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End of BBC TV Licence Fee Raises Prospect of Broadband Tax Again

Monday, Jan 17th, 2022 (12:41 pm) - Score 8,016

Reports over the weekend appear to have all but confirmed that the UK Government will end the existing BBC TV licence fee from 2027 and replace it with a new funding model, which could include a Netflix style subscription model, government grants, more advertising or possibly a levy or tax on consumer broadband ISP bills etc.

At present, a standard TV licence costs £159 per year, although last year the Government admitted (here and here) that it probably couldn’t change the licence fee model until everybody in the country finally had access to “faster” broadband connectivity – hence the 2027 date. But the Government recently signalled that gigabit-capable speeds may not reach universal coverage until 2030 (here).

NOTE: You don’t need 1Gbps for HD or 4K streams, so it depends on how they define “faster“, as well as any advancements in video compression. At present, 10Mbps (USO) can already handle a couple of HD streams, while you’d need c.15-30Mbps for 4K, depending upon quality and codec. By 2027 newer codecs will make it possible to compress streams into smaller bitrates.

However, adoption of a Netflix style online subscription model may create other problems too, such as by putting more streaming demand on to broadband networks (they’d cope, but there might be some performance detriment unless time is allowed for effective planning).

Lest we forget that a few million people (adults) are also unable or unwilling (i.e. via choice, affordability, skills or disability) to use the internet. On top of that, not everybody has an internet-connected TV and others may find it harder to use app-based TV content, particularly those who aren’t as comfortable with technology (pensioners etc.).

Nevertheless, one of the biggest questions of all concerns how any future funding model might work. Back in 2020 the BBC itself proposed one alternative model, which included a suggestion that the TV Licence fee could be replaced by a levy or tax on consumer broadband bills (here).

But adding c.£13.25 per month or more to the cost of broadband would be tricky to implement (e.g. forcing those who don’t watch the BBC to pay) and won’t attract much support from the electorate (e.g. back in 2020 some 86% of our readers – from a poll of 3,195 – objected to the idea), yet last year 69% of respondents to another of poll said they favoured the idea of a subscription model (perhaps on the assumption that it would be optional).

John Whittingdale MP said last year:

“Young people are turning more and more to video-on-demand services. That does beg the question about whether or not the licence fee model, which has been based on the fact that everybody used the BBC, can continue.

The rollout of broadband is very fast, we will reach universal coverage, and there will come a time when it would be possible for us to move towards a full subscription service for everybody, but that time has not yet arrived.”

Sadly, the BBC itself has, in recent years, become somewhat of a political football for the different parties. The right wing of politics tends to view the corporation as being too left wing, while the left wing tends to see it as being too right wing (this yo-yos as Governments change). On the other hand, politicians have rarely ever enjoyed having their flaws and mistakes aired for all to see, but then the BBC aren’t the only news producer who can do this.

Whatever your position on the BBC – love or loath them – the devil will be in the detail, but there’s unlikely to be an easy solution and so the Government seems set to kick the can down the road by making a decision on the BBC’s future fate, albeit without setting out how they’ll solve the funding question.

We may ultimately see a mix of funding solutions (i.e. some from the government, some from a broadband levy and some from advertising etc.) or the BBC could even be abolished, but this might all still become subject to the usual winds of political change. Time will tell.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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117 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

    It’s a pity that freeview etc never cottoned on to conditional access. Then we could easily make BBC a subscription service and people could choose to sign up or not. But given that there are millions of STBs and devices for Freeview that have no conditional access support that option isn’t really feasible.

    I just don’t see why I should have to pay the BBC in order to watch say RTL-1, a German satellite TV channel. I can honestly say I don’t consume BBC products, websites, news, radio, none of it. I shouldn’t be forced to pay BBC for a TV tax if I want to watch non-BBC stuff.

    1. Avatar photo Jack says:

      If rumours are correct it was actually the BBC who decided that DTT boxes for Freeview shouldn’t have card slots because there was no need as Freeview was free. This was when they took over when OnDigital collapsed.

      If everything DTT / Freeview had a card slot then that would make BBC subscription much easier to implement.

    2. Avatar photo Paul M says:

      I think Jack is right. The BBC specifically didn’t want CAMs on DVB-T nor DVB-S services because then it would have been easy for the government to force them to switch to a paid subscription model, whereas the BBC can currently shrug and say that it’s not possible to do that and therefore they need to be funded using a TV tax.

  2. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

    Nadine Dorries is off her rocker if she truly believes she’ll still be Secretary of State for D.C.M.S. in 2027… scrub that… she is regardless!

    It’s looking increasingly likely the whole of Johnson’s barrel-scraping, ‘culture’ warrior, fawning sycophant, fruitcake cabal frontbench will be nothing more than an unpleasant memory long before then.

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      We live in hope. I had to laugh at Johnson’s barrel-scraping, ‘culture’ warrior, fawning sycophant, fruitcake cabal frontbench coming up with “project big dog” to save Boris by changing the news cycle.

      The public won’t forget.

    2. Avatar photo Mike says:

      Unfortunately, the Tories are still the least worse out of the big parties, says a lot about the others…

    3. Avatar photo timeless says:

      least worst? have you seen their borrowing? and lm talking “pre-pandemic”, the Tories had borrowed more in 5 years than Labour had in 13. in fact Tory borrowing was more than any Labour government has borrowed more than any Labour government put together, yet they still use it as an excuse, and l should note that l absolutely despise Starmer.

    4. Avatar photo Daniel says:

      In my opinion, Liberal Democrats or the greens would be better but ukip would be worse. However that is just one persons point of view.

    5. Avatar photo Prospero says:

      you’ve got to borrow money to you know, do stuff. £5bn on broadband, where do you think the money came from? High speed rail, more housing, ports, public services. If you don’t borrow, you can’t grow it’s basic economics.

      The Labour party would still like to pretend it’s 1950 all over again and not spend a penny on anything. You know why we don’t have an aerospace industry besides engines? government weren’t willing to give loans. You know why we don’t have a space industry (we did…) money/loans again. Why anyone would want to live in a world without the blessings of credit i’ll never know. It’s what built everything that you see around you.

    6. Avatar photo timeless says:


      the same libdems that started all this mess to begin with? if it wasnt for them we might have at least avoided some of the mess Osborne created.

  3. Avatar photo Aled says:

    I think the core concept of splitting the BBC into “BBC Public Service” (paid for via general taxation) and a “BBC Premium drama” service is not a bad idea. Half the license fee goes into telly and 98% of that is crap.

    The BBC does a variety of things well, that probably would struggle in a competitive streaming service (imagine BBC news/parliament/regional etc.).

    There are several demographic groups now who consistently do not watch BBC content in the Spotify/Netflix/Amazon prime/Sky tv era. The under 25s and right-of-centre political groups rarely consume BBC content.

    Personally, I occasionally listen to BBC Radio 6, but I haven’t watched a BBC TV series for several years now. They occasionally have a decent comedy, but more often than not – these are produced externally anyway.

    1. Avatar photo Richard Walton says:

      The paid for streaming services content is awful. Quantity over quality.
      On balance, the BBC content is much better and I’m happy to pay. The fee also pays for radio 4 and the world service, undeniably the best stations in the world.

  4. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

    The easy solution is do away with TV being transmitted by radio waves entirely. Set it be online transmission only. And give the frequency for Wifi or 5G. Offer a £20 Roku Stick to everyone to connect to their TVs like they did with the digital boxes in 1999 and get the BBC over the internet and offer it as a subscription service like Netflix. I guarantee you though within 12 months it will be bankrupt as nobody would sign up to see Gary Linaker mug people off about how woke he is.

    1. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      “The easy solution is do away with TV being transmitted by radio waves entirely. ”

      That would mean everyone having to subscribe to a broadband service, which would be too costly for some, and in any case many places don’t have a useable broadband service.
      So I think think over the air broadcasting should remain, but the BBC could encrypt its broadcasts and require viewers to buy a decryption card, just as Top Up TV did a few years ago.

  5. Avatar photo Chris Sayers says:

    It cannot be morality right to send people to prison for watching television, and to add to that the cost of incarnation on the public purse, the BBC licence fee needs to go, the funding model is outdated, it’s got to go subscription with a viewing card, the BBC have until 2027 to develop a set top box or Amazon fire style stick with a sim card that allows content decryption.

    1. Avatar photo Stephen Wakeman says:

      Why not? It’s not as if TV is a human right or a basic need is it. It’s not water. If you have a TV then you potentially have access to the content.

      How many people every year are handed custodial sentences for not paying for a TV license anyway? I don’t know but given what people can do and be handed a suspended sentence, I don’t imagine many (if any) actually go to prison.

      The need to change this funding method also has to account for the advancing age of the BBC’s viewership, many of whom it is a miracle they understand the remote enough to turn the set on.

    2. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      I wouldn’t worry, there isn’t space in UK Prisons to send everyone who doesn’t pay for their tv licence.

  6. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

    I doubt a majority have love or loath positions of the BBC, however it’s self-evident that this latest attack on the BBC by the Johnson administration is part of “Operation Save Big Dog” / “Operation Red Meat” or whatever it’s called today.

    There are those within the Johnson administration who cannot tolerate any scrutiny and would accuse any broadcaster of partiality for doing so. The only state broadcaster they’d unequivocally tolerate would be a (North) Korean Central Television analogue.

    No-one likes paying for public services, however they are there for all, regardless of if individuals use them or not. The television licence fee is flawed, being a flat tax and required to own a radio (without reduction), yet no palatable alternative has been proposed which would keep funding (directly) outside of government’s hands.

    Thankfully the days of the Johnson administration as drawing to close and with any luck their successors will be less radical.

    P.s. Right-wingers accuse the BBC of being left-wing, left-wingers accuse the BBC of being right-wing and the moderates sigh in despair at the polarisation tearing the UK and its institutions apart.

    1. Avatar photo Gammon says:

      I suppose you paid for your education when you were at school then? Maybe we should just change the NHS to be charged at the point of access like the US, that would be the fairest solution I guess.

    2. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Damien: “the ‘Peado’ tax”… right… ok… (Matron Damien’s on the loose again!)

      @Gammon: Any money spent on Damien’s education, regardless of source, was ‘spaffed up the wall’.

    3. Avatar photo Sunil Sood says:

      “The television licence fee is flawed, being a flat tax and required to own a radio”

      @Yatta You don’t get a TV licence if you only have a radio.


    4. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Sunil Sood: That’s good to know thanks. Ironically it was a radio programme (on LBC) which misinformed me on the requirement. It’s always best to fact things yourself regardless of source.

  7. Avatar photo civil serpant says:

    I think we all know why this announcement was rolled out this weekend. There was a Private Members Bill in the Commons (can’t remember which day it was due to be heard) around abolishing the licence fee. The member raising will have almost certainly mentioned it to the Leader of the House! Lo and behold, you suddenly have the DCMS SoS telling everyone oooh 2027 licence fee goes. No way in hell would any DCMS officials had time to get that ready for an announcement that way – it would’ve likely been announced in the house first!

    Partygate cover up. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    1. Avatar photo Useful idiot says:

      tell me. Did they arrange this cover-up distraction a year in advance? Because they’ve been talking about this since at least 2021.

    2. Avatar photo civil serpant says:

      In response to Useful idiot: They’ve been talking about it for years. But a release like this (via Twitter on a Sunday from a SoS), a Commons statement with no real substance or screams classic ‘dead cat’ at the despatch box.

      …or is the timing just a coincidence? Be real.

  8. Avatar photo Bob2002 says:

    Claiming both sides see the BBC as right or left-wing, is a bit of a cop out. The BBC as an organisation is very woke and this affects most parts of it, there is no widespread right-wing ideology supported by the BBC in the way it supports left-wing identity politics/wokeism. So factually the BBC as an organisation holds left-wing political values. BBC journalist Steven Nolan recently investigated how BBC news staff were being intimidated into parroting Stonewall’s propaganda on LGBT issues, again left-wing identity politics.

    BBC political reporting (on non-identity politics matters) is typically middle of the road, although reports I have read suggest Tory BBC employees are definitively a minority group.

    1. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      “left-wing identity politics/wokeism” and “propaganda on LGBT issues”

      Case in point: Bob2002’s someone who’s self-evidently at the very least right-wing and having an rant about how left-wing and “woke” the BBC is.

      It would be amusing if this polarisation was occurring abroad, yet the toxicity is here.

    2. Avatar photo Bob2002 says:


      I simply stated facts. Identity politics is left-wing, the BBC as an organisation has fully embraced it. Fact. They have not embraced any equivalent right-wing political ideology. Fact.

      I’m sorry facts bother people like you, or more probably you willfully avoid them and live in a fantasy world.

    3. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Bob2002: Your so-called ‘facts’ are mere perceptions, distorted by your blinkered world view.

      It’s clear societal change profoundly bothers “people like you”, who’d prefer to live in a 1950’s “fantasy world”, where everyone is white, heterosexual and able bodied etc.

      The actual fact is Bob, not everyone is white, heterosexual and so forth, and the BBC has a public duty to reflect and serve all the British public (which you describe as “identity politics” and “LGBT propaganda”), not just angry right-wing men of a certain age, who feel threatened by change and ‘poofs on the telly’.

    4. Avatar photo Aled says:

      When the BBC literally has a comedian who bills himself “the only right-wing comedian at the BBC”……then you realise he is not joking.

    5. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Aled: Could that be due to right-wingers generally being not very funny? At least not intentionally.

    6. Avatar photo Real anime fan says:

      Case in point Dr Who. A show that used to be family friendly, completely became a garbage woke leftist lecture. The ratings have tanked as a result because not even the woke minority watch shows aimed at them

      For Yatta! The leftist anime fan: I’m not against woke shows existing. I am however against the taxpayer funding blatant leftist ideology. You can attack all the straight evil white males like all of you leftists do, but you have no right having your dumb world view paid by the taxpayer.

    7. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Real anime fan:

      Case in point 2: “woke leftist lecture”, “woke minority”, “blatant leftist ideology” imagined ‘attacks’ on “straight evil white males”.

      Another permanently aggrieved right-winger or worse, accusing everyone who doesn’t share his/her angry blinkered little world view of being a “leftist”.

      To be fair, despite being broadly central, I’m no-doubt well left of your risible wingnuttery. ::facepalm::

    8. Avatar photo Real anime fan says:

      ^ quoting terminology is not a case point.

      However if you abide by such ideology then you ARE a leftist by definition like I said, just don’t pretend you’re anything else

      Calling someone right wing is only an insult amongst Marxists circles

    9. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Real anime fan:

      Transparently right-wing language deriding the BBC as “woke” and “leftist” isn’t ‘case in point’ (an instance or example that illustrates what is being discussed) of “right-wing wingers accusing the BBC of being left-wing”… right! That’s me told! ‍♂️

      As you the rest of your unhinged rant, it only further demonstrates my point.

      Thanks for holding yourself up as a prime example, it’s appreciated!

    10. Avatar photo Real anime fan says:

      I merely stated the truth, you just got offended with the facts and threw a leftist tantrum. Conveniently left out that I specifically mentioned “Dr Who” which had been verifiably wokefied and lost audience as a result.

      Can’t argue with brainlets

    11. Avatar photo Yatta! says:

      @Real anime fan:

      “Offended with facts”… HA! You’re too funny! What a nutty little fruitcake you are!

      What facts? Your risible wingnut rants?

      You’ve failed to make a single argument, just ranted about ‘leftists’ and ‘wokery’, and presented Doctor who as “case in point”, whilst hilariously failing to grasp what the case (of this thread) is.

      Accusations of one “wokefied” programme a ‘lefty woke’ BBC do not make.

      Doctor Who has been poor for a long time, at least from the midst of the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith eras.

      Despite loving the series overall, I’d say more than half of the serials and episodes were crap, pretty much all of the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker and Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy serials were dire.

      The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann’s only real episode “Doctor Who: The Movie” was the worst example of Doctor Who in all its history. Though McGann saved his incarnation with the fantastic “The Night of the Doctor” mini-episode and his radio plays.

      The Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi could have been the G.O.A.T. Doctor, however the writing was largely lazy crap.

      I did watch all of the most recent series (13 aka Flux) of Doctor Who, the writing is much improved over 11 and 12, though in common with almost all of modern Doctor Who, the resolution was rushed and weak.

      What examples would you cite of the Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker being woke in your opinion?

  9. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Doctor Xand or was it Chris Van Tulleken (one of the BBC twin doctors) was on a morning program talking about prostrate screening and prostrate cancer. To show how woke the BBC is, he was clearly under instruction not to refer to men getting check ups, but instead referred to “people with prostrates” and said it a couple of times, and ‘men’ wasn’t mentioned at all! The BBC needs to go if that is where we are at now, they don’t deserve anyone’s money.

    1. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      People like Phil use the word snowflake as a pejorative, yet fill their nappies over the most trivial things… irony is lost on those poor permanently aggrieved souls.

    2. Avatar photo Phil says:

      I don’t think the Doctor was intending to be ironic, it wasn’t a sketch show! I wonder how many people needed to Google to find out which type of ‘people had a prostrate’ to see if the warnings applied to them!

      Perhaps it would have been better and more clinically correct to just say “men and transwomen should get screening”, which would have been clearer to the audience, as there will be some people with a prostrate that might not know they have one!

    3. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      “I don’t think the Doctor was intending to be ironic”… irony was and still is lost on Phil. Bless him!

    4. Avatar photo Phil says:

      Okay, it is lost on me, I don’t understand this world anymore 🙂 Perhaps the BBC is best left to those born in the 2000’s, and they can fund it.

    5. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      @Phil: “those born in the 2000’s” I long predate that.

      The sense of irony is as old as human civilisation, sadly some have always been devoid of it.

    6. Avatar photo Phil says:

      Well perhaps you could enlighten us on what was suppose to be ironic? I wasn’t being ironic, and you didn’t say anything ironic, so ironically, there was nothing said ironic.

    7. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      @Phil: It’s as plain as day Phil, if you really can’t see it, I can’t help you.

    8. Avatar photo Phil says:

      Oh okay, not to worry 🙂

  10. Avatar photo Nigel says:

    BBC should not be funded by a tax period! We have moved on from the days we needed the service! BBC has had years to plan this out and still have years left but they will waste most of the time they have just as they have been fighting against a change to their funding model!! I’d like see bbc broken up n sold off tbh! I don’t see how they can go from being bottle fed for so long to standing on their own the cushy wages they dish out etc I may be wrong but I don’t think we need a bbc and most of us resent being forced to pay a tax for something that provides no benefit to us and if anything belittles and degrades us and our opinions! They have an agenda which is at odds with their customers!!

    1. Avatar photo Gammon says:

      Most of the tax you pay has no benefit to you, this is true of most people. Lets abolish the NHS then as well? We could get rid of schools as well as you clearly have never used one, so it seems fair.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      “Broken up and sold off” – he’s a (right wing) Tory then. Is this Jacob Rees-Moggy son?

      So you realise the BBC has the biggest archive in the world and all our heritage is in it?
      You really fancy that being in hands of a German broadcaster like RTL did with ex-ITV company for London, Thames TV/Freemantle?

  11. Avatar photo NoBBC says:

    Why should I pay for something I hate? Claims such as the BBC is producing quality content are barely factual, just look at the clowns presenting the morning shows.

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:

      Not sure you can use the word clown anymore. I think you have to say “a person who wears unique makeup and flamboyant costume in order to provide a comic character”. Too many people assume a clown is male and that is going to cause all sorts of upsets these days 🙂

  12. Avatar photo It's just painful. says:

    Any article in regard to any aspect of the BBC anywhere, draws out the swivel-eyed loons to rant incessantly about imagined “agendas” and whatever wedge issues preoccupy their ‘minds’ this week.

  13. Avatar photo It's just painful says:

    Any article in regard to any aspect of the BBC anywhere, draws out the swivel-eyed loons to rant incessantly about imagined “agendas” and whatever wedge issues preoccupy their ‘minds’ this week.

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:

      We are all entitle to our own opinion, something the BBC has forgotten at it’s peril. Even you are entitled to your opinion.

    2. Avatar photo It's just painful says:

      Phil, one of the few genuinely valid criticisms of the BBC is that it gives equal weight to opinions, regardless of their grounding in reality ‘in the name of balance’.

      For example Pascal Lamy the former Director-General of the WTO being ‘schooled’ on the functioning of the WTO by Andrea Leadsom MP, giving Nigel Lawson (former Chancellor) a platform to disseminate climate change denialism and Nigel Farage a greater number of appearances per annum on Question Time than any other politician in the programme’s history.

      Perhaps your opinions on the BBC are based upon preconception rather than experience?

    3. Avatar photo Phil says:

      The BBC is not impartial. At the very time, during this pandemic, where we need impartiality it hasn’t been delivered. The news has become one big propaganda machine under the so called “trusted news initiative” they created. Censorship is rife on the BBC, this has been confirmed by some prominent news reporters leaving the BBC and confirming just that in carefully chosen words.

      If you really believe you are getting a balanced view on the BBC news outlets then you are living a very sheltered and blinkered existence.

    4. Avatar photo It's just painful says:

      Phil, if your opinion is that the BBC has anything more than the most trivial and superficial institutional bias / partiality, could that opinion be informed by your own internal biases? The BBC is not a perfect institution (not that any institution is), however it’s on quite an even keel.

      Most of the chaps leaving the BBC are near (or passed) retirement age and struggling to come to terms with their growing cultural irrelevance (due to their age). The most prominent of which, Andrew Neil, should have retired with his grand reputation intact, however he threw that away by founding GB ‘News’, a shambolic organisation which he himself admonished as a “UKIP tribute band”. Maybe you believe Neil’s a secret lefty and/or remoaner, despite him being the chairman of The Spectator?

      Perhaps you could share what news sources you believe are the least biased / most impartial and trusted? So we can judge how worldly and wide-eyed you are?

    5. Avatar photo Phil says:

      I used to think the BBC was factual and impartial, and like you would argue the point, but this last 2 years has made me seek other news sources and I’ve realised the BBC is nothing of the sort.

      This isn’t about politics (all news sources have their political leanings), it’s about facts and science and how those figures are presented in order to push a particular narrative.

    6. Avatar photo It's just painful says:

      “It’s about facts and science and how those figures are presented in order to push a particular narrative”

      So it’s about Covid-19 then Phil?

      Which news sources provide you with ‘balance’ in that regard? Social media? YouTubers such as Joe Rogan perhaps?

  14. Avatar photo zzing says:

    I don’t think there’s any evidence of public money being used to fund the BBC after 2027, broadband tax or otherwise.

  15. Avatar photo r says:

    If other freeview channels can survive, why can BBC not! Don’t look for executes.

  16. Avatar photo DaveIsRight says:

    The sad part so many people (including some in this thread) miss is that it’s not the headline “popularist” stuff that the BBC does that matters. It’s the absolutely invaluable stuff they do that would *NEVER* get done without them. That is all the myriad of non commercially viable stuff they do for communities and minority groups that they have to do because their license mandates it.

    I don’t want yet another Netflix or (God forbid) Amazon Prime. They do what they do to various success but they could not care less about local UK issues, news, community outreach, local and national radio, technology research and so on.

    The BBC’s funding model affords them the ability to do things no commercial company could or would EVER do. The UK and society as a whole is richer and better off with the BBC funded as a tax where they are bound to certain standards that preclude them allowing advertising for example. How many technical innovations have ANY of the fully commercial streaming or TV services put into the public domain for the greater good do you think? Hint, it tends towards zero.

    The point being some people will always be selfish and self serving – “Why should I pay for something I don’t use”? (as far the the BBC is concerned trust me, you do, you just don’t realise it) and the reason for that is the greater good. Does that mean the BBC does everything perfect or doesn’t need to change? Of course not but this is all very “baby out with the bathwater” territory. It’s is VERY MUCH straight out of the Tory playbook in selling everything off to big business and I can absolutely guarantee to you that’s NEVER EVER good for us as consumers or as citizens)

    1. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

      “Why should I pay for something I don’t use”?….A better one would be, why should I pay for something that quite literally hate’s me? The BBC is for far lefty Labour voting progressives. It does not aim to represent right leaning or conservative people at all. The news is far left propaganda. Its channels are all aimed at social manipulation. And its recruitment policies “only applicants from ethnic minorities will be considered for roles with us” shows it does not care about the British broadcasting part of its name anymore and has not for a long time. It needs to go.

    2. Avatar photo Phil says:

      I quite agree with you, however the minority doesn’t change what the majority see and experience, and it is the majority the governments will ultimately listen to.

      The BBC has had the luxury of a reliable and considerable income, but wastes that money on management and expenses. Many different requests have been put into the BBC under the freedom of information act over the years and everything that comes out shows a shocking disregard to licence fee payers money with huge amounts of cash wasted on luxuries and talent. The BBC have also siphoned off profit making programs to BBC studios, then uses the licence fee money to buy those programs back.

      The BBC also have done some shocking things in the past, who can forget helicopters buzzing around Cliff Richards UK home whilst they contrived with the police to get an exclusive! The continued bullying of Alex Bellfield is another example because he called the management into question, with the BBC now being taken to court over it.

      I moved to flat a couple of years ago temporarily, and due to some confusion over the flat number on their database which I explained time and time again, whilst I had paid for a TV licence, they decided I hadn’t, and the harassment was something else, so I dread to think what some people go through, they just don’t care.

      They need to change, or they get changed.

    3. Avatar photo I agree with Dave says:

      Dave’s username is quite apt.

    4. Avatar photo DaveIsRight says:

      @Anthony Goodman “The news is far left propaganda.”

      Except all reputable measures of media bias show the BBC to be slightly left of centre. As for the rest of your xenophobic, Brexiteer style ranting it’s not even worth responding to.

      @Phil I don’t disagree there needs to be change in the BBC but as I said, it’s the baby out with the bathwater approach unfortunately.

    5. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

      “Brexiteer style ranting it’s not even worth responding to.”

      And that is the point, the vast number of British people are Brexiteers. Hence why the Conservative Party got the biggest electoral mandate since the 1920s and the far left Labour party almost were wiped out. The BBC does not represent them and actually resents them. Just like you do. The BBC is designed for people like you. You are the vast minority of the UK. The BBC sticks two fingers up at the vast majority. Yet demands this same majority funds them.

    6. Avatar photo Bob Evans says:

      Those that watch it should pay for it. If they dont watch it they should not have to pay for it

      If as you claim The BBC is so wonderfull they will pay a subscription for it

    7. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      @Anthony Goodman:

      “And that is the point, the vast number of British people are Brexiteers”

      Wow! You’re really down the rabbit-hole! That’s the daftest thing I’ve read in a long time!

      “Hence why the Conservative Party got the biggest electoral mandate since the 1920’s”

      By what metric?

      Major’s Conservatives received a greater number of votes in 1992.

      Three (other) Conservative and four Labour governments have had greater majorities since the 1920’s.

      In 2019 a million more people voted for parties opposed to Brexit or promising a ‘peoples vote’ than for pro-Brexit parties.

      Also turn-out in 2019 was 1.5% less than in 2017.

      How that equals “the biggest electoral mandate since the 1920’s” or even your ludicrous claim that “the vast number of British people are Brexiteers” is beyond reason…

    8. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

      This is the problem, for these far left radicals. Down is up, right means wrong. And everything infront of your face is incorrect. For you to imply Remainers somehow won the 2019 election is clear evidence of this….I can see why you love the BBC.

    9. Avatar photo Chris says:

      Why don’t people realise that ITV, Channels 4 and 5 are NOT free! We all pay for them in extra cost on the commodities we buy (or worse, don’t buy) that are being advertised. We actually pay more in this way than the £159 Licence Fee – and that gives us three/ four BBC TV channels plus umpteen Radio stations plus a massive and website and the very comprehensive BBC iPlayer. And don’t get me started on people who pay twice for Sky – once as a subscription and again for adverts!

    10. Avatar photo Unicorns don't exist says:

      @Anthony Goodman:

      That’s the problem with ding-a-ling Brexcultists, when they are challenged on their nonsensical fabricated claims with unequivocal figures disproving their nonsense, they sidestep their prior claims and start ranting about something else.

      “Remainers somehow won the 2019” No such claim was made, only that remain / ‘peoples vote’ supporting parties received a million more votes than pro-brexit parties. Thus disapproving your claim “the vast number of British people are Brexiteers”. You can check the figures yourself, it’s all public information.

      No-wonder you hate the BBC, the cognitive dissonance it induces must be excruciating!

      P.s. Still waiting for you to demonstrate how “the Conservative Party got the biggest electoral mandate since the 1920’s” by ANY metric.

      I won’t hold my breath, as I’ll end-up as brain dead as you self-evidently are!

      P.p.s Oh “far left radicals” are pro-Brexit, you (metaphorically) share a bed with them! Ignorance is bliss… Enjoy!

    11. Avatar photo A_Londoner says:

      @Anthony Goodman

      “A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one”

    12. Avatar photo Ryan Giddings says:

      Just wading in at the shallow end.

      They have a bit of a point. 52% of the country voted to leave. Turn on the TV and what do yo see? Tons of anti-brexit pro-eu news. Interviews of people who want to re-join. Interviews of people calling Boris whatever the media told them to call him this week. Radio shows where the guests might as well shake hands and say goodbye because all they do is spend an hour agreeing with each other about how bad brexit is and how stupid people are for voting for it etc.

      52% voted for it .. 99% of the media tries to say they didn’t. There is no media/news etc for people who either a) Voted leave b) Aren’t interested. And I thought BBC was supposed to be impartial and to air both sides. Well at least they admitted they were bias against Brexit.

  17. Avatar photo John H says:

    e.g. forcing those who don’t watch the BBC to pay

    That is already true, watch Channel 4 or ITV only on a TV and you have to pay the Licence fee to the BBC.

    To quote

    The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

    watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel
    watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)

    So this happens now.

  18. Avatar photo Brian Butterworth says:

    I know it’s from 2014, but I did go though all the options then an a Council Tax supplement (ie, graded by band) was the most effective way to pay!


    1. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      All these options stink. No broadcaster has the right to impose a tax to enrich its overpaid executives. This is reminiscent of tithes to pay for the church levied on people of other religions.

      If the BBC cannot survive in the market alongside the competition, let it die.

    2. Avatar photo Bob Evans says:

      That maks no sense as only people that pay council tax would pay for ther BBC

    3. Avatar photo Aled says:

      The BBC needs £800m per year to create niche programming, news and arts.

      The other £3bn can be manufactured far more cheaply. The sad fact about the media, is that at least 40% of the population spend most of their time on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube), where the cost of publishing is a £100 webcam at most.

      BBC does some things very well. But TV/drama is not essential. There’s plenty of alternatives.

      I will say, to the BBCs credit, ITV is a total disaster. I’ve literally deleted ITV from my TV, I haven’t yet gone that far with the beeb.

  19. Avatar photo Jon PENNYCOOK says:

    I own a TV, but haven’t watched it in years. Apart from the odd thing on streaming services or YouTube, I don’t watch TV (and I don’t consume any UK terrestrial TV through any platform). I do listen to or download podcasts from BBC Radio 4 and 6 Music sometimes, but I listen to nts.live far more than BBC radio. As far as I’m concerned, the BBC dumbed down back when it found out that most people don’t really like science or detailed documentaries and just want to watch explosions and celebrities.
    I think funding for the BBC needs to be revised, but maybe not now just when the Government are trying to bury some scandals.

  20. Avatar photo HR2Res says:

    I just have to agree with all those who say it’s all trash/nothing worth looking at on the BBC and I hardly ever watch it, because except for things like anything that Attenborough fronts, Sky at Night, Horizon, Jools’ shows, local and national news, The Proms, Only Connect, HIGNFY, Just a Minute, Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Countryfile, Who Do You Think You Are?, Imagine, Graham Norton, Great British Railways, Dr Who, Would I Lie to You, Live at the Apollo, QI, Spring/Winterwatch, Question Time, Newsnight, The Tourist, Line of Duty, His Dark Materials, Happy Valley, Life on Mars, Keeping Faith, Luther, Shetland, Baptiste, The Planets, Digging for Britain, Normal People, Civilisation, A House Through Time, anything by Oliver Postgate, Queers, McMafia, Wolf Hall, Silent Witness, Inside No. 9, The North Water, Africa, Gardener’s World, Ghosts, A Very English Scandal, Vienna Blood, Peaky Blinders, the Scandi noir that BBC4 put on, Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing (worth the licence alone), In the Night Garden, Blue Peter, Life on Mars, Sherlock, Spooks, The Missing, Killing Eve, House of Cards, Talking Heads, The Night Manager, The Fall, Bloodlands, Hinterland, Hidden, … waht else have the BBC ever done for us? Ah! Maybe Fawlty Towers. Yes, but apart from all that, what have the BBC ever done for us? Monty Python?!

  21. Avatar photo Bob Evans says:

    I dont think a tax will happen. If it did it would be a very much scalled back BBC with just 1 genuine PBS channel and 1 PBS Radio station. The rest would go subscription or commercial

  22. Avatar photo Mike says:

    The issue isn’t content; it’s about being forced to pay for something; that’s theft.

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      Like things our tax pays for that we do not use.

    2. Avatar photo GaryH says:

      You could use the money you save on the licence fee to buy a dictionary.

    3. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Fine. I pay for plenty of things like other people’s kids education for a start and many other things in local taxes I don’t wish to pay for. I only use rubbish collection and street lighting, fire and police not all the other “services” the council is supposed to offer.

  23. Avatar photo Bob says:

    There seems to be a misunderstanding on Condional access with Freeview and FreeSat box’s Nearly all current boxes do support conditional access. You may need too buy a module to plug in though

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Unfortunately a lot of those conditional access slots are based on defunct technology PCMCIA. Hardly anyone develops stuff for that legacy technology nowadays.

  24. Avatar photo Alex A says:

    Getting £13.25 per person from broadband fees would require a big tax. Remember that vodafone charge £19.50 for 36mbps so while at £50pm its difficult to swallow at the lower tiers its not far from doubling the price of broadband.

    There was a similar idea of taxing online shopping to make the high street more favourable. The idea of these taxes is just to save dying businesses which need to reinvent themselves.

    1. Avatar photo Sunil Sood says:

      It would be per household not per person, no?

    2. Avatar photo Aled says:

      Is it still that if you have 5 students per household, with 5 lockable doors, that means 5x license fees?

      Taxing online/digital giants is a favourite obsession of local councils. Historically they could force you to pay their council taxes per property, but when those taxes became absurd (several £1000 per month for many pubs and shops) it became cheaper to buy online. Now the councils are screwed, because the high taxes have destroyed the “British high street” and pushed businesses into out of town estates. Then complain they need to raise taxes as all that is left are coffee chains and charity shops (charities don’t pay council tax)…

  25. Avatar photo Rob says:

    Unfortunately social media has created a world where we seem never to have to spend any time listening to views that God forbid disagree with our own. We now make our minds up and allow Facebook and other algorithms to constantly reinforce that view. Generally having massive melt downs spouting words like “woke” a lot.

    Is the the BBC perfect? no, but I’d much rather have it than not.

  26. Avatar photo jet14 says:

    No other country even third world charge tax like the bbc crap license, the bbc lot are enjoying high salries and all expenses paid by taxpyer, the toffs in parliament can claim free licenses or costs etc. There is no need for tax to watch other stuff, this is all big brother control and let bbx die and no more, get rid of crap liers racists etc.

    You British are too woke and cant overthrow the government do an arab sping and get sensible truthful people in to run the country, Get rid of monarchy paid by tax and they get millions in benefit and we have to slog hard.


    1. Avatar photo Sunil Sood says:

      There are other countries who also charge a TV licence, its not just the UK.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Think you’ve missed a dose of some medication.

  27. Avatar photo tim says:

    People complain about £159 a year work harder in life take some extra shifts like overtime happy to pay bbc £250 a year bbc iplayer has no ads and probably the best compared to netflix and disney plus nothing is free god I hate people not paying the license fee……

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Your dilusional Tim.

    2. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

      People complain because they are being forced to pay £159 per year for rubbish that is also exists just to spew far left propoganda. If its so good give people the choice. If they did the BBC would be gone in 5 years and everyone knows it.

    3. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      AG – which programmes have far left propaganda? Examples please.

    4. Avatar photo Ryan Giddings says:

      Country File (Yeah I know, but it’s true, just google country file brexit)

  28. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    Get ready folks. If the government manage to hang on to power, and BBC being paywall then itv, c4 likely to follow suit. At the moment, the gov force BBC to do world service, BBC parliament, monitoring and these don’t fit into commercial model. They already had cost of over 75s dumped on them by government with one arm twisted behind their back during several years of fund freezing.

    Despite getting rid of old rundown costly buildings and head count, the BBC does no favour in regards talent salary and woke agenda. I’m in favour of reform than scrapping because outside of a pandemic there is a lot more BBC content I watch and don’t want a flood of predictable American dross. Really enjoying Green Planet and can’t wait for final series of Peaky Blinders. Doctor Who needs rescuing from woke writers though….

    1. Avatar photo Pip Pip Hurray says:

      No ads on ITV, Channel 4, Sky? Take my money!! On the other hand, I’ve got more chance of spotting flying pigs than seeing ad free channels.

  29. Avatar photo Wayne Butler says:

    Why the hell doesn’t it just go commercial. The channels that look for investment from other sources seem to be growing and their content improving as they can afford to comission a variety of programmes and films. I use to hate commercials popping up in my programmes but now with facilities of catch up you can just fast forward through them anyway. Why is everyone cc so adverse to BBC becoming commercial ?

    1. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Believe it or not, many of us prefer watching live TV and you can’t exactly skip adverts on live TV can you? I’m probably in the minority here but I’d be happy to pay extra on my licence fee if it meant no adverts at all ON ANY CHANNEL. Never gonna happen of course.

  30. Avatar photo DaveG says:

    Thinking about a Broadband tax….. how would that work?
    Tax on fixed broadband, avoid by using mobile data.
    Tax on fixed & mobile, I’m being taxed twice (or more).
    Company provided mobile phone, who pays the tax?
    Tax on data used, but I’m not streaming TV, I’m a gamer.

    1. Avatar photo Boris Cuddly Liar says:

      “Tax on fixed broadband, avoid by using mobile data.”

      That’s a bit like saying “increased Tax on household water supply, avoid by using river water instead”

      Mobile broadband will NEVER replace fixed line internet especially if you have full fat fibre internet.

  31. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    “I got me netflixes and me prime and I don’t need British tv” innit lol

    Gotta love those other subscriptions that will catapult in price increases after they have killed off Sky TV. You think you will continue to get sub-£10 for each one. Have a laugh. Me netflix kept me bang up to date during the pandemic with their news output lol though me prefer the real hard stuff from GB News, its the closest we have to Fox News….

    1. Avatar photo Thick Brexit Voter says:

      Nah, me only watches BNP TV channel on U Tube. Gotta keep Britain white innit! lol

  32. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

    Maybe they could just add it to energy bills? I mean no one will notice then….

  33. Avatar photo Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

    The Conservative voter base is the same group who watch the BBC’s religiously, so I doubt it’ll be going away any time soon. Policies of removal may be populist among politicians, but not the people who put them there. Of course, nobody wants to pay for it; but perhaps those complaining the most are not aware just how bad other countries have it – there is a reason so many pay for subscription services elsewhere.

    1. Avatar photo Anthony Goodman says:

      If its so good, people will all subscribe to it if given the choice.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Anthony, they would subscribe, but freedoms of being able to record content to free to air disk so you can keep recordings, populist programming only for commercial profit, holding politicians of any party to account, all things threatened amongst a great deal of others including potentially £5M+ just for conditional access with Sky if on satellite offering still. Households don’t have universal access to fast FTTP for some years away, so FTTC and ADSL not going to cut it for reliability.

      Also, being commercial means the BBC would not be able to pay out to existing pensions as overhead too big and before they were made commercial (arguably tax payer at that point) Now before the right wing looneys start whining about everyone having a gold plated pension, do your homework as final pensionable pensions were scrapped by end of 2004, but many retired now. Who takes this on?

      The real underlying question is that the Conservatives want to deflect attention off Boris so they go for sacrificing both Channel 4 (for sale) and the BBC thinking its populist with working class as many don’t like paying a yearly charge. They don’t like the BBC because it questions their screw ups and scandals. Whilst in Brexit, the organisation did have some staff that were leaning to remain at times, the coverage of late towards the government has been pretty impartial just reporting the news and if anything, lenient!

      I voted Conservative as Brexit just needed doing as the country was being drained with “shall we or shan’t we” and business needed to have a decision. After the way this bunch of liars has operated I may have to consider another party next time not that there is much decent opposition. I certainly don’t remember selling Channel 4 and defunding BBC to the point they can’t make content an option in their manifesto but then neither was the PPE scandal! And then of course, the fact the government keep wanting to adjust pensionable age because they ultimately don’t want to pay a state pension (but want to keep the paid in contributions) due to the mismanagement even though the NAO has said people NOT living longer now. Yet we have the 85K care home figure rushed in to protect the rich property owners keep the value of their house. 85K to most working class families is a huge chunk of the value of their house to lose; its disproportionate to someone with a £1M+ house. So long as the Eatons keep the rich at the top fat.

    3. Avatar photo Prospero says:

      Ah you speak for all the people do you. Get out of it, no you don’t.
      Plenty of people do not pay the license fee. Ok, more do pay it but out of fear they’ll be sent to prison for not paying Auntie Beeb even if they aren’t watching it.

      What business model works on: you pay us even if you don’t use us, or we take you to jail? Then there’s the fact they hid paedos, have a statue of a naked boy outside their office sculped by another Paedo.

      BBC=buggering british children.

      It’s about time this disgraceful organisation disappeared into the ether forever.

  34. Avatar photo anonymous says:


    I didn’t say everyone? That’s your incorrect failure at interpretation.

    Can you give me proof of people sent to jail for past 2 years at least? No, because its nonsense.

    So the whole BBC hid paedos did they? That’s quite a statement for any company to be accused of. The fact is that Saville was slippery and dodged MANY organisations from charity to hospitals, if you actually listened to the evidence presented by police et al and the BBC were at the time, an organisation who went to town over analysis which other commercial broadcasters would have likely just briefly spent time on.

    The sculpture had been up outside Broadcasting House for several decades (something like 70 years). It was in the sculpture’s later life that it came to light he did wrong things. He was commissioned for a piece of artwork originally and they simply would not have known at the time about his personal life situation. Artwork and Artist are two separate things. Outrageous to suggest a workforce there of 20K would support your outlandish and frankly, unsubstantiated suggestion.

    Don’t let any facts get in the way of you bashing an organisation to fit your need though. Most people pay the license fee, and only a small minority try to evade paying it and they are the most noisiest compared to the silent majority. Do people want reform of some things? sure, its not perfect.

  35. Avatar photo Ryan Giddings says:

    It’s interesting isn’t it. Whenever there’s a BBC story / license fee story we get people coming and saying oh look, every time there’s a BBC story we get the knuckle-dragging, brexit-voting, gammons saying blah blah BBC fee.

    Apparently you’re not allowed to dislike it. And if you do, then you must of course have voted for Brexit, be a ” gammon ” and such. In short, if you dislike BBC then you must be a pseudo intellectual because everyone who does watch BBC and pay for it and tell everyone about how great it is are the absolute smartest people in the country. Because an intelligence test is administered as part of the application process and only smug lefties can apply.

    So then it’s obviously alright for the giant walls of text defending the BBC? Only if you don’t like the BBC is it a problem. The BBC shills are quick to point out that everyone pays, only a small minority of nutters and other insulting names for people who aren’t lefties don’t pay.

    It’s OK to not like BBC. It’s OK to say you don’t like BBC. Just ignore the shills who constantly defend their actions. Even one above is trying to normalize BBC Pedos that’s the type of person who religiously pays their BBC TV tax.

    Now let’s see how long before I get called names, for also not liking the BBC.

  36. Avatar photo j says:

    Why do some feeble minded people compare the NHS & education with the bbc? NHS & education are essentials the bbc isnt.

  37. Avatar photo JS says:

    OK. I used to work for Sky TV. The a month before left I put in my months notice to quit my Sky TV package which I got for free as I had no intention of paying to watch something that even then I found totally boring. (Not just Sky but TV in general) And the tacky garbage that the BBC foist on people who do pay the license as “entertainment” is the worst excuse for programming out there. I now do not have a TV, I do not want a TV. but I do use the internet a lot both for gaming and keeping in touch with family and friends. When I want to keep abreast of the news, there are many ways to do so without having to touch any of the BBC on line stuff. I am more than happy with what I am paying my ISP per month. So this latest BBC scam better not attempt to get money from me. I will NOT be giving them a penny.

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