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 BT Content Connect 'a Two-Tier net'

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PostSubject: BT Content Connect 'a Two-Tier net'   Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:17 am

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BT has introduced a controversial service that some say could allow broadband providers to create a "two-tier internet".

Content Connect, as it is known, allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that use BT's network to charge content firms for high-speed delivery of video.

It could spell the end of so-called "net neutrality", where all traffic on the net is treated equally.

Critics say it will also reduce competition for consumers.

"This is a sea change in the way that content is delivered by ISPs," Jim Killock of the net freedom campaign organisation, the Open Rights Group, told BBC News.

"It is essentially them saying: 'Rather than delivering whatever content is on the internet as best we can, here are our services that we will deliver through our own network.'"

He said the result could be a "fundamental shift" from consumers choosing what video and gaming services they buy on the internet to "buying services from the internet to bundled services from ISPs".

"This would reduce competition and take investment away from internet companies - that would be bad for everyone."

In addition, net neutrality advocates says that allowing large content providers, such as YouTube, to pay for premium delivery could put smaller companies at a competitive disadvantage, reinforcing the gap.

But a spokesperson for BT denied that the offering would create a "two-tier internet".

"BT supports the concept of net neutrality, but believes that service providers should also be free to strike commercial deals, should content owners want a higher quality or assured service delivery."

It said that its new service would speed up download speeds across its network - even for those not buying into Content Connect - by easing congestion.
More On The Story Is Here In Full

A Linked Story Is Here From The Guardian
Another Linked Story Is Here From The Independent



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