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BT has asserted that bandwidth-heavy applications such as the BBC's iPlayer should be funded by content providers.

According to the Independent, however, its rivals are not so sure, with many convinced that the idea is destined for failure.

"BT has gone out on a limb," one source was quoted as saying.

Many broadband providers were said to have been surprised by BT's suggestion that the BBC and YouTube should have to pay to send video over its network and so far there has been little support for it.

Another source told the newspaper: "They know full well it's not going to change anything, but maybe they hope to add it to the agenda for Digital Britain."

Currently, it is thought that BT is the only internet service provider to have requested money from the BBC.

"We are not going to be shaking a tin at the content providers," a third source told the Independent.

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