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OFT Gives Green Light To Project Canvas

The Office of Fair Trading has given its approval to Project Canvas, the name given to the ambitious joint venture from some of the biggest names in telecommunications and media which aims at building an "open internet-connected TV platform".

Project Canvas director Richard Halton said in a statement that "The Project Canvas partners welcome the decision from the OFT, which confirms our analysis and sets the scene for the final stage of the regulatory process."

Canvas is brings together BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Talktalk and Arqiva which bought the technology behind the defunct project Kangaroo.

The plan is to come up with something akin to Freeview and Freesat but for broadband users to complement terrestrial or satellite transmission.

Some may point out to the fact that Canvas is a mere reincarnation, albeit in a slightly different mould, of Kangaroo. The latter was canned by the Competition Commission last year who said that it was detrimental to a nascent video on demand sector.

Both Virgin Media and Sky vehemently opposed the project in either format saying that it could distort the market.

Sky attacked it saying that it amounted to state aid as the BBC was the driving force behind the project, which to a certain extent emanates from the corporation's popular iPlayer.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.