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Summary:

Now that the BBC Trust has published the proposal the BBC gave it back in November, the BBC is about to begin telling the industry more abou…

Now that the BBC Trust has published the proposal the BBC gave it back in November, the BBC is about to begin telling the industry more about its plans for Project Canvas. The broadcaster’s IPTV director Richard Halton is addressing the big IPTV World conference on March 25, and the BBC has even invited pitches to advertising agencies who want to market the service.

We will unpack and explain the proposal in greater detail,” Halton said via IPTV World’s release. Although the trust’s consultation, inviting industry opinion, has been open barely a fortnight, Campaign reports the BBC has already sought agencies for two advertising pitches: “The first, which has already taken place, covers Project Canvas’ identity and positioning; a result is expected shortly. A second pitch will involve launch advertising duties for Project Canvas.”

Halton: “We’re working with ITV (LSE: ITV), have consulted with all ISPs about the role they might play, and received positive expressions of interest from quite a few, with BT (NYSE: BT) being the first to come forward. We have spoken with a number of Europe’s leading broadcasters, and there is interest in the idea of a common platform. But we’re still very early in the process.”

There is a danger television viewers could ultimately be divided into two groups – those with internet connected functionality and those without. The BBC would like to ensure that, as with Freeview and Freesat, there is a choice in TV between those who wish to take a subscription and those who don’t.”

With Canvas, the BBC is seeking interested content and device makers to join it in a consortium to develop a common set-top box standard for delivering IPTV, VOD, internet video and even web content. The trust opened a consultation rather than its usual public value test as Canvas is considered merely a platform rather than a new service. Canvas would cost the BBC £6 million over five years.

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  1. This will eventually never go ahead, one major part to this project is BT charging each media company a rate for streaming to the end user and if they do not agree to this charge their traffic will be rate limited giving the user a bad experience. BT, BBC, ITV are trying to close off the broadband networks to competition or levy high bandwidth taxes on these independents. Like Kangaroo this should be a no go and they should stop spending more money on consultants for tin pot ideas.

  2. Robert Andrews Friday, March 13, 2009

    BT charging media users? Where did you get that? Sure, Digital Britain may, in effect, have slapped down net neutrality, but the idea should be that Canvas would work with a broadband connection supplied by *any* provider.

  3. BT own the infrastructure (pipes) down to the majority of the ISP's apart from BSkyB (Easynet) who have unbundled more network than anyone else. BT currently rate limit certain traffic over their network and prioritise other traffic. This gives them control. This project in respect to networks not boxes is about being able to guarantee a 1.5Mbps stream to the end user for the broadcasters who are involved i.e. Vision, BBC, ITV. To do this they will charge for the guarantee leaving the independents who cannot afford to pay this on top of their usual delivery costs in a situation where they have no guarantee for their media to be delivered fairly. Look deeper into it, Project Canvas is not a good thing. BT & the Government should invest more into making our networks faster than looking at ways around restricting bandwidth therefore keeping the Internet an even playing field for all business rather than let the big boys get together and restrict. The UK is currently an embarrassment in terms of broadband speeds and this won't help matters.

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