Digital Britain Report: Free Broadband/File sharing clampdown

alihaig

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The Digital Britain Report by Lord Carter has been released today, and has some interesting and possibly controversial recommendations.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/media_releases/5783.aspx
Firstly on Illegal Filesharing:

Our response to the consultation on peer-to-peer file sharing sets out our intention to legislate, requiring ISPs to notify alleged infringers of rights (subject to reasonable levels of proof from rights-holders) that their conduct is unlawful. We also intend to require ISPs to collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers (derived from their notification activities), to be made available to rights-holders together with personal details on receipt of a court order. We intend to consult on this approach shortly, setting out our proposals in detail.

On Broadband availability:
We will develop plans for a digital Universal Service Commitment to be effective by 2012, delivered by a mixture of fixed and mobile, wired and wireless means. Subject to further study of the costs and benefits, we will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal. We anticipate this consideration will include options up to 2Mb/s.
We are inviting the BBC to play a leading role, just as it has in digital broadcast, through marketing, cross-promotion and provision of content to drive interest in taking up broadband. With other public service organisations, the BBC can drive the development of platforms with open standards available to all content providers and device manufacturers alike.

The Full report is available here: http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/digital_britain_interimreportjan09.pdf

The Quotes above are just from the summary, so may not be too helpful. From what the press are saying the basic recommendation is for every household in Britain to have access to FREE 2Mb Broadband by 2012. There is also a recommendation on introducing legislation to force providers to monitor and hand over information on file sharers.


The report also covers things like Digital TV and Radio, and how to move forward with them, I'm not too sure on the details of those bits yet though.


So what do people think?


Personally I think increasing broadband coverage has got to be a good thing, and 2Mb seems a sensible level to set as a minimum - just about everything will run at 2Mb and not everybody needs super fast connections. I am not so convinced by the "free" aspect. Working to bring down costs is great, and from a selfish point of view I would love free broadband but there are already companies offering 8Mb services for less than ?10 per month, so I think it would be better to pay for what you use, rather than the taxpayer picking up the bill. From the file sharing side, I can see why they want to stop copyright theft, but I am deeply suspicious of any attempts to legislate to enforce the monitoring of peoples connections as a matter of course, rather than in exceptional cases (if at all).
 

zaybxcwd12

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Without any real referance to this, my ISP (BT which if any1 who has them as a ISP will tell you is not the best ISP in the UK) has put a restriction on my line for and I quote P2P usage, which I don't use the only thing I can think of is either rapidshare for which I have an account, a FTP I set up for my own personal use or links to sporting events thats streamed illegaly and heavy usage. Seems I downloaded 290GB+ this month in there eyes thas "excessive" and I am now using a 2mb line for a paid for 8. When I lived in a cable area with the then Telewest usage was 1TB+ without any notification from the then ISP.
 

zaybxcwd12

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Stop paying for 8?

Thats where they have got me, the internet is paid for 1/4ly and the restriction lasts until Md Feb. After then everything back to normal but I have to, not a direct quote but words to this affect "Behave myself".
 

Dogbert

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Thats where they have got me, the internet is paid for 1/4ly and the restriction lasts until Md Feb. After then everything back to normal but I have to, not a direct quote but words to this affect "Behave myself".
I'm sure many other smaller ISP's would be happy to have your business.
 

zaybxcwd12

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Again not that simple. tied to a 12 month contract and everything because I am not in a cable area has to go though a BT line/exchange and to move to a 3rd party ISP I believe (because I was going to go to Sky) you need a MAC code from your current ISP, and guess what it is not forthcoming until either contract ends or you pay the "cancellation" fee.
 

fbc

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Free broadband in exchange for having my connection policed like that?

No thanks, I'll keep paying.
 

alihaig

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BT is shit, most expensive and crap service. Although I am having to watch what I do now as I had a warning email the other week about downloading some film. Worst bit is it wasn't even me, or a good film - one of my idiot housemates.
 
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alihaig

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It has been getting some stick from the opposition parties it seems - Jeremy Hunt makes some good points:
The opposition parties were especially critical of the government's commitment to broadband speeds "up to" 2Mbps as part of its pledge to offer universal broadband access by 2012.


Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, argued the government's commitment to 2Mbps broadband for every UK home was pitifully low since the country's current average access speed is 3.6Mbps.
He said that the report itself acknowledged Britain was lagging behind France, Germany, the US and Japan when it came to broadband speeds. "Forty per cent of our households do not have broadband at all and connections actually fell last year," he added.


Hunt said there was no explanation in the report as to how the broadband would be paid for. He added: "Without a roadmap to delivery it is surely an empty promise."


He said the report "promised no new action, but instead eight new reports", adding "we have all become wearily familiar with the government's continual substitution of reports for action." He said it remained the Conservatives' aim to ensure high-speed broadband was available to half the population in five years.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jan/29/digital-britain-broadband-opposition-reaction
 

Matt2000

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2Mbps is poor, but beggers can't be choosers. If you don't want (or can't) pay for it, then you can't expect it to be very good...
 

Dogbert

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2Mbps is poor, but beggers can't be choosers. If you don't want (or can't) pay for it, then you can't expect it to be very good...
Eh?
 

Cobol74

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British infrastructure no matter what it is - roads, railways, Broadband is poor. Any time anyone wants to do anything then the NIMBYs come creeping out of their holes desguised as greens sometimes and stop it.

Transport 2000 anyone?

http://www.llb.labournet.org.uk/1996/july/lp3.html
 

Dogbert

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Sounded pretty decent, if generic, until #7... and then I looked at the URL and realized who wrote it. :(
 

zaybxcwd12

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Good God man, what on Earth are you downloading that takes up that much space?

Well.................Like I say I don't use P2P and no it is not porn. Almost all of what I download is for my own personal use although friends ask me from time to time to download things for them. Films, TV even games but they all come from the 240day retention you get from newsgroups to avoid the P2P connection. The 15GDP it costs a month is money well spent so long as the ISP don't restrrict my line. If it did come from P2P I would not be downloading anything at all little dodgy.

The Mrs was on the phone to Talk/Talk about the possibilty of changing ISP's without the Mac code.
"We want to change ISP's because BT have restricked the line"
"Why?"
"They are saying is it for heavy use, seems my partner downloaded 290GB so far this month"
"That can't be right. don't you mean 290MB?".
 
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ViperVX

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2mb is weak. You can't even find 2mbit anymore in Moscow, cheapest is like 2.5 or 3 for 10-12$, unlimited of course.

Also i understand, that most ppl aren't heavy "downloaders", as like 90% of internet users (so about 900million) are browsing websites, using email, chat clients and that's about it.

For me, this month i downloaded over 182GB, will be probably 200 by February first, and this traffic comes you don't even notice. Although i do all sorts of ripping, editing and remuxing of tv shows, HD movies and even sports and it takes a lot of bandwith to download HQ sources, like Family Guy Season 4-6 with extra material on DVDs - about 90GB, then there are games, although i try out only AAA newest ones, they are now like 10+ GB each and increasing and so on. And i am only on 5mbit (20$).

That's why you should always download not the full movies/shows/music but archives, most of releasers now pack everything in a number of archives, then release, this way it's legally impossible to prove in a court that you knew what was inside the archive, as it's always named like tzqprlaw-a.r01 (stands for TorrentZ Queen + Paul Rogers Live at Wembley), also encrypted p2p will be released some tome this year, so even the ISP won't be able to see what you are downloading.
 
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Plissken

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I'm sure many other smaller ISP's would be happy to have your business.

Not at 290Gb/month.

That is genuinely excessive.
 

ViperVX

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Not at 290Gb/month.

That is genuinely excessive.

I used to work at one of the Moscows largest ISPs for a few months in legal, our job was exactly to analyse the bandwith usage data over certain periods so it can be used to save the ISP money when it comes to signing new contracts next year (which is this year now). I saw copies of contracts with european traffic transporters and other networks, traffic was (and is) at all time low, very cheap, cents for gigabytes, and with average usage among all users at about 4.6GB (20% of heavy downloaders and 80% of regular users) it literally costs your ISP up to 10 cents/month to pay for your traffic.
Also i am talking about Russia, where there's a much larger percent of heavy downloaders, as most of the released products, like shows, games and movies are not available for purchase at the same time as in the rest of the world, or not available with original features (like original english sound, subtitles, extras and so on). Even worse with new formats like Blu-Ray, you can buy a player for like 200$, or 120$ for your PC, but Blue-Ray discs are way overpriced and the supply is very limited and outdated.

Therefore it's always about copyright infringement and never about traffic.
 
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Plissken

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290Gb/month is the equivalent of 61 DVDs or 484 CDs a month.

Look, I'm not against filesharing, I torrent at times for stuff. I just don't accept 99% of the excuses that the freetards use to come up to justify their actions. (A film you want to watch has not released in Russia? 61 of them? Every month?) People pleading poverty about Blu-Ray being overpriced, then download a Blu-Ray disc and to play on their $500 Blu-Ray player, through their $1000 stereo and their $2000 plasma. Come on - don't piss on my back and tell me it is raining.

Similar, I don't accept 99% of the excuses the RIAA et al come up with to excuse their actions either, but they've been done to death.

It is a bit like speeding. We all do it. 80mph in a 70 zone. 45 in a 40. But this is like doing 90 in a 30.

Or to use a less rubbish analogy, walking into the CD section of a supermarket and shoplifting the entire stock.
 
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