iPlayer petition wins 16,000 signatures

The e-petition, urging the prime minister to request the BBC develops an iPlayer for non-Windows platforms, reaches its deadline today

More than 16,000 people have now signed an e-petition protesting about the way the BBC has rolled out its on-demand TV service, iPlayer.

The deadline for the e-petition on the 10 Downing Street website passes today — and then it is up to the government to issue a response.

The petition urges the prime minister to request the BBC develops an iPlayer for non-Windows platforms.

A beta version of iPlayer was released for public testing on 27 July but the service is currently only available to Windows XP users.

The e-petition argues that the corporation's single platform launch excludes certain groups of the population from using its services and fails to "fit in with the BBC's ethos".

In a statement, the BBC said: "We recognise people's concerns regarding BBC iPlayer only being available via Microsoft XP in the first instance and we are committed to making it as easy as possible to use."

The statement added that developing an iPlayer for Apple Macs and Microsoft Vista is "absolutely on our critical path for this year".

The BBC has previously stated that the iPlayer was launched to the largest audience first — XP users — with other platforms due to follow.

A response to the petition will be made by Downing Street officials or by another relevant government department in the coming weeks.

Each 10 Downing Street e-petition requires 200 signatures to warrant a government response, with each petitioner receiving an email detailing this response.

Business interest group, the Open Source Consortium, has also voiced concerns around the issue and is due to meet with the BBC to discuss how it can be resolved.