The BBC will play a central role in driving broadband services in the UK.

The company has plans – including downloadable TV-on-demand – to harness the broadband Internet, reports Computing magazine. It is looking for partners in government and industry to further its plans, the report states.

BT this week announced that the UK now has three million broadband customers. A BBC spokesperson told Computing: "While the numbers of broadband users was pretty low we didn't consider it an effective use of public funds but the tipping point, with exponential growth rates, came this year and it has made us really focus on broadband.

"The BBC is in a good position to be an innovator and seed the market, to get people more aware of broadband content and to drive demand," the spokesperson said.

Computing's exclusive report carries further information regarding the BBC's plans for broadband TV-on-demand services.

Industry observers predict broadband-based movie-on-demand services will appear in the next two years. Apple offers the world's biggest and best-visited movie trailer download Web site.