BSkyB takes dig at BBC role

BSkyB says that the BBC’s role in promoting broadband could distort the market and distract the BBC from its key purpose, which is to make programmes.

Lord Stephen Carter, the UK’s broadcasting minister, is currently suggesting that the BBC should use cash from the obligatory Licence Fee to help boost broadband’s take up in Britain.

“The suggestion that the BBC should become involved in driving broadband take-up by setting technical standards and developing new platforms raises concerns,” says Sky. “As well as the potential for market distortion and illegal State aid, it sets a dangerous precedent and risks distracting the BBC from its core purpose, which is to invest in public service content and to make it widely available to licence fee payers on whichever platforms and services they choose to use.”

Additionally, BSkyB argues that Lord Carter’s suggestion ignores the growing contribution from the pay TV sector. It is also inconsistent with [the government’s Digital Britain] approach to broadband, where more people paying (a monthly subscription) for broadband access is seen to be in the public interest.”