Ofcom: A New Framework for Public Service Broadcasting

Ofcom, the UK communications regulator has published the second phase of their review of public service broadcasting. Their review contains a number of proposals intended to enhance and strengthen public broadcasting in the UK to ensure that it is not damaged by the country’s transition to a multichannel, digital market. Ofcom are also keen that the public’s subsidy of the TV market, currently standing at around UK£3 billion (€4.35 billion) should not increase.

The frame work has seven proposals and includes:

  • Supporting a independent, fully-funded public BBC
  • Channel 4 to remain as a non-profit free to air broadcaster capable of entering alliances and joint partnerships with other organisations.
  • A competition to run a new Public Service Publisher using new technologies and distribution systems to meet audience needs – though the BBC is obviously disqualified from entering.

The closing date for responses to the Ofcom report is 24th November 2004, though the review will not be completed until after Phase 3 is published.

Ofcom’s report

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?