BBC digital receives a low-key makeover

All online, interactive TV and text services have been relaunched under the BBCi brand
Written by Wendy McAuliffe, Contributor

The BBC has quietly relaunched all of its interactive services under a single brand name, in its first step towards driving digital take-up in Britain.

All BBC online, interactive TV and digital text services were brought under the "BBCi" banner on Wednesday, to provide a uniform format for its information, education and education services. The redesign is intended to merge all interactive platforms into one, to make it easier for BBC audiences to access emerging digital platforms in the future.

"This is phase one of our roll-out -- letting people know that there is now a new name for all of our digital services," said a BBC spokesman. "It was always planned as a low-key launch. Phase two is scheduled for the early part of 2002."

The government's deadline for the analogue switch-off in Britain is 2010. But before everything becomes digital, 99.4 percent of UK households must be able to receive free-to-air digital channels according to stipulations laid down by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports.

Incorporated into the BBC's public service remit is a commitment to help the government drive digital take-up in Britain. "Our aim is to create a networked Britain where people can get British-made content through new technologies that aren't going to go away," said the BBC spokesman.

The TV and radio broadcaster is using its new media budget -- derived from licence-fee revenue -- to launch a completely new Web navigation system along with the redesign. The BBCi logo will appear on all the BBC's digital text services and across all pages of bbc.co.uk, to let readers know that there is interactive content attached. Interactive information is available at a local level.

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