British Telecom picks Microsoft platform for IPTV

British Telecom has announced it will use Microsoft's TV IPTV software platform to deliver video-on-demand over broadband in the United Kingdom.The move comes just one week after Telstra said it had cancelled its field test of the platform.

British Telecom has announced it will use Microsoft's TV IPTV software platform to deliver video-on-demand over broadband in the United Kingdom.

The move comes just one week after Telstra said it had cancelled its field test of the platform.

BT said on Wednesday it plans to offer a combination of over-the-air Freeview broadcast with a broadband video-on-demand subscription service. There were no plans to go into broadband TV broadcast because of the logistics involved.

"We want to deliver a seamless video-streaming service combined with digital terrestrial channels in a two-in-one box," said a BT spokesperson. "The combination of Microsoft technology with BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) will result in an exciting set of next-generation entertainment and communication services," he claimed.

BT's 21CN project will see its circuit-switched networks replaced with a single IP-based network. The launch of the IPTV service could encourage broadband take-up.

Broadband already has widespread availability in the UK, with BT reaching five million connections in March this year. By the summer of 2005 BT expects to have broadband-enabled enough local exchanges to give 99.6 percent of UK homes and businesses access to high-speed Internet access.

Renai LeMay contributed to this report.