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TechUK calls for BBC to be 'technology neutral'

Believes part of the BBC's remit is to support digital industries

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Industry technology association TechUK has called on the BBC to include shaping its new remit around the digital industries.

The current BBC Royal Charter comes to an end in December 2016, and work is already underway to address what a new Charter will look like for the public sector broadcaster.

The Charter is the constitutional basis for the BBC and is in effect the guidelines within it must operate.

The first major investigation into the issue has come in the form of an inquiry by the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. TechUK has already submitted two written responses to the inquiry focusing on the BBC's role in technology within the digital radio and television markets.

Both responses focus on what role the BBC should play in developing technology and new ways of distributing content.

TechUK has also written to the chair of the committee, John Whittingdale MP, emphasising that the BBC has a pivotal role to play in promoting UK technology, and re-iterating that this must be an integral part of the committee's consideration.

TechUK said "it is vital that the impact of the BBC upon the UK technology market is adequately understood" and as "one of the largest and most innovative public service broadcasters in the world, the BBC is capable of having a significantly positive or negative impact on the UK consumer technology market".

It said decisions taken by the BBC with regards to technology roadmaps and distribution methods "not only have an impact on the cost of devices and services to UK consumers", but "also on the very competitiveness and sustainability of the UK technology sector itself".

TechUK says there should be three principles included within a future BBC remit, in order to "prevent a negative impact on consumer markets".

These are:

The BBC should be technology neutral - all actions undertaken by the BBC in terms of content, enhanced services and platform development must be done in a technology neutral way, that encourages an open and competitive landscape.

The BBC should proactively contribute to global broadcasting technology development - actions undertaken by the BBC must help to ensure that UK tech remains at the forefront of global broadcasting standards development and implementation.

The BBC should support alternative commercial services alongside its own - to support the development and delivery of alternative commercial services alongside its own content and delivery networks.


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