks Huggers will be the new chief, I am wondering if he is responsible for the flash version (well done if so) OR he is the man responsible for the M$ download version (boo hiss)."

    He's responsible for the Flash version (he wasn't around during the many years the M$ download version was being developed). Despite this being done by Adobe rather than using the open-source alternative already developed in-house, initial fears of him locking down the BBC even more to M$ haven't so far materialised. Ashley Highfield, however, is notorious for strutting on stage with Billg at "Mix 06" showing off a Vista mock-up of the iPlayer, six months before Vista was launched. A more blatent abuse of the BBC brand one would find hard to imagine. (Ironically, of course, it was several months after the iPlayer was launched that it actually supported Vista.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Bandwidth Costs

    Tosh! if airlines can make money then ISP's can too...

    "the interwebby is like aeroplanes... " and you can quote me on that!

    try and name one airline that looses money when all the seats are full?

    Its the same with web tubes(tm) ISP's should be concentrating on providing connecting services for there li'l datapacket passangers.. the airline still has to fly an empty plane (at a loss) so that they can provide a return service. Likewise ISP's should be paying for Pipes even when they are not used..The ISP's desire to pay per seat has and is costing them dear. the model does not work. operate your own pipes! the model of cost avoidence for low utilisation without seeing the bigger picture.. the tinterweb works! people will and are using it.. there is no low utilisation! avoiding costs has cost them dear!

  11. Geoff Mackenzie

    Differential charging

    Fair enough, re the comments about bandwidth-related payment. I'd go for this, provided differential charging was used to reflect denand. I tend to chew through bandwidth like crazy off peak, between midnight and 8am, which in fairness should still be dirt cheap, reflecting the fact that the cost of bandwidth is heavily dependant on demand. (As a Plusnet customer that's my unmetered period, by the way, as things currently stand).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds less like a parting shot

    than abusing his old position to fire an opening one.

    // the kevlar one

  13. Tom Silver badge
    Stop

    Bandwidth is not the problem

    BT are the problem. All the ISPs that are moaning about how 'iPlayer will destroy the internet' are what I would call vISPs - they let BT provide the connection from the punter's home to the ISPs network.

    The bandwidth available from the final connection from BT's ATM network to the ISP is the single largest expense that these sorts of ISPs encounter - they then transit the data over the cheapest carrier they can lay their hands on, which costs a miniscule amount compared to the cost of BT central pipes.

    Since bandwidth costs on these BT pipes are so large, these ISPs rely on users being in a 90:10 split - 90% of users are extremely light users, who check their email, read the BBC etc, and the other 10% are 'heavy users', who like to do things like watch videos, download large files and so on. When the proportion of heavy users grows too much, they will re-adjust their FUP/AUP etc until they can drop the most expensive users and keep the cheap ones. The problem now is that these usages are becoming mainstream, which destroys their 90:10 model. Its not the 'freetards' (fool) that vISPs are moaning about - they already control them well enough - it is the general populace wanting to do what the heavy users do.

    When this *** first hit the fans, BT were fairly quiet, and mumbled that it wouldn't exactly kill the internet, but would require investment in increased backhaul capacity. This would be both backhaul from the exchange to BTs network (increased cost to BT), and increased capacity on the central pipes that each ISP has (increased revenue to BT). One would assume that BT would construct that particular equation such that it would be at least zero-impact, more likely would generate some profit.

    You might also have noticed that 'real' ISPs, who own their own kit, backhauls and lease the copper phone lines from BT, like O2 (Bethere) etc, or cable ISPs, don't give a monkeys about this, as their bandwidth costs are miniscule compared to BT vISPs.

  14. Steve

    @Big_Boomer

    "It seems to me that a great many people are living in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

    Bandwidth costs money and the sooner the content providers, ISP's, wholesalers AND end-users wake up to this fact the better."

    Myself and my ISP are fully aware that bandwidth costs money which is why they charge me a monthly fee for access to that bandwidth.

    "All internet access should be based on a per Gb (or whatever) price structure. If you want to download videos and programs and such then you pay, same as you pay for the phone calls, gas, electricity and water you use."

    I play a flat rate for my water connection and I can use as much as I want. Try again.

    If it's the bandwidth that costs money, why should we all be paying on a per Gb basis? Maybe it escaped your notice, but bandwidth is a measure of *speed* and many people will be happy to pay a premium for higher speed. Why should an ISP not be able to charge for Xmins access at a speed of Y MB/s?

    What if I wanted to have one month's access to a given bandwidth? What if I wanted it regularly and was willing to agree to a contract to pay the ISP monthly for the service they provide? Oh, wait, that's exactly the situation that I am in now.

    "The sooner these "free-tards" wake up and learn that NOTHING is free the better. Free is a word used by con-artists (otherwise known as Marketing-tards) and has NO MEANING as nothing is ever truly free."

    And the sooner you dumb fucks realise that failing to accept any statement or request for money by a business as gospel truth does not make you a niaive, free-loading criminal/commie, the sooner people will stop schooling you. You're trying to sound all philosophical and high brow by claiming that free has no meaning and yet you have clearly given it a meaning by virtue of your use of it - muppet.

    A good rule of thumb is; if your comment includes a non-ironic use of the word "free-tard", then you have probably just made a fool of yourself.

  15. paul
    Heart

    @AC - Erik Huggers

    Thanks for the info. I never know whos who in the BBC high spending exec club.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay per GB

    You can all use Pay per GB if you want, if you are stupid.

    The cheapest cheapest providers give you rubbish allowance, but tell you what it is.

    The cheap crap providers tell you that you are unlimited, with low fair usage and never tell you what it is.

    The decent, yet not hugely over priced providers, have a limit, which isnt rubbish (<30gb is rubbish), with monthly overflow, and "unlimited" off peak. And I doubt they are going to hassle you either... unless you really do take the piss, then go and pay the slight extra for a business grade. Well worth it too.

    If you want to pay £15 for "unlimited broadband", I hope you suffer in hell with a sucky provider.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve

    "I play a flat rate for my water connection and I can use as much as I want. Try again."

    Perhaps you should be the one trying again, if you stop for a moment and realise that you are in a diminishing minority who are not metered, and unless you actually enjoy leaving your taps on all day just because you can, you are quite likely paying over the odds for your water already.

  18. Ishkandar

    @Steve

    "I play a flat rate for my water connection and I can use as much as I want. Try again."

    Well, that is actually the model that they are talking about. You pay £xxx per month for use of the line and if it goes over that usage, they'll charge you more. I believe you have not been keeping up with the news that told the rest of us how the "terrible" utilities are going to raise their "fixed" prices !

    When the revolution comes, we'll drown the Thames Water management in their own by-products !! A slow and lingering death !! We'll even sell tickets to the public for a chance to add to the by-products !!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    watching BBC content without clogging up ISP's

    The funny thing is there is a way to watch the BBC content without clogging up the data networks. It's called the television. I can't understand why no-one has thought of this before.

  20. Tony Paulazzo

    no title is fine thanks

    >The funny thing is there is a way to watch the BBC content without clogging up the data networks. It's called the television. I can't understand why no-one has thought of this before.<

    No TV tax (licence)

    no BBC 'adverts'

    watch it when you want

    Tho' to be totally honest, I've checked it out, and apart from a couple of shows on (Ch) 4 on Demand, and a live 'Tigers' nature show on BBc and News24 there's not that much ACTUAL content on there that interests me personally.

  21. system

    RE: Bandwidth is not the problem

    Funny that, I seem to recall that Tiscali are screaming the loudest about this.

    They provide an LLU service, where they place all their own kit into the exchanges, and provide their own pipes into the greater internet, paying not a single penny to BT.

    On the other hand, my ISP rents BT centrals at £1.5m a year each, provide their own network out to europe and the U.S (with great ping times, so hardly low budget), and has no trouble whatsoever with iPlayer. That would be because they charge me in excess of the 61p per GB that BT Central bandwidth costs. Because they are making profit, they also feel no need to sell their customers to phorm.

    Bandwidth over BT centrals is expensive, yes, but it's a business cost which should be included in the pricing. The ISPs complaining about iPlayer are the ones who fail to grasp the very basics of business and massively underpriced their products. Those kinds of businesses are not limited to those renting BT bandwidth.

  22. Byron Langslow
    Flame

    duh? anyone heard of multicasting

    /me slaps forhead.

    simultaneous multicasting as the tv show is broadcast to air. woooo. how hard is that to implement. just ask your local isp.

    snigger.

  23. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    Internet Tax

    That's what we need!

    It can pay for all the anti-terror laws and the lost data!!!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: duh? anyone heard of multicasting

    And yet again, someone mentions multicast. How would that work precisely?

  25. Nicholas Wright
    IT Angle

    Fair pricing for a fair bandwidth...

    ... OK, fair enough.

    Will they then stop throttling any traffic they don't like?

  26. Red Bren

    @Steve

    "I play a flat rate for my water connection and I can use as much as I want"

    Unless your monopoly local supplier implements a fair use policy/hosepipe ban during times of peak demand/Summer

  27. Peter
    Paris Hilton

    Bandwidth question?

    I was wondering... telephone calls are priced per unit time, not in bandwidth used. If I talk in a slow deep monotone, do I use less bandwidth than someone who screams loudly in a high-pitched fast-paced tirade?

    I choose Paris because. Just because.

  28. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Plenty Bandwidth...

    ...just not when you want it. ISPs build networks for peak usage (1600-2200) after that their network is surely empty? Why not offer packages on peak and off peak. Off peak you can have as much as you want. On peak you pay for a 'fair' amount and if you want to download the t'internet then you pay top dollar...

    Maybe...

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