iPlayer Petition Gets Bland Response From Gordon Brown

iPlayer Open Beta: A Flawed GemThere was a petition put on to the Number 10 Web Site questioning if the iPlayer should only be available on the Microsoft platform. On the last look it had 16,071 signatures on it from members of the public concerned about it as well.

Just now the Prime Minister issued his response.

Summary – We, the government, set up the BBC Trust, They’ll carried out the Public Value Test. The Trust made it a condition of approving the iPlayer that it work over multiple platforms and the BBC Trust has “given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible. ”

The key word here obviously are the wonderfully meaningless “as soon as possible.”

Anyone who has the vaguest idea of what day of the week it is knows that the multiple platform support should have been implemented from the outset, not “as soon as possible. ”

Trying to change a single platform solution that has been completed, finalised and in mass beta, is not the time to start trying to jam in support for other platforms.

In our view either the BBC Trust has had the wool pulled over their eyes on this, or they can have no-one on the board or advising them with the correct impartial technical knowledge.

Here’s the whole statement in full

The Government set up the BBC Trust to represent the interests of licence fee payers, and to ensure good governance of the BBC.

The BBC Trust has responsibility for ensuring that the correct degree of scrutiny is given to all proposals from the BBC Executive for new services (such as the iPlayer) and any significant changes to existing services. To fulfill this duty, the Trust conducted a Public Value Test on the BBC Executive’s proposals to launch new on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer.

This included a public consultation and a market impact assessment by Ofcom. In the case of the iPlayer, following the consultation, the Trust noted the strong public demand for the service to be available on a variety of operating systems.

The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC’s on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible.

They will measure the BBC’s progress on this every six months and publish the findings.

We wonder if there’s anyone who has set up a petition on the Number 10 Web site who feels that they’ve had a satisfactory response. Without action the site is nothing more than a collector for hot air and an attempt to fool the public into thinking that their concerns are being listened to.

5 thoughts on “iPlayer Petition Gets Bland Response From Gordon Brown”

  1. This is essentially a copy and paste job from the report given by the BBC Trust. A fob off “we’ll monitor the situation and at some point (in the far future) you’ll get a version”. What is the point of even petitioning the government if they won’t do anything?!

  2. Not everyone wants to or uses Windows.
    There are already hundreds of biased software developers out there and an “un-biased” company such as the BBC should try to support every OS and not just the one most commonly used one.

    Its good to see that the government recognizes other platforms such as Linux and Mac and is trying to get the BBC to recognize them.

  3. @James – I’m completely with you. PM Petition = hot air.

    @Pete – Good positive approach from you, but this “as soon as possible” phrase strikes me as being far too elastic. “We’ll review it after 6 months,” is far to long a time frame to find out that it hasn’t been done again.

    It strikes me that the BBC can’t provide a multi-platform solution without Microsoft getting finished.

    I suspect we’ll see the Mac version released (when MS finish the Silverlight support), then – eventually – the Linux, IF or when they get around to support it.

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