ONdigital becomes first broadcaster to join ICRA

10 October 2000

ONdigital BECOMES FIRST BROADCASTER TO JOIN THE INTERNET CONTENT RATING ASSOCIATION

World leading interactive digital television broadcaster Ondigital, who recently launched ONnet, has become the first TV broadcaster to join the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA), one of the world's foremost labelling and filtering systems for Internet content.

ICRA is an independent non-profit organisation, currently working with content providers and industry bodies to develop a new filtering system which will give content providers a tool to label their sites and parents a filtering device which they set at their own levels to control what their children see.

With offices in the UK and the USA, ICRA'S aim is to protect children from potentially harmful material on the Internet, whilst protecting the content providers' freedom of expression.

As ONdigital brings the Internet into the living room through the television the broadcaster and Interactive services company has moved to involve itself at the cutting edge of parental confidence and security issues on the Web.

The ONnet package provides ONdigital subscribers with a free cordless keyboard, free net top box, video and voice grab email, picture-in-picture as well full Internet access for 5 a month.

A paperback book-sized ONdigital box reconfigures the web pages to make them look sharp and clear on the TV screen so users can surf from the comfort of their sofas without struggling to make out what is on the screen.

Stuart Prebble, ONdigital's Chief Executive says: "The television is set to become the way millions of people access the Internet, and as a broadcaster and now an Internet provider we wanted to be able to support the work that ICRA is doing.

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership and look forward to working with ICRA and its other members in this very important area, as the Internet and Television continue to move closer."

ICRA Executive Director Stephen Balkam says: "ONdigital represents the first organisation to join ICRA that crosses converging technological mediums. We are very excited at the prospect of their involvement with ICRA and welcome them onto the board."

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For further information please contact:

ONdigital
Mark Woods
Tel: +44 (0)20 7819 8542
Biss Lancaster contact here, eg: ICRA - Susan Hayes
Tel: +44 (0)207 539 2670
Notes for editors:

ICRA:
The Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) is an independent non-profit organisation with offices in the UK and the USA. ICRA's mission is to protect children from potentially harmful material on the Internet, whilst protecting the content providers' freedom of expression.

ICRA is currently developing a new global system which will provide content providers with a tool to label their content objectively and parents with a device to filter content according to what they feel is appropriate for their children to view. The revised ICRA system will be launched in two parts - the labeling system for content providers will be available later this year and the filtering systems for parents will be available in 2001.

ICRA works in partnership with content providers toward the responsible development and growth of the Internet and is supported by AOL, Bell Canada, The Bertelsmann Foundation, BT, Cable & Wireless, Demon Internet, Electronic Network Consortium, EuroISPA, Geotrust, IBM, Internet Watch Foundation, Microsoft Corp, Network Solutions Inc, Novell, Software and Information Industry Association, T-Online, Thus and UUNet - as well as ONdigital.

ICRA owns and operates the RSACi (Recreational Software Advisory Council for the Internet) rating and filtering system, which is integrated into Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator. The RSACi system provides customers with information about the level of sex, nudity, violence, and offensive language in websites.

ONdigital:
ONnet requires connection to a normal telephone line; the ONnet box is provided free on loan for as long as a subscription is maintained. The ONnet service is only available to ONdigital subscribers. ONdigital subscriptions start from 6.99 a month.

ONdigital's Head of Interactive Services Tony Moretta will represent the company on the ICRA board.