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Vodafone says it can't offer free access to BBC Bitesize
by Paul Hill
Vodafone has told BBC News that it will not offer free access to the BBC Bitesize educational materials as BT, EE and Plusnet did last week. The mobile carrier said that its technical team have assessed the possibility of zero-rating Bitesize but concluded that it's not possible to offer free access without giving users free access to the whole of the BBC website.
Explaining why it’s not possible for Vodafone to do, the firm’s general counsel and external affairs director Helen Lamprell said:
Lamprell also said that, by zero-rating Bitesize, it would give the site an advantage over other education websites and could go against the firm’s legal obligations to maintain net neutrality. While Ofcom is mandated with ensuring net neutrality, Vodafone probably would have been safe from ramifications given that the closing of schools is quite extraordinary. Instead of zero-rating Bitesize, Vodafone has offered 350,000 free SIM cards to disadvantaged children to get them online.
BT told BBC that zero-rating Bitesize alone is technically difficult and can be costly, however, it affirmed that it’s not impossible to do which contradicts what Vodafone has said today. EE will offer Bitesize for free by the end of the month and customers will not have to register to take advantage of the offer.
Source: BBC News
BT to zero-rate BBC Bitesize content to help with homeschooling
by Paul Hill
BT has announced that its customers will have unlimited access to BBC Bitesize content by the end of the month. The agreement between BT and the BBC will also extend to EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet Mobile customers as these are all owned by BT.
By zero-rating BBC Bitesize, customers will be able to read, watch and interact with content without using up any of their data allowance; this will help parents who have been forced to home school their children due to the coronavirus pandemic to save money and get access to vital content. This is not the first time a mobile carrier has zero-rated essential resources, Three has also zero-rated NHS 101, NHS websites and video consultations.
Commenting on the arrangement, BBC Director General Tim Davie said:
To make access as easy as possible, the new zero-rating will automatically be applied to customers’ packages and no extra registration will be needed. The mobile carrier said that the scheme will come to an end as schools reopen across the country later in the year.
By Steven P.
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Anyone else watching DEVS on BBC2? I'm up to episode 6 of 8, and really enjoying it.
I believe it's on Hulu as well.
BBC iPlayer breaks on several Samsung smart TVs, patches rolling out in the coming weeks
by Paul Hill
The BBC catch-up service, iPlayer, has stopped working on several Samsung smart TVs due to a “software glitch”. Samsung has reportedly begun issuing a software update to fix the issue but some older models will have to wait until the new year to receive the fix. As a consequence, the BBC estimates that tens of thousands of TVs will be unable to use iPlayer over the Christmas period.
The issue was caused by a security certificate expiring over the weekend, the new firmware update will mean TVs have updated security certificates which will allow content to be streamable again. According to the BBC, Samsung was supposed to have issued the update before the old certificate expired but this oversight means many will not be able to use iPlayer for the next couple of weeks.
Commenting on the issue, Samsung said:
If your Samsung TV is affected by this issue you can press the Menu or Settings button on your remote, head to Support > Software Update > Update Now or Support > Software Update > Online. Once you’ve reached that part, just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update. Those with models sold between 2013 and 2015 will have to wait until the new year comes in before the update is available.
Source: BBC News