The BBC is inviting tenders for the design, build and support of interactive television infrastructure systems as part of a major project to rationalise its architecture.

Known as project Atlas, the initiative seeks to establish a new architecture to support the production and quality assurance of the BBC’s interactive television services across all current digital platforms.

Many of the existing systems were developed in house to support the various technical requirements of satellite, terrestrial and cable television platforms. The BBC is now publishing its requirements in order to allow external suppliers to compete to provide these systems.

The requirement is for the technical specification and development or customisation of software, integration and ongoing annual support.

The project is divided into six components:
Aggregate – aggregation of content into service elements
Service build – creation of platform-independent service descriptions
Marshal – management of platform-specific interactive services
Management – day-to-day management of service production
Fragment test – desktop testing and viewing of service elements
Service view – desktop testing and viewing of service descriptions

Tenders may be submitted for one or more components. The BBC may award more than one contract to single suppliers or consortia, according to the “most economically advantageous tender”.

The procurement was advertised in OJEC, the Official Journal of the European Communities, which publishes details of tenders issued by public bodies.