PUBLIC SECT0R: Dedicated digital TV channel dktv launches

The public sector is set to get its first dedicated nationwide

digital TV channel.



dktv (a Different Kind of TV) has raised around £1m from within

the sector to get the channel off the ground.



The biggest single investor, at £280,000, is The Housing

Corporation and staff at the BBC have been brought in to act as

'broadcast advisers'.



Since the launch of a pilot broadcast last week, 600 homes in Newham,

east London, can access dktv, which broadcasts on video-on-demand

service, HomeChoice.



But there are plans to reach hundreds more homes in north London by

November and then take it nationwide next year.



dktv project manager Allen Therisa said talks have started with public

service providers across the UK: 'We have been to places such as

Leicester and Durham to see which public sector organisations want to -

and are able to - work with us.'



Content includes information on access to public services as well as

features on issues such as asylum seekers.



Carl Welham, chair of the IPR's local government group and Reading

council PR chief, welcomed the move but warned that previous channels

like this had flopped.



'Lots of councils have been trying to encourage neighbourhood TV,' he

said. 'In Reading there was a channel called Thames Valley TV for about

three years but it's so difficult for such channels to be commercially

viable.'



Kate Pierce, Newham council PR manager, said it was important to

diversify the way the public sector communicates with residents: 'There

is a sector of residents who do not have access to websites. More people

have digital TV than you think.'



Other financial backers are the European Union, the Department of

Health, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, and Newham and Camden councils.



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