The British Broadcasting Corporation will suspend its educational website BBC Jam! from March 20 following complaints from the commercial sector that the success of the website is unfairly disadvantaging the private sector.
The BBC is funded by an annual license fee in the UK paid by every home that owns a television (most of them), and the corporation has a budget of more than £4 billion ($7.8 billion) per year. The corporation walks a tightrope between fulfilling its mandate to "inform, educate and entertain" using public money and not stifling commercial enterprise. For example the BBC maintains one of the largest news gathering organizations in the world, and BBC News Online is the most visited news website anywhere on the planet.
BBC Jam! has over 170,000 registered users aged between 5 - 16, and the BBC took the decision to halt the site after complaints were made by commercial businesses in the education sector that the success of the BBC Jam! site adversely affects the sector as a whole. The BBC Trust, which oversees the corporations activities, will now conduct a Public Value Test in order to weigh the value of the service against its impact on the commercial sector.