Channel 4 in the UK is planning to launch a broadband television channel dedicated to documentaries.

The plans were revealed by chief executive Andy Duncan at an Ofcom seminar. He said the service is intended to demonstrate the internet is becoming increasingly important for public service broadcasting. The channel also plans to double the budget for public service internet sites.

A decision has still to be made as to whether to charge for the broadband service.

The BBC also has plans for a broadband video-on-demand service and has previously announced that it will make extracts of its archive available online.

The regulator Ofcom recently floated the idea of a public service publisher to take advantage of new digital distribution technologies. A number of groups have expressed an interest in concept, and the prospect of public service money. Ofcom has indicated that the BBC would not be eligible to apply.