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Poor Broadband Means UK Gov Stuck with BBC TV Licence Fee

Thursday, March 25th, 2021 (9:56 am) - Score 14,664
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The Government’s recently proposed idea of replacing the BBC TV Licence fee with a Netflix-style subscription model after 2027 (here), assuming universal coverage of “fast” (or gigabit) broadband is achieved, has been rubbished by a new report from the cross-part DCMS Select Committee.

The new report – ‘The future of public service broadcasting‘ (PDF) – concludes that the Government has “left itself with no option on the licence fee“, not least because it has “failed to put in place the necessary broadband infrastructure that would facilitate other funding mechanisms” in time for the next review.

At present a standard TV licence costs £157.50 per year (up £3 on the previous fee) and that will rise to £159 next month. Part of the issue here, other than the usual political dynamics, is that more and more of us have been switching our viewing habits to consume content on other platforms, such as Netflix, NOW TV, Amazon (Prime Video), Disney+, Apple TV and so forth. As time goes on it is thus becoming increasingly hard to justify the current approach to TV licencing.

The Government’s John Whittingdale MP has thus been busy negotiating with the BBC about the level at which the licence fee should be set from 2022 to 2027 (it’s currently aligned to inflation). One of the proposals could eventually see it being replaced with a Netflix-style subscription model, but Whittingdale said this probably wouldn’t happen until after 2027, when universal coverage of faster broadband can be achieved.

However, the DCMS Select Committee warned that the delays to the Government’s “full fibre broadband rollout” (note: it’s actually now a technology neutral commitment to “gigabit” speeds), meant that a “wholly online public service broadcasting system allowing for universal access is not yet viable.”

The report added that a lack of access to broadband and lack of digital literacy skills could result in “1.8 million households losing television and public service broadcasting services” if they were entirely internet-based. Instead, it concludes by saying that the Government either needs to come out with a “strong alternative to the licence fee” that it can put to Parliament, or “strongly support the current model for at least the next Charter period” (2028 – 2038) and actively aid the BBC in driving down evasion.

Julian Knight MP, DCMS Committee Chair, said:

“It’s clear that the BBC TV licence fee has a limited shelf life in a digital media landscape. However, the Government has missed the boat to reform it. Instead of coming up with a workable alternative, it has sealed its own fate through a failure to develop a broadband infrastructure that would allow serious consideration of other means to fund the BBC.

Not only that, but the Government is effectively allowing the BBC to haemorrhage funds through non-payment of the licence fee as a result of continued speculation over decriminalisation of licence fee evasion, a situation it must bring to an end.

To enable public service broadcasters to compete in a digital world, Ministers must renew broadcasting laws that are nearly 20 years out of date. It’s a question of prominence – too often public service broadcasters lose out on dominant platforms with content that’s hard to find or isn’t branded.

However, there is more that public service broadcasters should be doing for themselves and only by pooling resources can they hope to compete with the likes of Netflix and the platforms. The collaboration by the BBC and ITV on ‘BritBox’ is a striking example of how they can work together to create a ‘one stop shop’ for video on demand content – a model for future work.”

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, originally planned for “full fibre” networks to reach every home by the end of 2025, which virtually the entire industry said was unworkable. The target was then promptly watered-down to be technologically neutral via the adoption of “gigabit” terminology. But expecting universal gigabit coverage by 2025 was also a tall order and so they eventually watered Project Gigabit down to target 85% of premises by the same date, which leaves significant uncertainty about when 100% coverage may be achieved.

In fairness, the report does recognise that even a “decent broadband” (Ofcom’s definition) service with a USO class speed of 10Mbps+ could enable access to online TV services (remember – most terrestrial TV channels are SD or weak HD resolution – the latest video encoding standards can do this via less than 1Mbps of speed), but it also reminds that 190,000 premises can’t even get 10Mbps.

Meanwhile, ISPs said they were concerned that switching TV to broadband could result in a surge in demand, which would put networks under much more strain (reality check – they could cope, but some performance detriment is plausible). In fairness, this is something that should be possible to mitigate via effective pre-planning.

Lest we forget that 2.7 million people (adults) are also unable or unwilling (i.e. via choice, affordability, skills or disability) to use the internet (example). On top of that not everybody has an internet-connected TV and some of those who do would find it difficult to access the same channels via an app, which seems rife for causing mass confusion among those who aren’t as comfortable with technology.

The reality is that the Government probably won’t be able to solve all of these issues by 2027. At this point we’d recommend that sensible readers skip the comment section below because any article about the TV Licence fee almost always descends into an ugly argument over wider disagreements and political tribalism, which tends to corrode any chance of a genuinely constructive debate.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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91 Responses
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    Unplug the aerial, reset the tuner and stop paying an obscene amount of money for this ‘opt out’ cartel.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Absolutely. Unplugged it last year and haven’t looked back. Getting them to cancel the licence is a real faff though. They don’t answer the phones because they’re well aware how many are ringing to cancel, they don’t reply to forms or email on their website either. So you end up having to send a recorded delivery letter to them at

      TV Licensing
      Darlington
      DL98 1TL

      Only then will you get a cancellation and I got a refund for what I’d already paid. It took me 3 months to get them to sort it out and I eventually got 3 month of payments back.

      Friends who’ve cancelled this year I’ve spoke to are really struggling to even get back any back payment. Some are now resorting to small claims.

      The entire BBC should be shut down in my view. Its a woke excuse for what it used to be and is unfit for purpose. The fact they missed the information revolution and sat on their backsides means they missed the train and now rely on an out-dated TV tax.

      IMHO the BBC is ran by a bunch of out of touch, inept, politically correct Karen’s focusing on government misinformation, who love harping on about sexual identity/inclusion and race over-equality in their programming for nothing but ticking boxes about how good they are.

      If that isn’t a reason to leave, what is?

      Broadband may be poor, but that’s just another government excuse. It don’t stop people paying for netflix or Amazon prime does it?

    2. Avatar John says:

      “Getting them to cancel the licence is a real faff though.”

      It really isn’t.
      It took me about 30 seconds to do online.

      https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/telling-us-you-dont-need-a-tv-licence

    3. Avatar Les says:

      How do you do this I have no idea you need to tell people how to do this.

  2. Avatar Name says:

    recently i started thinking about unplugging my tv from aerial and stop paying the tv license fee. i can’t remember when did i watch bbc for the last time.

  3. Avatar adslmax says:

    TV License are the biggest scandal in UK. SCRAP NOW!

  4. Avatar ianh says:

    I honestly cannot imagine what “tv” will be like in 2038.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Propaganda nothing more.

    2. Avatar mr caracal says:

      @Buggerlugz
      Been like that for ages

  5. Avatar borisisgreat says:

    The licence fee is a sustainable model for funding the BBC. The BBC is a valuable national asset that provides well-balanced coverage (both sides get upset) and must be protected at any cost.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      ROFLOL! You should try the Butlins comedy circuit mate, absolutely gold!

    2. Avatar Haroon says:

      People are stupid why should I pay for the peodohile at the bbc and why are we hiding behind this excuse of national treasure it’s out of date argument it simple if you dont use a service why should you pay for it

    3. Avatar Graycoll says:

      Are you David Dimbleby?

      BBC has had its day.. and that day ended in the 80s.

  6. Avatar FerroceneCloud says:

    Well Openreach have just enabled FTTP in my area, which I was a bit surprised about as I was originally just outside the catchment area, and I expected the work to complete in a year or so. I can’t say I’m sorry to no longer be stuck between 2Mbps DSL and Virgin Media’s HFC and reliability issues.

    One less property to worry about at least. Somehow I doubt I’ll have to worry about contention any time soon.

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    “The licence fee is a sustainable model for funding the BBC”

    More likely to fund the pockets of the politburo of the BBC…

  8. Avatar Orbit says:

    Surely they could repurpose the TV license collection guys to be onsite technical support for the elderly, to help set-up their IPTV’s? They must spend a fortune having these guys scare and harass the public, why not have them do a job they could be proud of instead?

    1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      I’m very happy if they continue to “scare and harass” the pirates and freeloaders, long may this continue!

    2. Avatar Orbit says:

      why? with a netflix style login and payment system they would be obsolete anyway and the people with a TV who don’t want the BBC have a choice (almost like living in a democracy). That’s a far more managable system then unencrypted open broadcasting and then paying people to peer creepily through curtains.

      The bbc license guys did a great job of mail dropping my Grandads flat for 2 years after he died (and yes we did tell them repeatably). There’s your license fee well spent, on the true heroes of the high seas!

  9. Avatar NE555 says:

    I don’t see the necessity of linking the charging model to the delivery model.

    For one thing, the BBC is not just TV. What about national and local radio? Concerts and orchestras? BBC News website? Should TV viewers subsidise those as well?

    In any case, even if it were decided that BBC TV should be a subscription service, it could still be delivered over the air. Many set-top boxes and modern TVs already have a CAM/CI card slot, even if they are not IP-enabled.

  10. Avatar Optimist says:

    If the BBC does not want to be funded by advertising, it encrypt its broadcasts so viewers would have to pay a subscription to view. Top Up TV did this some years ago.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      If it actually had anything worth watching any more.

    2. Avatar Optimist says:

      I see that the Telegraph’s Andrew Orlowski has made the very same point!
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/03/25/scrap-bbc-licence-fee-tomorrow/

  11. Avatar DefundTheBeeb says:

    I haven’t paid them a penny in 7 years now.

    There’s absolutely nothing I want to watch on BBC, and I despise the fact that if I want to watch another channel I have to pay BBC for it. Quite happy with Youtube, Netflix, Prime and Disney+

    Boring British Content be damned.

    1. Avatar Anna says:

      Agreed! And Netflix reversed it’s geo ban using VPN so the whole world is open again 🙂

      I only pay £3 a month for Netflix – happy days!

      I had Sky TV for over 2 years and never had a licence – I don’t care either

    2. Avatar TvTaxMan says:

      Netflix £6 a month, over 12 months = £72
      Amazon prime £8 a month = £96 (and you get free delivery, twitch, other benefits)

      Both together = £168

      Cost of BBC TV tax in a year £157, not at all worth it IMHO , to watch boring baking problems and people dancing? nah.

    3. Avatar Graycoll says:

      Totally agree. Plus it is a scandal that commercial channels are subject to this BBC scam.

      Gave up my licence last year and have convinced three other family households to do same. We haven’t looked back and pay for what we actually want.

  12. Avatar Qwerty says:

    Good grief this report stinks of nothing more then an excuse to continue to rub the bellies of the rich executives at the Beeb and keep liberalism on mainstream TV.
    I mean I personally can’t see a problem with forcing the BBC to use advertising revenue, like everyone else does. And I guaranteed draconian income for the Beeb until 2038, how wonderfully convenient for them.
    I’m disgusted, if they can find billions for a train track, millions to investigate billions for a tunnel to Ireland and spend billions on the worlds most expensive nuclear power plant, that isn’t any better then any other plant, but yet they are useless at removing the rip off licence fee and blame their own incompetence and lack of willingness to fund its fast broadband roll out as an excuse.

    I finally lost all and any respect for the BBC the day it came out they deliberately harboured paedophiles to line their own pockets.
    Disgraceful.

    1. Avatar Anna says:

      They did a cheap and unfunny version of all by my self for “fill the fat cats pockets night” last week – was totally lame as they didn’t think of that when they were putting Saville in the kids wards!

    2. Avatar Anonymous says:

      What planet is QWERTY on? Or are they smoking something strong!?!

      To say they “deliberately harboured paedophiles to line their own pockets.” is absolutely stupid and ridiculous thing to say. Care to name anyone in public, or scared of defamation?

      Put your money where your mouth is and state names, else simply shut up spouting nonsense!

      If you watched the news at the time, the BBC was probably the most critical and analytical in going over history, evidence etc. You had no idea what a manipulating character Saville was in gaining trust from all levels of people including his victims.

    3. Avatar BantheBeeb says:

      Anonymous: BBC knew. They covered it up. Therefore they’re complicit.

      They might have come out afterwards and condemned it ( I mean, they had to really ) but even Johnny Rotten said he heard about it and it was common knowledge in a BBC interview in 1978 but the beeb censored him. They knew. They did nothing. They hid the truth. And I bet there are still some dinosaurs in the beeb that were in the know too but did nothing or worse, covered it up.

      Stop acting like BBC are perfect little angles and nobody knew anything.

      Rotten to the core.

  13. Avatar Ted says:

    Aww that’s sweet. The BBC (Ministry of Truth) are scared because more and more people are refusing to pay for the extremist anti-white, anti-British pro-hate racist platform. 🙂

    1. Avatar Moses says:

      So just because there people of colour on there, that’s somehow to you anti-white? you’re the one here being (indirectly racist here) there millions of white British people in the BBC that are doing just fine, I hardly see how they’re being anti-british, skynews has a lot of white brits, C$ too, and ITV in many new cooperation in the UK the majority of the work force in British news are white, You’re here wasting time spitting out baseless facts in your mom’s basement.

    2. Avatar Moses says:

      C4*

    3. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      I know where he’s coming from and its not racist at all. Its like “black lives matter” being a thing when in reality all lives matter, but to say so it racist, or not taking the knee means your racist. Not the case at all.

      The problem with the BBC is its so woke now that it fails to see that its viewers don’t want “inclusivity for the sake of it” they want the best presenters/actors/weather people for the job, not because of their colour or if they identify as a toaster.

    4. Avatar Anna says:

      The Woke crap ruined TV – I mean come on I liked Little Britain – but because David Walliams played black character it’s gone -oddly enough the BBC showed the original “Coming to America” the other day – So David can’t do that but Eddie Murphy can play black and white characters – and that’s ok?

      He played about 9 characters – did they know that? Hypocrites

    5. Avatar Anna says:

      @Ted ITV are a sham..

      They killed JK because a guy killed himself, apparently due to Kyle but the truth is he was wanted by the cops and they had no luck locating him – but then he stupidly went on a TV show!

      meanwhile 4 people including the presenter of Love Island killed themselves – and it’s still being shown and launched in other countries!

      All Bent

  14. Avatar Anonymous says:

    The BBC aka TVL does not collect license fee. It is outsourced to Capita. They are responsible for all administration of it, whether done good or bad.

    The UK government offloaded over 75’s to an organisation that had a cut in funding for years, made them responsible for Governments requirement of Wold Service, took money away for Digital TV switch over and Broadband in the 2012 era, made them fund BBC Monitoring for the government. It is a governments responsibility to fund pensioners or means test, perhaps people should take it up with the government.

    The BBC also creates LOTS of jobs in independent companies and industry as a whole and does much R&D projects that broadcasters across the World use.

    BIAS in a News organisation does not mean cancel culture for the whole organisation. You reform the management team controlling it, because there is a tv and radio production side not just news (as well as BBC Films).

    Loads of people falsely claiming they don’t use any BBC services (and few in reality don’t and that’s backed up by legitimate statistics showing the BBC audience reach per week) and when its gone, a diet of overseas productions laden with adverts, no tv industry, likely to spread to no film industry too. Everything behind pay walls that will not be cheap and likely to move to a PPV for the dramas and stuff. Huge archive, probably the biggest, will be sold off to foreign ownership, and like Disney did to the TVS (ITV) archives, probably much in landfill as they won’t care as not native.

    As for the “anti-white” rubbish spouted on here, do you realise it is the GOVERNMENT departments that push/force target numbers for diversity, the left and right wing press that criticise any non-PC humour in programmes at every opportunity. **ALL** sides of political parties have complained its too left, too liberal, too right at some stage, meaning overall not as biased to one side in everything.

    Reform, stars wages, top management wages (most staff are not over paid and not in same category) are what I’d like to see rather than scrapping the BBC. Right wing commercial press, Murdoch organisations, and people who want stuff for nothing won’t agree. The time will come though probably before 2038, where it will come over broadband and the services go behind a pay wall, it’s inevitable and then no moaning as can only access if you pay, it can be enforced by strong security using encryption too, so any ideas of cloned smart cards like the old days are fantasy. Sport used to be on the BBC until Sky/BT overbid and now force anyone to watch it to pay vast sums of money in subscription.

    1. Avatar Apoliticalmustbetorybot says:

      If you think the tories are “right wing” you’re nuts.
      If you think the BBC aren’t “left wing” also nuts.

      Ask people what their favourite TV shows are, oh I like Simpsons, Family Guy, Game of Thrones, The expanse. All of which are from US networks. The BBC shows utterly boring people making cakes, top gear turned rubbish. Documentaries have to use simpler words and dumb everything down. Even the top reality rubbish with boring chavs banging each other on an Island isn’t a BBC drama.

      Another one who thinks everyone just wants to steal the content and not pay for it, when in reality the people who don’t pay do so because they’re just not interested in the content.

      Not really one to wade into the whole politically correct rubbish, but well a bunch of them thought it was funny to insult our flag recently. Then of course the twitterati called everyone who disagreed a “flag shagger”. Because apparently in the UK you should be ashamed of your flag. No thanks, I’m more ashamed of the BBC and the likes of some of their employees like Jimmy Saville or Rolf Harris

    2. Avatar anonymous says:

      “Apoliticalmustbetorybot” I disagree where you think you are talking for the population. They may be your favourite programmes, but only The Simpsons is out of that list for me and Game Of Thrones.

      BBC Programmes/series I liked are, various Comedy shows (there are lots – too many to mention in fact as prob around 50+ throughout the years), Gavin & Stacey, Bodyguard, Ashes to Ashes, Dalziel and Pascoe, Killing Eve, Silent Witness, Life On Mars, Luther, Peaky Blinders, Line Of Duty, Spooks, The Night Manager, Auf Wiedersehen Pet (BBC series), This Life, Wolf Hall, David Attenborough nature programmes…

      These are to name but a few….

    3. Avatar anonymous says:

      “Apoliticalmustbetorybot”

      More ignorance I am afraid. Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris were not staff employees but under contract as performers and appeared on other broadcasters (overseas too) as well as government organisations for Saville.

      I do agree with you on political correctness, but a lot of that has been enforced by government departments on all public service broadcasters in UK.

      Now if you want to bang on about flags; what is strange is someone like Jenrick having one inside (flags are meant for outside on poles!) conveniently with a picture of the Queen on the wall. Although Charlie the presenter was a bit abrupt in his dig, the right wing took to blame Nagga for laughing into her hand instead. I hate political correctness, and on this one I felt Nagga was being targeted unfairly. It was supposed to be light hearted at the convenient placing of the items for the TV camera and copying what you would normally expect in an American address broadcast. I find more insulting that Jimmie Crankie in Scotland is allowed to fly the EU flag in favour of union flag!

      Shocker: I am not a leftie but can still criticise the government I voted for (best of bad bunch at the time and only ones likely to do Brexit)

    4. Avatar Optimist says:

      Just because child abusers were was not employees does not absolve BBC management of their duty of care to their victims. The BBC is a sewer.

  15. Avatar Mr William Wilkinson says:

    BBC Iplayer came out before Netflix. The difference since, has been capitalism. The License fee should have been switched to a subscription model years ago, then the BBC might have starting making some better content.

    1. Avatar Martin says:

      I notice “anonymous” states “I find more insulting that Jimmie Crankie in Scotland is allowed to fly the EU flag in favour of union flag!”.

      Who is “Jimmie Crankie” – any relation of Lizzie Saxe-Coburg-Gotha whose grandfather changed her family name to a type of soup?

      If you are referring to the Scottish Parliament building our MSPs (most parties except the Tories) voted to keep the EU flag. The Union flag also flies.

  16. Avatar Anthony Goodman says:

    Lets get this straight. Everyone now can, and does, watch Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Youtube on at least a 1mb/s connection speed on their PC, phones or tablets. And yet we have to wait until FTTP is installed to be able to watch BBC over the internet?

    1. Avatar Anonymous says:

      Millions of people watching former live linear channels, expect broadcast quality (and for a lot of TV content that would have to be 25 frames interlaced converted to double frame 50 frames progressive) and rock solid connection if replacing TV aerials and satellites where they are usually more reliable than technologies like ADSL or FTTC. Multicast rather than streams too.

      Now TV isn’t a good example, because it incorrectly does 25p progressive from a lot of 25 frame interlaced content on existing linear TV channels, resulting in jerky motion as temporal resolution lost.

  17. Avatar Anthony Goodman says:

    When GB News comes out, I would happily just pay a subscription for that alone and do away with the entire terrestrial TV. As this is the only channel I could ever see me watching. There is nothing else on TV bar soaps, repeats and quiz shows

    1. Avatar anonymous says:

      You are not the whole population or represent the majority though!!!!
      Think you are? Think again and check the legitimate statistics of BBC audience reach per week – you’ll be surprised.

    2. Avatar Torybot says:

      anonymous, several people have told you this, and your reply is waaah you’re not the whole population.

      Guess what, neither are you and your views.

  18. Avatar Richard says:

    Netflix is over rated. Same kinda story lines regurgitated just different names and locations.

    The licence fee is used to fund bbc radio, which alone is worth £150 a year.

    When we had Sky we looked at what we recorded and it was 80% bbc, so we ditched Sky.

    Most of the time I watch YouTube. So many vlogs.

    1. Avatar Anthony Goodman says:

      “The licence fee is used to fund bbc radio, which alone is worth £150 a year.”

      The last time I listened to BBC radio was 1996 to listen to the Sunday top 10 charts. I don’t think I am unique. So how is that worth £150 per year.

      A yearly subscription to fisherman’s weekly magazine is a bargain at £40. But then again I don’t fish so what then? Same point.

  19. Avatar Dave says:

    “At this point we’d recommend that sensible readers skip the comment section below because any article about the TV Licence fee almost always descends into an ugly argument over wider disagreements and political tribalism, which tends to corrode any chance of a genuinely constructive debate.”

    True (again).

    1. Avatar Qwerty says:

      Believing your own reality again? What do expect from such a toxic topic, what sensible discussion is there to be had? It’s a liberalist organisation, but the worst is you have to pay for it to watch any sort of television regardless of you watch their shows or use their services. The majority dislike that, even more so when they are threatened with prison if they fail to pay. And then you have a pathetic excise of lack of gigabit broadband to stream HD content. That’s going to rightfully annoy folk.

    2. Avatar anonymous says:

      QWERTY – your day is coming just not yet. It will go behind a pay wall, and will never come back from that. There will be no more pretending from a majority of people who want something for nothing and say they don’t use services when they do.

      The actual real amount of people that NEVER use any BBC Service is tiny. Even if you can *currently* watch BBC content on Netflix and others, its because the license fee funded it for its original transmission that its available for leisure on those platforms and often as boxsets on iPlayer for no extra charges too. It’s a small minority trying to scrap a British organisation, some of those with vested interests (not word of SOME). Majority want reform for impartial news coverage always and stars/management salary sorting and caps on any current license fee increase (which is ALWAYS much lower than Sky or Virgin Media TV price increases!).

    3. Avatar Torybot says:

      Wouldn’t it solve the problem though, if you think everyone is watching BBC when they aren’t.. then all the people that do will pay for it and watch it and presumably be happy with their boring content. The rest of us will be happy not watching it and not paying for it and we might even be able to watch other non-BBC broadcasts without paying the BBC for it.

      Even if you’re blind you have to pay the BBC.
      Even if you wanted to watch German satellite TV you have to pay the BBC.

    4. Avatar Qwerty says:

      Anonymous – we shall see, I think many would just be glad to see the licence fee scrapped.
      However most are certainly annoyed at the arrogant elitist attitude of the BBC and its presenters, and it’s left wing woke liberalist views being thrust on its viewership, and the previous links to sexual predators they appear to have now.

    5. Avatar Torybot says:

      The BBC also takes the content you paid for with your TV tax and then broadcasts it 100% free of charge to the Americans. Great deal that is. The channel might not get funding from the TV tax, but do you think they have original content only available on BBC America?

    6. Avatar anonymous says:

      QWERTY – all for reasoned debate, but do you not think you pay any premium on branded goods at the supermarket for advertising on commercial television or electrical goods? It’s just hidden from you.

      Similarly with all forms of other taxes, council tax, inheritance tax – Other than rubbish and a bit of street lighting what else am I getting from > £200 per month council tax?

      It comes under “the greater good” – and that’s what a public service broadcaster is although the ideal funding is from general taxation budget. This way, people who do not work or are retired don’t pay and it doesn’t even add 1p onto tax.

    7. Avatar Bingo says:

      i mean they could have just turned off the comments. the same thing happens with oneweb too, it descends into a us vs them conversation. This political party is bad, anyone who’s against is leftwingrightwingchickenwing.

      Just turn off the comments? Or, allow the “debate”.

    8. Avatar Richard says:

      I totally concur

      Some of the comments would be worthy of Facebook

  20. Avatar anonymous says:

    Torybot – stop spreading FAKE NEWS. You are incorrect.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_America

    ‘BBC America is an American basic cable network that is jointly owned by BBC Studios and AMC Networks.

    Unlike the BBC’s domestic channels in the United Kingdom, BBC America does not receive funding from the British license fee, as the BBC cannot fund any of its channels that are available outside the United Kingdom. Consequently, BBC America operates as a commercial-supported channel and accepts traditional advertising. It is also funded by television subscription fees.

    As of September 2018, BBC America is available to about 80.9 million television households (87.8% of pay television customers) in the United States’

    1. Avatar Torybot says:

      it’s not fake news. I said it doesn’t get funded by the TV tax, try reading my comment.

      Do you think it shows content that wasn’t paid for with it? Do you think it has 100% original content not paid for by the TV tax? The same article says about how they removed Eastenders from the lineup and got a backlash for it.

      YOU are the fake news. BBC shill

    2. Avatar anonymous says:

      Torybot, sorry still wrong…

      BBC Studios a commercial owned subsidiary PAYS BBC PS or the content shown on BBC America. They don’t get it for free and then they get it back from advertising and subscriers. That money is then funded back into BBC PS (UK) programming.

      No idea what you are droning on about with ‘BBC Shill’ but then don’t think you do. Your one of those who can’t give a balanced debate unless people agree with you. My comments were neither anti-BBC or Pro-BBC so to launch into BBC Shill says it all for me…

  21. Avatar BAN THAT SICK FILTH! says:

    I googled BBC once and what I saw was absolutely disgusting! Is that what they expect us to pay our telly tax for?

    I say ban that sick filth, CANCEL it and defund it now!

    Roll-on GB News 24 were they’ll only sing prises upon high for the dear leaders and hate cancel culture!

  22. Avatar JP says:

    Yeah…. whatever!

  23. Avatar FibreFred says:

    What a total cop out blaming broadband. No boat has missed, get it subscription based end of.

  24. Avatar Bob says:

    There’s a simple solution to this.

    Keep the license fee as it is, but scramble all BBC channels and send a card to all who pay for the service.

    No more need to send thugs around to demand proof that you aren’t watching a service if it’s not completely unprotected.

    1. Avatar TheVoiceOfTruth says:

      lulz “dear leader” pretty obvious who you are

      Nobody cares about your sexual preversions.

      BBC sucks. I don’t steal their content, because it sucks. I don’t use any of their services because they also suck. Bias news. Boring radio. Over paid “celebs”. Bytesize people who you can’t understand with their Welsh or Monkeyhanger accents.

      Pfffft.

      In my view, if you like it .. pay for it. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t be forced to pay BBC for watching other networks. Almost no other country around the world has this force you to pay the national broadcaster model.

    2. Avatar TheVoiceOfTruth says:

      ooh that comment was a reply to “BAN THAT SICK FILTH!”.

      Guess I still haven’t figured out this weird comment system yet.
      My bad.

    3. Avatar anonymous says:

      TheVoiceOfTruth – A username that is far from it!

      More fake news. You’re wrong – the license fee DOES exist in other countries and their PSB does no where near the amount of content or services the BBC does.

      Worrying how many people blab their mouths off on here without knowing facts, usually the “something for nothing” brigade….

  25. Avatar DaveIsRight says:

    Those who endlessly crow “Scrap the fee” have almost no awareness (or interest) in what the BBC does that ISN’T BBC1/2. The stuff that the BBC TV broadcast and create along with the “other stuff” they do (BBC Bitesize, local radio, local news, R&D etc., World Service) is work no commercial broadcaster would ever do. If there was a way to make it work commercially, why don’t the likes of ITV, Netflix etc. already do all that?

    The likes of Netflix and Disney+ do what they do very well but they don’t in any way provide anything like what the BBC provides. You are not comparing like for like. They are VASTLY different products and peoples ignorance over the actual benefits the BBC provides doesn’t mean they don’t directly and indirectly benefit from it.

    1. Avatar Optimist says:

      Other broadcasters produce news too, financed by advertising.

      The BBC hogs the airwaves by simulcasting on several channels, thus preventing other entrants to the market (step through the radio channels if you don’t believe me).

      The World Service was good at one time but is now mainly woke propaganda.

      The BBC already broadcasts on channels such as Dave financed by advertising, so there is no reason to use taxpayers’ to finance game shows, overpaid football pundits, unfunny comedy shows and soaps.

      The BBC recruits from outfits such as Creative Access which refuses applications from non-BAME people, which AFAIK is in breach of the law.

    2. Avatar anonymous says:

      Optimist – The BBC is operating within the law for diversity.
      Dave is owned by the BBC via BBC Studios as they now own the UKTV bouquet of channels.

      Fake News again about “hogging the airwaves” – BBC Parliament is there because OfCom/Government insist for example. In many areas, BBC News and BBC Four and CBeebies are not available in HD because of land transmitter frequency restrictions and to allow space for commercial channels on the multiplex too as these are not on BBC licensed multiplex. ITV/C4/C5 also simulcast SD and HD because they are mandated to as not everyone has HD capable equipment as yet. The BBC does not have “+1” channels like ITV, C4, C5 do.

      Paul Crosby – You are in a NOISY but minority group (like any activist type group), the majority pay and majority of the UK use BBC Services weekly backed up by recognised government and industry data. Defund and lose a whole industry in the UK. Great stuff, great thinking there.

  26. Avatar Paul Crosby says:

    I guess we going have to do it our self’s defund the BBC

  27. Avatar Neil says:

    Can I use a photo copy of my tv license as they just give repeat programs and is my tv illegal as it was sold to me as having FREEVIEW

    1. Avatar anonymous says:

      Neil: Freeview is not owned in whole by the BBC and is run by DTV which is a mixture of companies. It is a service offering free to air television and for BBC services, covered by a TV license without requiring decryption or extra payment to each TV in the same household.

      There has been a pandemic and all sorts of restrictions. Hardly surprising repeats, though You’ll find the BBC has had the highest number of new programmes during this period compared to other UK broadcasters anyway.

      Why do people spout non factual rubbish off at every opportunity…

  28. Avatar Robert Hussey says:

    As 99% of the UK is still copper wire broadband and not fibre right to the house, flat ect Broad band TV such as Netflix will not work. Until we all have fiber to our dwelling we will have no choice. People with cable TV, phone and broadband can have more options on viewing. Until the goverment sorts out the gready providers and get all of us with decent connections we will be paying for infereia connections.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      21% of the country can get full fibre.

      The vast majority can use Netflix at 4k fine, full fibre or not.

    2. Avatar Mark says:

      What are you on about?!?! True full fibre broadband has over 20% coverage, FTTC Broadband has over 90% coverage (which is more than fast enough to stream 4K content)

      Virgin Media also covers about half of the population… Only new builds are full fibre but their fibre-coax network in old areas isn’t exactly slow. Coaxial cable although still copper, is MUCH faster and more reliable than a twisted pair!

      It’s also worth pointing out that I can stream Netflix perfectly fine on my backup ADSL connection

  29. Avatar Rbz says:

    Why person who watch non BBC live TV (for example provider from outside UK) must obtain BBC TV licence even do not watch BBC programs?

    1. Avatar Chris says:

      Absolutely ludicrous, I’m surprised that other content providers dont sue the BBC for profiting from their content.

  30. Avatar R. A. Gellaz says:

    The bbc is an archic auganisation that is out of touch with the majority of people but is an organisation that wastes public money without reins and it is a tax not a tv licence which implies that vision is implied when the tax is for all the air waves in the uk and whos income is estimated at 5 billion a year. Even people that don’t watch bbc are taxed. It should be a subscription channel and as the government have said not until 5g broadband is available means never. ITS A TAX

  31. Avatar Aled says:

    RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

  32. Avatar Chris says:

    Poor broadband has nothing to do with how the BBC should deliver their content. It does not have to be completely streamed over the internet. Most homes now Smart TV so all the BBC need is a builtin BBC authenticator app that can then control receiving a traditional aerial signal.

    People who dont have a smart tv could apply for a device that connects between the TV and aerial to authorise a signal.

    1. Avatar anonymous says:

      Chris, you mean millions of pounds to any terrestrial broadcaster for encrypted delivery and EPG slots to someone like Sky, an American company, or offload expense to everyone else as most people have multiple TVs and/or tuner cards etc? I think OnDigital then ITV Digital did such a system and it was a failure and ITV has been paying the debt off for years.

  33. Avatar Bev says:

    I pay for sky tv, I do watch a couple of BBC programs because they are there,but
    I would’nt miss them if I couldn’t get them. Perhaps a pay per view would be sufficient if I really missed any BBC program. I like country file and all nature programs, I am sure they would be sold to other stations if the licence fee was scraped.

  34. Avatar Tronald Dump says:

    lul

    Anonymous must be the BEEB director general in disguise.
    Anyone who disagrees with me: FAKE NEWS WAAAAH, BBC awesome, BBC the best.
    Everyone with any counter argument is FAKE NEWS.

    Pathetic

    1. Avatar anonymous says:

      Which anonymous do you refer to?

      Fake news is exactly that when people spout of incorrect information not factual information backed by recognised correct information.

      And you honestly think a director general would be on here????

      Troll off…

    2. Avatar Tronald Dump says:

      Anonymous.

      I mean you obvious BBC/Capita employee

  35. Avatar James says:

    I’m a supporter of the BBC but I can see it’s not perfect. For example the amount they pay their top presenters and for some sports seems mad. If other channels are willing to pay that much why not let them and have the BBC fill the gaps nobody else is covering for a fraction of the price? Personally I don’t mind the licence fee but would be happy if it was a touch lower.

    1. Avatar Hards says:

      I don’t concent. Overturned decision means that the poor will suffer the brunt of this. Disgusting and appalling! BBC fail yet again

  36. Avatar tech3475 says:

    I do find some irony to the IPTV proposal. One of the common complaints I hear against the BBC/license fee is the removal of the free license for the over-80s, particularly due to their ‘reliance’ on TV.

    This is an issue because I know many elderly people lack internet access on their own volition, including my own grandmother, who is even ‘scared’ to go beyond Channel 5.

    So this proposal could be worse for certain groups than the license fee model. If anything it would probably be better to go commercial for the main channels, maintaining FTA otherwise as is, with the iPlayer behind a paywall.

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