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Mac, Linux BBC iPlayers in the offing, says PM

Not that I control the Beeb or anything

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The Beeb's controversial decision to roll out its iPlayer TV-over-IP platform on Windows only seems to have been overruled, presumably by its own governing body.

More than 16,000 people (or accounts, anyway) signed up to a petition posted on the Prime Minister's e-Petitions site, saying that:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the BBC from making its iPlayer on-demand television service available to Windows users only, and instruct the corporation to provide its service for other operating systems also."

That would, of course, be a pretty naughty move by the PM, as the Beeb is supposed to be independent.

Now the government's response has been posted, saying:

"The BBC Trust has responsibility for ensuring that the correct degree of scrutiny is given to all proposals from the BBC Executive for new services (such as the iPlayer) ... the Trust conducted a Public Value Test on the BBC Executive's proposals to launch new on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer. This included a public consultation and a market impact assessment by Ofcom. In the case of the iPlayer, following the consultation, the Trust noted the strong public demand for the service to be available on a variety of operating systems. The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC's on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible. They will measure the BBC's progress on this every six months and publish the findings."

Or, in other words, why are you asking us here at 10 Downing Street? We don't run the Beeb.

The Trust apparently had it in hand all along, and the Government didn't have to do a thing - which is how it should be, as the Beeb is supposed to resist gov meddling. (Though dependent on it for the power to collect licence fees.)

Just how soon we'll see a Mac or Linux iPlayer, though, is open to question. ®

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