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Subscription-free broadband TV services could now be set to become a reality after the BBC gave its backing to Project Canvas.

The initiative – a partnership between the BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and broadband provider TalkTalk – is geared at developing an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Standard.

Diane Coyle of the BBC Trust told BBC UK News that the project will allow people with a broadband connection to access a wide range of on-demand content free of charge through their TV sets.

She claimed that the scheme "will deliver significant public value for licence fee payers".

However, the BBC Trust has imposed several conditions on the project, including that viewers must be able to watch BBC programmes without a subscription.

A Trust review, 12 months after the project's launch, will assess the effects Canvas has on the success of the scheme, while the BBC will require further approval if costs exceed those estimated by more than 20 per cent.

Earlier this month, Neil Berkett, Chief Executive at Virgin Media, told the Guardian's Organ Grinder blog that he was concerned at the prospect of Project Canvas developing an IPTV monopoly.

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