Feeds

Teletext toddles off as licence taken

Smell you later, interactive telly

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

UK regulator Ofcom has revoked the licence that allowed Teletext to broadcast text-based services alongside the TV signal - ending 17 years of independent interactive TV.

The licence under which Teletext transmits its service requires the provision of local information as well as news of some sort, and Teletext pulled those pages back in December, leaving Ofcom little option but to revoke the licence. The regulator did warn Teletext last month, and again earlier this month, but has now issued a final revocation of the licence.

Teletext has been broadcasting a commercial text service since 1993, following the BBC's Ceefax service which launched in the 70s, and these days provides the text service for ITV and Channel 4 - for the moment.

On analogue transmissions both Teletext and Ceefax relied on numbered pages, broadcast in carousel within the video stream. Teletext has always been financed by advertising, while Ceefax relied (and continues to rely) on the licence fee.

Back in 2000 it was fun to tell Americans that the vast majority of UK holidays were bought through interactive TV services, even if the return path was a phone call and the numbers were weighed by the huge number of last-minute bargains which couldn't be advertised any other way.

But the internet supplies that need now, making commercial Teletext a difficult business, and despite making the transition to digital (adding the ability to show pictures!) the service struggles to make money.

So in December last year Teletext pulled its news service along with local information, and today the pages are almost exclusive advertisements for the holidays that once so impressed foreigners.

In December Ofcom warned Teletext that its licence conditions required local information and news, but was told that the company had no intention of reinstating the content, so today Ofcom has revoked its licence to provide the service on both analogue and digital platforms.

Right now the service is still online, and we've not been able to contact Teletext to see how long that will last. But if you're looking for interactive TV then soon you'll find yourself limited to the BBC, or that internet thing that's so popular with the kids these days. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.