A report in today's Telegraph highlights a huge increase in usage of online tv players such as the BBC's iPlayer.
The article quotes Andrew Ferguson, editor of Thinkbroadband.com as saying "People are watching iPlayer to supplement their viewing. But there is a very real concern that the internet could grind to a halt as we have done from time to time."
The iPlayer was launched in December 2007 and has so far clocked up well over a quarter of the billion viewings in that time. It has lead to a huge increase in bandwidth usage and concerns were raised as far back as March about the growth with some ISPs tightening their fair usage policies.
Christmas is an especially busy time for applications like the iPlayer with the Christmas specials proving exeptionably popular. A quick glance at the popularity charts reveals that iPlayer content dominates with Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Deat, the Doctor Who, Gavin & Stacey and Royle Family Christmas specials making up 4 of the top 5 with Top Gear occupying the other place.
The other terrestrial channels in the UK all have their equivelants and with their usage increasing too the strain will eventually begin to show on existing broadband systems unless theyare upgraded. This is both a threat and an opportunity for ISPs as users look for packages that can accomodate their growing internet tv and radio use.
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