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The ISP’s dilemma

It seems that this year might be quite a significant one for Internet Service Providers judging from the various headlines and articles relating to their future, or lack thereof.

The recent slew of ISP related articles in the blogosphere, as well as some news headlines and TV coverage, all seem to point to the fact that something is brewing in the world of the ISP and whether good or bad, it is bound to affect us all. Particular examples include:

  • Failure of the ISP business model – ISPs are being threatened by increasing adoption of legal download services like the BBC iPlayer. According to The Register this has meant increasing demand for bandwidth without additional income for the ISPs
  • Broadband Review – Another article in The Register also describes an imminent review of broadband adoption in the UK by the new minister for business regulation.
  • 3 Strikes Rule – The Times set this one rolling and it got quite a reaction from many parties as evidenced in the last DRM blog post and comments.

The obvious common thread to all of this is the increasing penetration of broadband and demand for bandwidth. It would appear that Internet access is becoming another utility service much like our water supply or energy; however the economics of “use more, pay more” does not seem to translate well in the Information age.

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Note: This post was previously published on the BCS DRM Blog. Here is a link to the original post and reader comments.

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