Sky challenges Canvas security

By Julian Clover | May 12, 2009

BSkyB has tapped into the industry mood, describing the BBC Executive’s proposals for Canvas as incomplete, and challenging the technical security of the concept.

In its response to the BBC’s proposals for the IP-based on demand delivery platform, a copy of which has been obtained by Broadband TV News, Sky says that while the BBC claims to be looking to build on the Freesat and Freeview platforms, the proposals do not say how this will be achieved. It points to the need for wide-ranging co-operation between competitors if the BBC’s goals are to be achieved.

“The Executive does not make clear how the BBC proposes to create an “open environment”, how it is intended to be “standards based”, what “technical specification” it is referring to, or who will create and develop it and how,” says the Sky submission. It goes on to question whether security standards will be employed in order to allow interoperability with pay-TV providers through their own electronic programme guide.

Sky questions the lack of detail on the EPG elements of the BBC Canvas proposal including who would design and operate the guide. ‘The lack of engagement by the Trust on these fundamental issues also brings into question the BBC Trust’s understanding of the importance of such matters to the overall proposition suggested by the Proposals”.

The satcaster calls on the Trust to subject the proposals to the highest level of scrutiny, including a full Public Value Test, including a market impact assessment by the commercial regulator Ofcom.