Friday, February 23, 2007

KCC TV - My Personal Take on Local Government TV

The very first public sector 'digital' TV station was called DKTV(AKA 'Smart Communities') DKTV was launched in the winter of 2000 by a consortium including the European Commission, the London boroughs of Newham and Camden, the Housing Corporation and NHS Direct. Others involved were the BBC and Andersen Consulting and I almost forgot, I was one of the Directors.

DKTV's stated objective was to provide a free iTV service that would connect people to public service providers via digital satellite, cable and video-on-demand platforms. Within months of launch it managed to get the first few services trialled in Newham in August 2001. This was followed by Camden with its first official DKTV scheme on 25 February to 1,600 homes.

After launching succesfully it ran for almost two years and then fell on its backside, when central government decided not to continue with a 'promised' part of the funding for 2002/3. The result, big losses and embarrassment for the local authorities that had invested public money, losses of jobs and a complete loss of the intellectual property and experience that went into the project.

So mention the "KCC TV" internet public information television project to me and you'll hear less than a positive response. Incidentally, I resigned when it became clear that the project couldn't continue without serious funding having tried to negotiate with the Cabinet Office for the money that the project "thought" was already secured. Here's on of the early press releases and here's an analysis of where it went wrong.

I wonder if KCC are aware of the history and the challenges involved in running such a project.


Poor local taxpayer said...

The spreading affliction in modern Britain seems to be the taking on of tasks and projects by individuals or by organisations that have no real mandate or expertise to do them; e.g. the recent news that casualty depts are interviewing and taking statements from victims of assaults; surely the police should stick to policing and upholding the law whilst casualty depts treat the sick and injured?

It is not in KCC's remit to run a TV station. It should confine itself to efficient administration of Local Government. Council tax-payers have enough demands on their purses without adding to the cost of running KCC. It does of course create extra posts and scope for managers to preen their egos by 'appearing on TV' as well as creating an excellent propaganda platform and I am sure an array of justifications can be produced to argue why it is necessary. If KCC TV was to be part funded by all those promoting it taking a salary cut, what support would it have?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

BTW,Doc, your link to analysis is dead.

DrMoores said...

Link repaired - Thank you