If you ordered a local takeaway from your sofa on a Friday night, only to see it brought to your door by an articulated lorry, you’d rightly question the sustainability credentials of that delivery service. We believe the same principles should apply online.
BT Group has a proud history of identifying problems and investing to meet them head on. The future of content delivery is no different. We believe every online journey should be possible and we’re investing in next generation fibre and 5G to support that.
But our investment is not enough by itself.
The extraordinary and often unexpected traffic peaks we see on our network are caused by inefficient and uncoordinated content distribution. This can impact the internet experience of millions of users and drives unnecessary costs.
We believe our job is to build networks that meet our customer’s growing demands. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure those networks are used fairly.
If we want a sustainable digital world that will meet growing demand in the future, we need to make sure all players are working together. And we have to ensure more of the value extracted from the internet is reinvested back into it. Got right, these changes will benefit everyone involved.
So, we have some simple policy asks:
1) That Ofcom ensure network innovation is supported
A little clarity goes a long way and we’re pleased that Ofcom has confirmed that innovative services, like network slicing, don’t breach current rules and clarified that traffic management of congestion is permitted in some circumstances. These have huge potential to support new business products.
2) That our rules incentivise efficient distribution of content
In an age where we’re all mindful of using resources wisely, the same principles should apply online. Those that produce or send content must do so in ways that take account of the wider internet experience, which will be of the benefit to all customers.
3) That networks can negotiate on a level playing field
Current rules are a barrier to networks like BT from being in complete control over the integrity of our own networks. Regulations must support an ability to negotiate commercial agreements with the largest Content Providers to fund new capacity investments, helping to keep customer bills down while also enabling investment in meeting other public policy goals, like rural coverage.