Sunday, March 27, 2005

BBC furious at Dutch website that searches teletext

The BBC is said to be furious at a website based in the Netherlands that permits users to find content on its BBC1 and BBC2 analogue teletext service Ceefax, as well as the Aertel service of Irish public broadcaster RTE. A report in the Financial Times says that the BBC is taking steps to have the site shut down.

The site has been set up by Hendrik Noorderhaven, a computer consultant and former candidate for the European parliament. He doesn't believe he has broken any laws. It appears to be part of a larger project to include other teletext services, as the domain has also been registered and contains a holding page marked 'under construction'.

The site should be popular amongst British expats in the Netherlands who view BBC via the Dutch cable. Since the cable companies started relaying the digital satellite feed of BBC1 and BBC2, there is only a very limited version of Ceefax, and BBCi - which replaces Ceefax on the BBC's digital services - is not available at all.

The site, which can be viewed by anyone in the world, is very fast, and we were able to locate and display pages containing search terms much more quickly than using teletext on a TV set.

(Thanks to Ray Woodward for help with this item).

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