The great thing about the BBC iPlayer is that it is free (kind of – you
still have to pay the extortionate license fee). But even this could
start being charged for if reports are true.
The BBC’s head of digital media technology, Anthony Rose, said in a
magazine interview that it may introduce a tiered service with higher
quality playback being charged for while the basic service remained
Rose thought that ISPs could charge subscribers to watch content
streamed at 1.5Mbps to pay for the increased burden placed on their
The high-quality iPlayer could be a value-add for packages for ISPs desparate to boost razor-thin margins.
"The future lies in tiered services. What we need to do is to create
the iPlayer services at different quality levels and then let ISPs
offer different bandwidth propositions to users," said Rose.
"For example, the user
who enjoys higher bandwidth connections would pay more, and those who
are satisfied with lower bandwidth connections would pay less. Of
course, nobody should get a worse experience than today."
Link: EBU article