BBC to delete 172 unarchived sites, geek saves them for $3.99

The TV people are winning at the BBC, and so they're gutting their online budget, shutting down 172 websites. Many of them won't be archived by the Beeb, left to vanish forever.

But one license payer thinks this is stupid. So he spent $3.99 to crawl and make a torrent out of all the threatened BBC websites. You can download the file and keep it alive, preserving the media that our license fees have paid for even though the BBC can't be arsed to do it themselves.

When I found out the BBC would be deleting 172 of its websites, I spidered and downloaded all of the content under each of these top level directories on the domain. I purchased a $3.99 'low end box' type VPS server and began the crawl. In total this took just under 24hrs – and would have been quicker if I had been less kind to the BBC's servers. For the aforementioned cost of $3.99 for a cup of Starbucks coffee, anyone can obtain, store and keep this content alive and accessible to the general public. And with this torrent I've already done the heavy lifting of retrieving the data for you.

This $3.99/month box is now hosting the content and making it available both via both the web and via bit torrent.

Clearly the BBC has additional costs associated with its size and scale, compounded due to the poor decision to sell off the organization's technical infrastructure to Siemens from whom it now rents those services back from. But even rounding up those 12 cups of coffee/year to £10,000/year, this still represents negligible budget impact and significant license payer value.

Download the bbc.closing.sites.archive.torrent file