BBC Jam suspended

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about BBC Jam after they presented at the Intrallect Future Visions Conference. Today the BBC Trust have announced they are suspending the service from 20th March after after complaints from commercial companies received by the European Commission. It’s always been controversial project, with many commercial vendors complaining about the amount of funding being put into the project and the impact it may have on their business.

I know that this doesn’t really have direct relevance to us in the HE sector, however I do think there are similarities between the BBC and British universities. Neither were set up as commercial companies, but increasingly they are having to adapt their structures to become more and more commercially viable. They are both affected by changes in technology – particularly the web.

Call me old fashioned, but I do believe in the Reithian values of BBC to educate, inform and entertain and I’ve never minded paying my licence fee as I do believe the BBC give incredible value for money. There have been some arguments that the BBC’s online development is pushing out new start ups – which I’m not sure I totally agree as I think, that mostly the BBC webpresence has helped to set standards for web design and usability. I just hope that now considerable work has been done in producing resources (not all done in-house either) that the suspension is temporary and people will be able to access the content again soon.

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