A recent report criticizes UK ISPs for hyping claims of increased bandwidth costs in what appears to be another round of rhetorical battle between ISPs and content providers. Put together for the BBC, Skype, and Yahoo!, among others, the report by U.K.-based Plum Consulting calls ballooning ISP costs "a myth," and states that while internet traffic is increasing due to the use of streaming video, the cost for fixed networks comes in at just €0.01 to €0.03 per additional GB of traffic — between one and four cents. They attribute the cheap price to the fiber optic backbone current utilized by ISPs: the pipes are so big at that point, the cost of adding traffic is negligible.
The report is not being issued in a vacuum, however. The BBC has had a rocky public relations history with ISPs, getting into a war of words back in 2008 over its iPlayer video streaming service, and there have been numerous allegations of Skype throttling over the years. With both sides jockeying for public opinion, it's hard to know where the exact truth lies, but as more complex and bandwidth-hungry services roll out, the back and forth is white noise for consumers who just want one thing: unregulated internet access at the speeds they're paying for.