[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website]
Much of the debate that followed last week’s publication of the Digital Britain report has focused on the proposal to take some of the income from the TV Licence and make it available to fund universal broadband access, with a suggestion that once this has been accomplished £130m a year could be used to support local news services and perhaps even children’s programming provided by people other than the BBC.
Within the BBC there is a strong feeling that this would be a very bad idea because the corporation’s resilience comes in part from having a guaranteed source of funding that does not rely on politically-motivated decisions of the government of the day. The fear is that once the licence fee is shared there will be nothing to stop it being carved up to meet short-term policy objectives.
Others share this view. The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee is vehemently opposed to what she calls ‘deliberately breaching the unique status of the BBC’ and asks if the destruction of the BBC is ‘really going to be this Labour government’s legacy?’
Continue reading “Whose Service?”
Jeff Jarvis has a great post over at Buzzmachine in which he argues that its time to ‘tear down the broadcast towers’:
My most striking realization since getting my iPhone (love it, thanks for asking) is that radio is doomed. Pandora is a wonder, creating my own radio station, live and on the fly without need for a broadcast tower.
I agree. Here’s something I wrote over two years ago about television…
Rethinking Digital Television
Spending £700 million on digital switchover is perhaps the most foolish waste of public money since the Maginot Line, and will be as effective in stopping the tide of Internet-based programming that is about to sweep over Europe and the rest of the networked world.
Building a dedicated transmission network designed solely to distribute digitally-encoded television over a fixed set of frequencies, so that audio and video can be received by specialised aerials, decoded on single-purpose computers and displayed on screens is an absurd idea when cable companies are already making the switch to IPTV and a general-purpose data network – the Internet – can provide a suitable infrastructure for programme distribution.
Continue reading “Time for digital turnoff”
Here’s what I’ve tagged on del.icio.us on %date%: