When the first online video platforms like YouTube first became popular, internet service providers faced an uphill battle to maintain anything like a reasonable connection speed for most of their customers. Online video is extremely data intensive, and it can slow down the connection of entire streets, or at least it could before the latest generation of super fast broadband arrived.
Unfortunately, YouTube was just the start of it. Almost every major television channel has an online player allowing people to catch up with what they’ve missed, or even watch television live. When you then throw in online video games and film streaming, all of a sudden the internet is struggling with volumes of data that would stun a team of oxen.
So, a number of the internet providers in the UK complained, and pointed out that these free services were actually costing them stacks of money and that the video platforms should contribute to the upkeep of the network. To no one’s surprise, these complaints didn’t get particularly far, and customers continued to complain that their internet wasn’t fast enough.
This hastened the roll out of fibre optic broadband, which has the potential to massively increase the speed at which the internet functions, however, the problem remains, the websites who are
In this regards, Sky may just have cracked it, or at least for some television companies. Whereas other news sources haven’t had a huge success with charging for content. The Sky player – for which you have to pay a small monthly fee roughly akin to the top up charge for Sky multi room – has been successful, and continues to attract new customers. For the small fee, you can watch any Sky programme, and Sky Sports, on your laptop any time you like. In return, Sky have the extra finance to maintain their internet services.
Of course, you do need high speed internet to make the system work, but then Sky broadband customers get discounts when it comes to the Sky player, so that’s not really a problem either.
Whether other platforms, for which people aren’t used to paying in the way that they are for satellite TV, can convince customers to part with their cash to use their internet services remains to be seen, for moment it seems like Sky have got a march on the field.
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