Issue 20 * October 2010 Constituency noticeboard
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YouView has been revealed as the brand that will bring a new free-to-air internet-connected TV service to UK homes next year. Formerly known as Project Canvas, YouView is an equal partnership between BT, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Five. When it launches in the first half of 2011, viewers will have the choice of a subscription-free set top box that will combine digital TV with 7 day's catch-up and a huge range of on-demand and interactive extras, enabling people to easily see what’s on now alongside everything they’ve missed.
Set top boxes will include a personal video recorder so viewers can pause live TV or record an entire series at the touch of a button. Viewers will also be able to simply search for the kind of programmes they like by genre, interest or locality, including films, sports and new content from the internet. Plans to offer an applications store will also give viewers new types of services and levels of interactivity with their favourite programmes.
As an open TV system, YouView will stimulate competition in the TV platforms market and increase the range and number of opportunities for content providers and device manufacturers. It is developing a set of common standards, and by making these widely available to manufacturers it aims to create a competitive market for devices to give consumers the widest possible choice. YouView will also have no direct editorial control over the content on the platform, and as an open access service it will give all types of creative organisations, particularly local TV a previously unavailable route to the living room TV screen and opportunity to build an audience.
YouView set top boxes will be available for a one-off fee, with no contract. They may be offered at special rates as part of new or improved broadband packages. To get the full range of on-demand and interactive services, viewers will need a broadband connection from BT or their chosen internet service provider.
BT and Cornwall County Council have announced a £132m project announced that will give between 80 and 90 per cent of local businesses and homes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, access to super-fast fibre broadband by 2014. It will benefit thousands of businesses and provide 4,000 new local jobs. Businesses and homes outside the fibre footprint in the more remote locations will also receive faster speeds than today through a mix of alternative technologies such as advanced copper, wireless and satellite broadband.
The new super-fast broadband network will make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly one of the best connected locations in the world by its completion in 2014. The project illustrates what can be achieved with private and public sector collaboration to bring super fast broadband services to areas where the economics would otherwise make it difficult to do so. Cornwall Council, the South West RDA and the Convergence Programme all worked in tandem with BT to find this solution. BT's contribution is £78.5m whilst the European ERDF Convergence Programme investment will be up to £53.3 m - the single biggest investment backed by European regional funding in England.
Channel 4 has signed agreements with BT and Sainsbury’s to become joint sponsors of programming related to the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Channel 4. The two deals will see BT and Sainsbury’s share sponsorship equally across a variety of programmes broadcast across the Channel 4 network leading up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as the live coverage and highlights shows broadcast during the Games themselves. The dual sponsorship also covers Channel 4’s new website dedicated to the Paralympic Games, www.channel4.com/paralympics.
As part of a UK wide survey, BT is offering to enable the five exchanges where there is the most demand for super-fast broadband.
If you would like help in promoting this to your constituents, please contact us.
BT has launched the ‘Big Voice’ competition, giving students and young people across the UK the opportunity to produce a film around the themes of diversity and inclusion. Young people who enter the Big Voice competition can win £1,000, as well as film production advice and support from their local media college. The winning team will also see their film shown on giant screens in 19 city centre locations that form the London 2012 Live Site network.
Visit www.bt.com/2012education for more information or contact us for help in promoting this in your constituency.
BT has launched a new campaign, Get IT Together, calling for the internet-savvy to become ‘surfer supporters’ and coach their friends and family how to get online. BT, which has continuously worked since 2002 to tackle the digital divide, has provided a new suite of resources at www.bt.com/getittogether to help people make their friend’s first steps online as simple as possible.
Anyone who registers to help a friend online during Get Online Week (18-24 October) will be entered into a prize draw to win two Netbooks and free BT Openzone internet access – one for them and one for the friend they get online. Those who register will be directed to online training courses designed by UK Online Centres, with whom BT is partnering on the campaign.
For policy enquiries please contact:
Tim O'Sullivan, Director of Public Affairs
Tel: 020 7356 6593
Fax: 020 7726 0613
For enquiries about constituency issues please contact:
Clova Fyfe, Head of Parliamentary Affairs
Tel: 020 7356 5352
Fax: 020 7726 0613
If you have an enquiry about your own home or business lines including new orders, please call the Parliamentary Helpline on 0800 200 789
(Monday - Friday 8.00am - 6.00pm)