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BBC Trust Delays Open Broadband TV Service Project Canvas

Posted: 05th Jun, 2009 By: MarkJ
The BBC Trust has announced that Project Canvas, an open standard that aims to deliver broadband TV (IPTV) services directly into the Home via special Set-Top-Boxes (original news), will be delayed due to a lack of detail and explanation on several key areas. The proposal is part of a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT. The current consultation had been due to post its conclusion on 24th July and a new date has yet to be set.

BT Statement:

The consultation found widespread support for the delivery of IPTV into the home via broadband. A large number of stakeholders also recognised that the BBC could potentially help both coordinate and accelerate this process.

However, many expressed concern over a lack of detail in some key areas of the Executive’s application. These included the choice of technical standards to be adopted by Canvas and the way in which the BBC would work with industry bodies; control of the Electronic Programme Guide; governance arrangements for the joint venture; and the use of editorial controls. Some stakeholders argued that, without such detail, it was difficult to assess fully the potential public value and market impact of proposals.

Consequently, the Trust does not now intend to publish a decision on the 24 July. We intend to delay the second consultation until after the Executive has returned with further detail in support of its application. This additional information and a revised timetable to complete our assessment will be shared with stakeholders in due course.

The news follows recent fears that Project Canvas could have been subjected to some of the same competition concerns that derailed a similar service (Project Kangaroo) earlier this year (original news). BT and other stakeholders have also pushed for a full assessment of the potential market impact of Project Canvas.
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