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Net via radio for schools group has govt ear after all

Talking, but not negotiating

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UBC Media's chief executive Simon Cole tells us that contrary to what Department of Education flaks tell us, meetings have taken place with mandarins on providing schools with Internet access via Digital Radio.

The Sunday Times reported that negotiations between the MXR consortium and the Department of Education were taking place, although a couple of days ago, our own enquiries drew a blank.

It all comes down to what is meant by the term 'negotiation' - a phrase apparently as loaded as 'have sexual relations with that woman' (for our American readers).

Cole says meetings have taken place with making DAB delivered web content but wouldn't characterise them as 'negotiations'. However the Department of Education has asked the consortium for an explanatory paper on how Net-over-DAB would work. UXB provides content for the proposal, and is a consortium member along with Psion (whose WaveFinder DAB device grabs the content), the Grauniad Media Group, Capital Radio, Jazz FM and Ford.

Ford's presence is a reminder of another great use of DAB's remarkable data potential. The motor company distributes one-to-many information to thousands of dealerships, for whom full bi-directional web access might be overkill. The auto industry was quick to jump on satellite Net access as a way of speeding up the delivery of what is essentially broadcast data.

We'll stay... er ... tuned. ®

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