BBC signs WiFi deal

BBC signs WiFi deal

Partnership with The Cloud will give viewers free access to broadcaster's online services

The BBC has signed a deal with wireless network operator The Cloud to offer its customers online services over WiFi free of charge.

Customers with any WiFi enabled device will be able to surf the BBC's web site in all 7,500 of The Cloud's hotspots without paying a log-in or subscription fee.

The deal with The Cloud was about widening the reach of BBC content, said the BBC's director of future media and technology Ashley Highfield.

“And is the first of what I hope will be a number of relationships with WiFi operators,” said Highfield.

Downloading BBC programmes or streaming video will have to be done on a laptop initially. But the BBC’s aim is for users will be able to download programmes onto portable devices.

The BBC also announced a strategic relationship with Adobe for the delivery of web video.

Using Flash player software, the BBC will make its free catch-up TV service - BBC iPlayer -available as a streaming service across Apple Macs and Linux, as well as Windows, by the end of year.

Users will have the ability to stream versions of TV programmes inside a web browser, watch shared videos, embed programmes on their own web sites such as Facebook and blogs.

Currently only Windows XP users can use iPlayer, downloading programmes on to their PC and keeping them for up to 30 days.