The BBC had planning meetings to explore the possibility of providing a cheap broadband service to UK homes. Ashley Highfield told the Guardian newspaper: “A few people have come together to see if we could put a low-end connected PC into the market. Could we do it? I don’t know, but we would have to be clear about why.”
This is something that’s obviously been on Ashley Highfield’s mind as he hinted at a service in response to a question from our own Simon Perry at the FT New Media and Broadcasting conference back in March.
Mr Highfield is determined to overcome the UK’s perceived “digital divide” by perhaps offering a low-cost terminal and connection, in a similar fashion to the successful Freeview service.
Highfield also has plans for a new BBC search engine, to help break up the American dominance of the search engine field. With all major search engines owned by American organisations, a British internet search funded by the license fee was welcomed by the Graf report.