Broadband - Illegal Down-loaders Could Lose Their Internet

By: Gill Critchley

If plans considered by ministers go through, people who download illegal music or films could be cut off from their internet.

This comes after talk that internet service providers (ISPs) could be legally obliged to crack down on their customers who are accessing illegal, pirated material.

This action would take the form of a "three strikes and you're out" policy, whereby they would first receive an email warning them to stop, then a suspension and if the illegal downloading continued their contract with the broadband company would be terminated.

Those broadband firms who do not take action and don't enforce the rules could end up being prosecuted and then the details of the suspected customers made accessible to the courts.

There are around 6 million people in the UK who are expected of downloading pirated files and this is costing the film and music industry billions as a result of lost takings.

As a result of many people file-sharing it becomes clear why our internet has to work hard to keep up with the demands put on it.

When a 30 minute TV programme is downloaded, it is equivalent of receiving 200 e-mails every day for a year. This is why when you compare broadband speeds, they are all relatively low. However, with broadband speeds from some European countries being much faster, there seems no reason why the UK speeds can't improve.

Some of the major ISPs have discussed a voluntary scheme for policing pirate downloads. However, some difficulties could include how to prove who was using the internet for file-sharing.

The Internet Service Providers Association has said that the best cure for this problem is self-regulation.




If the Government's plan comes into action, people who continue to illegally download after warnings will have their broadband terminated.

When you compare broadband speeds they are all relatively low.

Although the broadband speeds in other countries are a lot faster.

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