Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

UK ISPs Could Face Government Broadband TV Tax

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the nose-of-the-camel dept.

Government 136

An anonymous reader writes "Industry regulator Ofcom, which yesterday launched the first phase of its review into public service broadcasting, is threatening to impose a tax on UK broadband ISPs to help resolve funding problems. The review covers all public service broadcasters, both publicly owned and commercial. Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said: 'Public service broadcasting is at a crossroads. Viewers still want a mix of high quality UK-made content, but the traditional television model is not enough to meet all their needs. Today's proposals outline options for a securely-funded PSB future. Now is the time for a wide-ranging debate looking carefully and dispassionately at all the options.'"

cancel ×

136 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

everyone pays (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047448)

yeah, it doesn't matter whether you're actually making use of any of that content, you pay anyway.

Re:everyone pays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048470)

The proposed tax is illegal, it does matter.

Re:everyone pays (2, Insightful)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048584)

As you do for many other things. Hospitals, ambulances, crime investigation, roads, schools, universities, the police, the military etc.


Re:everyone pays (4, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048880)

I have two responses to that:

1. Nearly everyone I know who doesn't pay for cable TV downloads all their favorite TV shows, so they are making use of the content, just not through conventional channels.

2. The BBC and other public broadcasting services must be sustained. I've lived in the US for over four years now and I cannot even begin to express how terrible TV here is in comparison to programs by the BBC. There are a few exceptions, of course, but I would gladly give up my entire cable package consisting of nearly one hundred channels, just to get the handful of BBC channels available in the UK. Having lived in the UK most of my life I too used to criticize the TV tax but this was certainly a case of not knowing what you've got 'till it's gone.

Even if you from part of a minority who truly does not "make use of any of that content" you do indirectly benefit from living in a society where for-profit networks can't completely dumb-down television programming to the point that turning on the box literally causes your brain to rot, and where watching an hour of television also implies watching twenty minutes of commercials.

Public broadcasting benefits society, and taxes are designed to benefit society even though specific taxes may not benefit every individual. So long as the taxes are reasonable and produce real results I would be in favor of them.

Re:everyone pays (1, Troll)

LucBorg (853592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049140)

That's rubbish. The BBC is full of useless biased crap if the programme is in any way political or scientific (see the whole climate change propaganda article fiasco for example). If it's a comedy then the funniest line that any person says is "F***" and that is where everyone is supposed to laugh.

A large number of people in the UK have access to satellite and cable TV now and the most popular programmes on any TV channel are invariably American imports - Lost, 24, Prison Break, Heroes, The Simpsons etc. etc. In fact it was the BBC that showed 24 first and then sky took it to get more subscribers because it was that popular. Lost was first on Channel 4, now its on Sky too. Prison Break was on Channel 5 first, then sky took that too. The Simpsons were a staple of BBC 2 (after first being shown on Sky) for 10 years before it was taken by Channel 4 simply because it was that popular. Heroes is one of the most popular shows in the country - and what channel broadcasts it? Yup, BBC2. Smallville? Yeah - Channel 4. Dawson's Creek - Channel 4 again.

The only worthwile British content is the nature programmes by David Attenborough.

The TV tax we pay serves only two purposes - to create the biased news productions and to fill the pockets of the corrupt BBC executives and presenters. Jeremy Paxman at £500,000 a year? Nice one you loud-mouthed idiot. And what about all the newsreaders on minimum salaries of £400,000/yr and the bigshot newsreaders on millions? I take it you think it is worthwhile that our hard earned, heavily taxed savings are forcefully taken from us and used to pay them to sit on their asses all day and read a monitor? Please!

I don't know what cable package you have taken but if you are truly missing UK TV there is definitely something wrong with you. Seriously, what do you miss? Most indigenous productions in the UK are reality shows where cheap idiots run around swearing at each other and doing demeaning tasks that apparently entertains the public. Eating parts of strange animals is not entertainment, whether you like it or not. Since I pay as well, I demand some programming of higher quality than the gutter level material that we see every day. You must be insane if you miss that.

Yes, America also has loads of reality shows, but the point is that they are funded by advertisement and if you don't want to watch it you don't have to still pay for it. And to anyone who's lucky enough NOT to suffer the disgusting and unjust British TV funding system, the current TV "License" (as they call the tax) must be paid for the simple crime of OWNING a TV, even if you are going to use it to watch DVDs. What a joke. It's because of deluded fools like DigitalAI that the rest of us have to suffer this extortion. The BBC should not only be forced to be advertising funded, it should be dismantled and sold off piece by piece. It and its employees deserve nothing less.

Re:everyone pays (3, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049464)

I challenge you to compare the BBC as a news network to any of the popular American TV news channels for level of political bias and fear or coercion that causes them to collectively avoid reporting significant news stories unfavorable to the Bush administration, or world events that may sit as unpopular with the American viewers and thus impact their advertisers.

Whether "popular" programs are imported or not is irrelevant. It makes sense for the BBC to supplement its own productions with the best productions from other bodies. It is the quality of the programming overall that is significant in the case of the BBC, and I have seen very little to rival it. Just as the shows you mentioned may be the most popular in the UK, they are also some of the most popular in the US. But take that list of shows, divide it among well over 100 channels broadcasting 24 hours a day, and perhaps you can start to see a picture of how sparse high quality programming is here.

I can't speak to the salaries of the BBC, nor do I claim that I'm familiar with their internal operations or that they are appropriate. I will say, however, that you might want to compare the typical interview with Jeremy Paxman to any number of interviews from the likes of Bill O'Reilly, and see how that turns out. I believe you'll find plenty of samples on YouTube.

Yes, America also has loads of reality shows, but the point is that they are funded by advertisement and if you don't want to watch it you don't have to still pay for it.
Where I live basic cable costs me $50/month, and it's 100 channels which are mostly garbage, or nothing. I can pick up exactly two channels over the air with a lot of fuzz.

What a joke. It's because of deluded fools like DigitalAI that the rest of us have to suffer this extortion.
Maybe they should simply create a PBS tax instead of charging for a TV license. I think this is a better representation. I actually agree with you that you should not have to pay a fee just because you own a television, but I also believe that the BBC should remain publicly funded for the good of British society.

Re:everyone pays (3, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049598)

The most popular TV programmes in the UK by a long, long way are *not* things like the simpsons.

Most popular programmes on british TV are a bunfight between Eastenders and Coronation street, between them taking up most of the top 10 viewing slots at around 10 million per showing. Add in Emmerdale and Casualty and that pretty much takes up the top 20, with the BBC News slipping in there at the bottom (yes, paxman earns his keep).

Sky are nowhere. The colour of magic was by far their most popular programme at only 1.2 million viewers (that's a british programme BTW), pulling in double the second place programme Stargate ark of truth which managed only half a million. Even the rerun of 'Ben Hur' on five got more than that.

Scan through the BARB figures and you'll find the vast majority of popular TV in britain is british. The rest is made up of Australian and US stuff... but none of the things you mention are in the list.

Re:everyone pays (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049160)

The BBC and other public broadcasting services must be sustained


Why? The BBC is not a neutral entity. They are extremely one-sided politically. This is not a problem when it is commercial t.v. When you are forced to pay for it, however, this is completely wrong. I say convert the BBC and other public stations to a commercial status, drop the t.v. tax, and let them compete with each other as they should.

Most American commercial t.v. sucks. So what? Turn it off or switch to a cable station. If your cable stations all suck, cancel the service. You get to choose with your remote and your wallet. The choice isn't left up to some idiot nanny-state politician who thinks he knows what is best for you. BTW, most shows on the BBC suck, too. Just as with commercial t.v., there's the occasional gem (Dr. Who).

Re:everyone pays (3, Interesting)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049316)

The BBC may have political bias, but until you have lived in the US and witness the likes of Fox news you really have no idea how good you have it. Their individual party biases aside, the media here, across half-a-dozen "news" networks, appears to be fully coerced in their coverage (or lack there-of) of major political and world events.

You get to choose with your remote and your wallet
That may be true, but it is the wrong way to understand the effect of public broadcast. Where there is competent and broadly targeted public broadcasting a bar is set for the quality of programming of for-profit networks. Without the BBC, for example, I think you would see a very different and quickly degrading television landscape. In fact I know you would, because that's exactly what I see here where there is public broadcast, but unless you're into jazz music, movies from the seventies, or watching senators debating on CSPAN, you would never watch it anyway, and so it doesn't really have much influence on the other networks.

Re:everyone pays (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049492)

Fox news leans to the right, CNN (and all the other major networks) leans to the left. At least there's a choice. I don't watch either of them.

And you are mistaken to think I live in the U.K. I've traveled extensively in Europe and have been to the UK (London, what a shit-hole!). Here in the states, every now and then I turn on "BBC America". If they only show their best shows on this station, then UK t.v. is worse than I originally remember.

Re:everyone pays (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049626)

CNN leans to the left? Which version have you been watching!

CNN like all US news channels is extremely right wing.. not quite as bad as the average US slashdotter, but the agenda is clear.

Re:everyone pays (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050128)

Where you think a station falls in it's bias is more indicative of where you are than where they are. But, they leaned quite a ways to the left the last I checked. Which admittedly was an episode of Bill Clinton chop-pointing at an old woman while telling Monica Lewinsky* that he did not have improper sexual relations with said old lady.

*a story which, you might recall, was broken not by the major news networks, but by a blogger commenting on a story the major networks were sitting on.

You probably think Fox News is extreme-right because of the commentary division, which actually is quite right-wing. (except Bill O'Reilly, who I am convinced is actually a caricature of a talk-show host from the point of view of a left-wing commentator). But the commentary division is not the news division.

Re:everyone pays (3, Interesting)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050182)

They are extremely one-sided politically.
I think that is grossly oversimplified.

If anything I think the BBC (and the Australian ABC) are generally over-critical of whatever government currently in power.

However I do not see that as a bad thing. In a sense this is a way of them demonstrating their independence. It is far more dangerous for a national broadcaster to be too soft on those in power than too hard.

Re:everyone pays (2, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050230)

Why? The BBC is not a neutral entity. They are extremely one-sided politically.
I have noticed their coverage of the Olympica Torch is more Pro-China.

This is not a problem when it is commercial t.v. When you are forced to pay for it,

Who pays for ITV? Tesco, Morissons, Asda, Sainsburys, etc. etc. It's pretty hard to avoid paying for ITV. Or Sky.

however, this is completely wrong. I say convert the BBC and other public stations to a commercial status, drop the t.v. tax, and let them compete with each other as they should.
You can choose not to have a TV.

most shows on the BBC suck, too. Just as with commercial t.v., there's the occasional gem (Dr. Who).
But while you, I, and most of Slashdot love Dr Who, there's 50 million people the UK that don't. The BBC has to cater for all of them.

Re:everyone pays (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051052)

Interesting that the BBC is pro-Chinese in the torch coverage. From what I hear (second hand), our local news is covering the protests, but I have no idea if there's any bias since I haven't looked for myself.

I lost my cable connection last week (glitch?) and can't be bothered to have it fixed because the only shows I care to watch are recorded (dvr) by a friend so we can watch whenever we want, not when the networks choose. At the moment the shows I am interested in are: Dr. Who, Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, and Terminator. Yes, I am a card carrying geek!

I still say the market should decide. Yep, we lose great shows like Firefly, but it's only a show, not the end of the world.

I have to agree. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049618)

I defected to the US eleven years ago, from the UK, so never saw many of the later channels, but I don't bother watching much TV in the States any more. The quality of BBC programming, in my opinion, is (by and large) superior to any US broadcaster. Not just television, either - I'd take BBC's radio services over Clear Channel's any day.

My one gripe is that broadband is not truly comparable to broadcasting unless the ISPs enable multicasting to the home. Point-to-point streaming is so harsh on bandwidth that it can't be considered a true competitor for regular programming at this time.

Re:everyone pays (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050932)

I downloaded the BBC comedy "Ideal" the other night, don't think I've ever seen anything so damn funny! Good to watch a comedy without that irritating canned laughter that seems to have affected every last American sitcom these days.

Re:everyone pays (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23052332)

turning on the box literally causes your brain to rot

I've never heard of brainrot caused by the quality of the information you consume. In fact I've never heard of brains just starting to rot in healthy individuals (and I don't think any of the brain diseases I've heard about qualify as rot).

(AKA don't use "literally" when you mean "figuratively" or just an expletive for emphasis)

Ofcom (2, Insightful)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047462)

So ISPs have to help fund the regulator that regulates them. Kinda makes sense I guess.

Re:Ofcom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047612)

This isn't a tax to fund the regulator Ofcom, it's a statement that the "TV license" (effectively, the tax that all owners of TVs have to pay per household) isn't felt sufficient to pay for the costs of the BBC (the public-owned national TV broadcaster) and "public service broadcasting" in general.

There's plenty of factors that play into this, like..
- should there be a government run TV channel and production company?
- if yes, how much should be spent on it? how has its costs increased over time? what is the rate of production - is it run efficiently, is it the right size for the role envisioned, etc. I would say that as we all pay the equivalent of $250 per year for it in tax, we all have a right to constant debate about it.

As someone living in England my impression (shared by myself) is that most people are in favour of funding the BBC, because it's typically decent-quality news, and the pro-social-democrat-government bias (in my view) isn't really very massive. If you look at bbc.co.uk you will find decent quality news. And if this is your standpoint, then it is at least a given possibility that as more people get high speed internet and stop having TV sets then the funding level may drop and you may need to look at different forms of funding.

My own concern is really over the scope of the BBC and the public service broadcasting - it now has 4 channels (BBC 1, 2, 3, 4), a children's channel, various other bits and pieces, and the funding may even go to other channels than the BBC. I would be concerned if it could be shown that the BBC and recipiency of funding has grown significantly in scope together with an above-inflation increase in the license.

Re:Ofcom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047846)

I would say that as we all pay the equivalent of $250 per year for it in tax, we all have a right to constant debate about it.

You have a right to constantly debate pretty much anything you please. Not only the things you pay for. Unless you mean you have a right to have others debate with you even if they've lost interest.

I think the main factor in raising funds via broadband ISPs is the anticipated switch from over the air receipt of television broadcasts to internet access to television content on demand, making the TV licence increasingly irrelevant in the future. I'd agree with your concerns about broadening the list of recipients too much - not ALL TV content should be financed that way.

Re:Ofcom (1)

whopub (1100981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048226)

Sounds more like a fucking problem than a funding problem...

Right... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047490)

TV executives claim they don't have enough money so the government simply tax another section of the economy to give more to them?

 

Re:Right... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047610)

the courporate bbc seeks more funds for their propaganda brainwashing of the British populous because ppl realise the TV broadcasts are complete crap and better content can be found via the interweb.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/396197.html

http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbw.cgi

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/396229.html

Re:Right... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047644)

Pray tell, could you enlighten me how much the corporate BBC paid out in dividends to its shareholders last year?

Re:Right... (0, Offtopic)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047820)

they do have large pay checks and bonuses. regardless of the statement being incorrect the links are an interesting read. i have noticed many top stories missed by the bbc including anti war demo's the destruction of our civil rights.

what the bbc are good at is the scaremongering of paedophiles, terrorists and pirates, just to make sure we will all give up our rights to protect our children.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/04/396197.html [indymedia.org.uk]

great documentary exploring the rape of our civil liberties over the last 10 years by the labour government.


FTA: TAKING LIBERTIES is a shocking but hilarious polemic documentary that charts the destruction of all your Basic Liberties under 10 Years of New Labour. Released to coincide with Tony Blair's departure, the film and the book follow the stories of normal people who's lives have been turned upside down by injustice - from being arrested for holding a placard outside parliament to being tortured in Guantanamo Bay.

THIS IS WHAT YOU DON'T READ IN THE PAPERS! THIS IS WHAT YOU DON'T SEE ON TV! AND IT'S HAPPENING TO YOU!

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-3351275215846218544&q=Taking+Liberties&total=235&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 [google.co.uk]

Re:Right... (2, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048670)

they do have large pay checks and bonuses. regardless of the statement being incorrect the links are an interesting read. i have noticed many top stories missed by the bbc including anti war demo's the destruction of our civil rights.
Odd, as I've noticed all of that stuff being reported in depth. Er, you are listening to the serious news coverage on Radio 4, aren't you, not the bubblegum on the 6 O'Clock news?

what the bbc are good at is the scaremongering of paedophiles, terrorists and pirates, just to make sure we will all give up our rights to protect our children.
That seems to be more down to the press -- and the BBC generally points out when they're doing it.

Hardly the epitome of balanced and fair reporting.

Re:Right... (3, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047678)

Yeah, this is stupid. At least with the TV License, people only had to pay if they owned a tuner, whose main purpose was to watch the broadcast content, the vast majority of which was BBC produced. There were exceptions like folks that had a TV with tuner but only used it as a DVD monitor, but it at least attempted to be targeted at people using the service. This is just ridiculous - there are so many applications of broadband that BBC content is a tiny minority. If they are concerned about their revenue stream drying up as media moves online, they should just limit their online content to folks that paid the TV license rather than allowing all UK IP addresses like they do now.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047786)

This is just ridiculous - there are so many applications of broadband that BBC content is a tiny minority. If they are concerned about their revenue stream drying up as media moves online, they should just limit their online content to folks that paid the TV license rather than allowing all UK IP addresses like they do now.

This is the UK, and these are politicians we are dealing with. I fully expect to have to pay per byte someday when I download Slackware, Slamd64, Open Solaris, NetBSD and so forth, just in case the packets happen to contain BBC TV programmes (I already pay the TV license) or BPI/RIAA music, etc. (This is sarcasm).

Needless to say, if such laws are passed, I will download all the rubbish TV, music and films that my bandwidth allows, whether I want to watch/listen to them or not.

I might as well get my money's worth.

Re:Right... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049716)

The irony here is that while all this is going on in the broadband review, another government review process is pretty solidly rejecting the idea of imposing a levy on blank media as compenstion for a format shifting exception to copyright on the basis that it would be unfair to people who do unreasonable things like backing up their own data.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049490)

If you have a TV but only use it to watch DVDs (or whatever), then you don't have to pay for a TV licence.

Re:Right... (2, Interesting)

radio4fan (304271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047980)

Fear not. It'll never happen.

One of the largest ISPs in Britain is Sky, owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch is pretty much the most powerful man in Britain. The government daren't piss off Murdoch.

And Murdoch's News International pays virtually no tax in the UK, and I doubt he's about to start.

Ofcom can say what they like, but HMG aren't going to be setting aside time to pass legislation which will hit Murdoch in the pocket.

Re:Right... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049616)

lol. Sky are not one of the largest ISPs.. they're relatively small in fact.

BT are by far the dominant player having (last time I checked) around 60% of the broadband accounts in the country.

Totally ridiculous (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047492)

Broadband is too cheap, it's obvious that when you reduce ADSL to a low price comparable to dialup that the price becomes unsustainable if people are using lots of bandwidth.

BBC iPlayer uses bandwidth that customers pay for, they have a set limit which they are allowed and if they exceed it then they have to pay for more bandwidth.

So why should a tax be imposed on all customers? Ofcom is stupid and a waste of time, they're ruining the UK TV market by allowing more frequent adverts and now this.

Re:Totally ridiculous (1)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047760)

Broadband is too cheap, it's obvious that when you reduce ADSL to a low price comparable to dialup that the price becomes unsustainable if people are using lots of bandwidth.
This isn't obvious at all. Network equipment keeps getting faster and cheaper, and the only thing an ISP needs to provide more bandwidth is more and faster routers. ISPs like to pretend that your using ten times as much bandwidth costs them ten times as much, but it doesn't; it just means they have to upgrade a little sooner.

Re:Totally ridiculous (2, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048422)

Both you and the GP are correct - the point being that once a customer has paid for their bandwidth, there should be no question of extra remuneration for the ISPs unless individuals start exceeding the bandwidth usage they've paid for.

I suppose the case the ISPs (particularly the budget ones) are making is that services like the iPlayer are causing a large proportion of their consumers to exceed their bandwidth limits. Now, it would be impractical, the ISPs argue, to go after the individual customers (many of whom have no idea that they're doing anything wrong) so they want the content providers to pay instead.

What the GP is saying is that these budget ISPs are feeling the brunt of this high demand for large-bandwidth content because they are operating on profit margins that are simply too small (hence the GP claiming "broadband is too cheap").

Re:Totally ridiculous (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23052498)

It's more a case of overpromising, the ISPs looked at their bandwidth, estimated an average load for the users and thus calculated how many users they could support on an average load (or how high they could set the peak speed for x users). The average load was calculated for normal browsing and maybe some gaming activity but now more and more applications can use the peak bandwidth at all times so the average is rising and the ISPs are screwed since they already promised everyone the peak bandwidths and many don't have limits on how long that peak may be sustained. Even those who do suddently find customers demanding more volume because the amount of data transferred in everyday use went up a lot and what was enough in the past no longer is.

Re:Totally ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048316)

Wrong - its because when you buy a new TV, your name is recorded so that they can make sure you have a TV licence. In todays world, many people can access and watch TV programmes just fine using a broadband connection and a computer - but the TV Licencing ("detector") Vans which insure you are viewing legally can't tell if you're watching TV programmes due to this.

The chances are it will become worse in future, as people will find out its undetectable, and as such licence fees mainly for the BBC will reduce, in turn reducing the number of programmes made.

So its not about paying for bandwitdh, but paying for the programmes!

Re:Totally ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049452)

Not just TV's - anything with a tuning circuit - PC reception card, satellite DVB card, digital TV set top box, notebook/desktop PC with builtin TV tuner on the motherboard. All of these get your name and address forwarded to TV licensing. Just about all PC's now have a buit in TV tuner...

Re:Totally ridiculous (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050184)

So why should a tax be imposed on all customers? Ofcom is stupid and a waste of time, they're ruining the UK TV market by allowing more frequent adverts and now this.
I agree,
Failed business shoulden't be allowed to use tax to survive they should die out like any normal business.

~Dan

Re:Totally ridiculous (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23052582)

"Broadband is too cheap, it's obvious that when you reduce ADSL to a low price comparable to dialup that the price becomes unsustainable if people are using lots of bandwidth."

- I know of a company which makes a lot of money, its called Iliad Free-telecom
- the client pays 30â euros a month
- gets uncapped connection up to around 20mbps (only limit is how far you are from the dslam,) free phone to 70 countries
- dozen of gigabytes personally used a month up and down (musician here, exchanging large files, downloading US shows to improve my English, porn to improve my... woops, etc)
-IPTV (to your tv or pc screen, tivo functionalities included for free with the adsl set top box hard drive, or thanks to software mods if tv is played on the pc,) around 2 to 8mbps stream depending on several factors (3.5mbps for normal connection and non high def channels)
- 30â a month
- 30â a month
- 30â a month

Ok maybe i'm missing something. Maybe that in France we don't have as much broadband users as the average, but I can say you that I know plenty of people (family and friends) who use IPTV for its quality and convenience (it comes free with ADSL, why paying for anything else?)

Honestly, from my non specialist point of view, but looking at how much bandwidth me and my pals use on average (only 3,5mbps IPTV can amount to a lot if you're looking at the average 4 hours a day of TV [which I don't but I have other heavy uses]) I just can't see any serious problem surfacing before FTTH, and then, well...

Taxes (2, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047494)

Why is this a tax on Internet access, rather than being drawn from the general fund? Net access is something that is good for people to have, so putting a tax on it is a bad thing, especially since it's a regressive tax (people with lower income will spend proportionally more of their income on net access, so proportionally more of their income goes to the tax).

Taxes on specific things, rather than broad taxes that go to the general fund, should be for one of two reasons. Either the tax should be intended to discourage something (whether that's an ethical reason I'll leave to others, but if society making such judgements is reasonable then the tax is reasonable), or the tax should be intended to internalize an internal cost. So taxes on carbon emissions and other polluting activities make sense (though imho tradable permits are better), because there is a normally external cost paid by society that should be shifted to the ones creating the problem. Internet access is neither of those things -- and public content is most certainly not an external cost.

Re:Taxes (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047636)

They want to put a tax, because with iPlayer, you could not have a TV, and not pay the TV tax, and still watch almost everything on the BBC. Which is what the TV tax goes towards. I think a much better solution would be, either, pay the TV tax, or if you don't already pay the TV tax, and you want to use iPlayer, then you should have to pay the TV tax. No need to charge everyone with an internet connection. Just charge everyone who wants to use iPlayer.

Re:Taxes (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047698)

The TV licencing site says: "You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, digital box, DVD or video recorder, PC, laptop or mobile phone to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. If you use a digital box with a hi-fi system or another device that can only be used to produce sounds and can't display TV programmes, and you don't install or use any other TV receiving equipment, you don't need a TV Licence." So if you do have a computer you still need to pay out. In fact I think the whole iPlayer is just an excuse to make sure the BBC is on the net so there is no getting around paying for a licence.

Re:Taxes (2, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048180)

That doesn't apply to PCs used to watch iPlayer. You have to be using the PC to watch television in real time ("to watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV"), for example using a TV card in your PC, to qualify for the tax.

In fact I think the whole iPlayer is just an excuse to make sure the BBC is on the net so there is no getting around paying for a licence.
This is obviously not the case, hence why this issue of broadband tax is coming up. I'm a bit confused as to how you could think this anyway - don't you think having the BBC's content online is a good thing?

Re:Taxes (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048306)

While you might be able to fight and possible get out of it the fact is the BBC sees it another way.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5081350.stm [bbc.co.uk]

The article points out that if you watch something that appears on the TV, whether or not it's through a TV card then you need a licence.

This comes down to the whole argument of proving that someone actually watches the content that requires a TV Licence and since, like a TV you have the ability to watch the streams live then they'll count it. I would bet on that.

But as well I think iplayer will end up getting classed a new channel even if it only has repeats they'd article it's like all those "+1" channels.

Re:Taxes (2, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048378)

No. From the article you linked to:

The law says that anyone who uses a TV, or any other device to receive TV signals, must buy a licence.
The iPlayer does not count as a TV signal any way you spin it.
And again, from the article you linked to:

You only need a licence if you use your computer to watch programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV.
I don't see how you can be so confused over this, it's quite clear.

Re:Taxes (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048698)

The article points out that if you watch something that appears on the TV, whether or not it's through a TV card then you need a licence.
iPlayer != TV card.

Re:Taxes (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047718)

The TV tax is also a silly silly idea, if you assume TV ownership is a good thing (whether that's the case is a different question). And since nearly everyone pays it anyway, it ends up being equivalent to a regressive general tax -- which means it would be better all around to simply take the money from the general fund and increase the general tax rate accordingly.

Re:Taxes (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048246)

Agreed. The Beeb, whilst not always repeating government propaganda, is nevertheless a mouthpiece of the status quo, and should be paid for more by those who benefit from that situation. All of these issues of enforcement vanish if you simply add it on to the income tax.

Re:Taxes (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23052530)

I think the logic for a separate TV tax was to make the BBC independent of the govt's budget planning so the govt cannot threaten to slash the BBC's funding for dissenting oppinions.

Problems (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048342)

1) Linux stuff available for ALL programs funded by the BBC in part? If not, then no, not paying.
2) Dialup? P2PThrottled? AUP? Congested network? Well you're not getting this stuff then, are you.

Ladies and gentle man, that does not make sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047582)

If they tax broadband, I might have to throw away my TV and start getting TV programs the way I want. Not some DRM junk iplayer but torrents. That way I get to decide when they are deleted. No TV means no licence, but hey I'm not freeloading because I payed the tax in full.

Now is the time... (3, Insightful)

rizole (666389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047620)

...for...looking carefully and dispassionately at all the options.
I'm not sure /. is quite the forum for achieving that particular aim.

Re:Now is the time... (1)

EvolutionsPeak (913411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051566)

Does such a forum exist on the internet? If so, I would like a link to it.

Pre-emptive strike (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047634)

Given that UK ISPs have been claiming that the BBC should pay for the ISPs' users accessing BBC media online, does anyone else think this is just a ploy to get the ISPs on the back foot? Maybe the BBC hopes that the ISPs would be willing to settle for some kind of arrangement along the lines of "ISPs don't get taxed to fund the BBC so long as they don't throttle BBC services for their users".

I really don't know where I stand on this. On one hand, the ISPs have been massively overselling their capacity, and without access to "free" media a broadband connection is not of great interest to their customers, so my sympathy for them is limited.

On the other hand, the ISPs are in a difficult market right now (even if it is largely their own doing), and I'm not sure that squeezing them further is in the best interest of future internet in the UK. I'm also not convinced that taxes used to fund the BBC are used all that fairly. I'm generally in favour of government funding of the BBC, it means it's less controlled by commercial interests, but the current state of play is pretty unfair on the other media providers in the UK right now.

Re:Pre-emptive strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048146)

As you present it there's a confusing conflation of ideas. There's a clear separation of services. The BBC provide media, the ISPs are carriers of media. If that is recognised and free market forces are left to play out unhindered the system will balance itself.

The only time goverment intervention is needed is where the suppliers of media also become the distributors and conspire in a monoplistic cartel.
As it happens, that is exactly what the BBC had pre 1970s until the IBA told them they could not have a monoply on UHF broadcast. Pretty much the same deal when BT, BR and the National Grid were broken up. A clear separation of supplier and carrier was created.

Your suggestion that "ISPs don't get taxed to fund the BBC so long as they don't throttle BBC services for their users" only hints at agressive and corrupt thinking. The ISPs should making no such threats if they want to stay out of court. They should observe common carrier status, at a flat rate per gigabyte, and not concern themselves with what they carry, or for whom. If we are going to take a state socialist view, and admit that internet is part of "essential national infrastructure" then if the worst comes to the worst nationalise the carriers. These should be the rules of the game. If you can't make money as a carrier then get out of that game and find a business you can compete in. If nobody can make a profit as internet service providers then the government should step in, but not before the private companies have been forced to play according to the rules. A solution must be fair as well as utilitarian, so changing the rules to subsidise the ISPs is just govenment aid by the back door.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047662)

The BBC is our public service broadcaster, if they have funding issues then they should cut costs. The other broadcasters can put away their begging bowls and start making programs for the public instead of advertisers. As for ISP's, they may just want to stop calling for the BBC to subsidize their overselling of bandwidth. No reason for the incompetents in government to get involved in this at all - we already pay a 17.5% tax on internet access.

It's hard to sit out the dickhead convention living in the UK.

Re:Yeah right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047758)

I'm not sure of your contribution to a better convention.

'If the BBC has funding issues they should cut costs'
- maybe this applies to everything else as well? If the NHS has funding issues they should cut costs, if the department for transport has funding issues in road building they should cut costs - isn't it rather a discussion of what the _job_ should be, and then whether the cost that is quoted is about as expected for that job, i.e. whether it's run efficiently enough?

'The other broadcasters can put away their begging bows and start making programs for the public instead of advertisers'
- so they should STOP asking the public for funding, but START making programs that advertisers will not pay for? I take it they will get an extra hour of lunch break per day, so they can first beg on the street for their daily wage to spend the next hour eating?

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047932)

maybe this applies to everything else as well?

Sorry strawman, I never said that, I said the BBC!

I don't care for Johnathan Ross or Terry Wogan but even if I did; they're grossly overpaid. 2 feature length dramas or 2 big-name presenters, the choice is easy. There was a time when producers at the BBC had real power, now everything's done by committee (branding - pfft!). And it's undeniable that the BBC had better and broader programming before the arrival of the MBA/Marketing contingent.

START making programs that advertisers will not pay for

Charlie Brooker [wikipedia.org] covered this in the last series of screenwipe. Once you begin targeting a demographic, you're targeting an idealized version of an individual that doesn't really exist. Considering that the commercial broadcasters are selling viewers eyeballs to advertisers you may think making stuff individuals want to watch would be a good idea?

The comedy of the situation (2, Interesting)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049582)

* Most nations look up to the quality of the BBC, even though it's hotly debated inside the UK
* People are complaining that they are more busy these days than ever
* We complaining that our education system is failing us and our children are growing up to be louts
* We keep hearing stories of kids being parented to greater and greater extents by TV
* We want to see the top public broadcasters cutting costs and funding to put a few more pennies back into our pockets

Good move everybody, good move.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049786)

It may be worth pointing out at this point that the other broadcasters *do* get a cut of the license fee. Doesn't stop them making lowest common denominator crap though.

I think you mean (2, Insightful)

gogodidi (885953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047680)

UK ISP customers could face government broadband TV tax

Re:I think you mean (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049540)

And ISP customers may just react by cancelling their premmium rate services. A good 44,000 people cancelled their cable TV service after Virgin Media (Richard Branson) got into spat with Sky (Rupert Murdoch) over the distribution rights of Sky One and Sky News. Virgin Media are now in the situation where they are now increasing telephone and service charges on a monthly basis.

Uk? Taxes? No! (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047720)

Everyone meet in Boston and DoS UK servers. It's the only way to tell the motherland that we will not put up with outrageous taxes.

Re:Uk? Taxes? No! (1)

MttJocy (873799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051690)

Damn, I wish I had some mod points, you deserve a +1 funny for that IMO.

Anyone not getting the joke see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party [wikipedia.org]

What is this news item about? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047730)

This seems to be an article about England? What is this doing here? Slashdot is about America, not about backward European problems. We might as well have news that the Africans have put up a new mud hut!

Re:What is this news item about? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048508)

fuck off back to the land of the free you ignorant cunt

Re:What is this news item about? (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048594)

I really want to mod this +1 funny but I know I shouldn't

Are we taxing the right group? (1)

kandresen (712861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047752)

I believe the question should first be what defines a broadcast. Regular internet activity is not what I believe is broadcast as shows seen through such as Youtube are not synchronized and downloaded independently on a user basis. The next question is when, lets say, BBC actually offers a Internet broadcast where you indeed simply join the stream at any point, not seeing what was delivered prior to that point. It is broadcast, but who is the Broadcaster? Is it correct to tax the ISP for this? In this case, would it represent a double tax on the same service already paid for by BBC, or will BBC this way not need to pay a fee? There is another situation however - if the ISP in fact have agreements with program providers such as BBC to transmit broadcast to the ISP's clients. In this case the ISP is in control of these Broadcasts and I totally agree they should pay tax.

Sheeple Getting Sheared and Slaughtered (0)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047774)

I think it is time people started standing up and asserting their own needs/wants/desires in government instead of letting governments treat us all like cattle.

As long as people are content to sit on the sidelines and bleat like sheep, they will be slaughtered and sheared like sheep.

Like the meme of dropping a frog in hot water and it jumps right back out, but put a frog in cold water and gradually heat it up and the frog just puts up with it until it dies. People in the USA and Britain both are sitting in their hot pots.

You have to do something about it or die.

Re:Sheeple Getting Sheared and Slaughtered (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047808)

They're too busy watching TV to care.

Re:Sheeple Getting Sheared and Slaughtered (1)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048626)

Amen to that. Or just take care of them without government. Government should exist to protect the country and fight crime. Not provide social services or television.

Getting the wrong Idea (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047790)

This is going to be a replacement for the TV licence. This isn't going to be an additional tax and won't penalise people for having broadband. A Broadband fee (for the general public) rather than TV licence has been considered for a while now.

It also doesn't specifically say anywhere that ISPs are being singled out, it's pure speculation and fear mongering there. ISPs could even benefit, getting licence fee to ensure that they deliver online TV. It wouldn't make a huge amount of sense to financially penalise companies who already have their costs increased by things like the iplayer.

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047936)

What about people who didn't have a TV license? This will be a new tax for them.

When I decided that I didn't want to pay extra for cable, I canceled the service. That doesn't mean that the cable companies get to apply a fee on my Netflix subscription.

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048204)

There are very few people who are legally without a TV licence. receiving any form of TV signal (satelite, cable etc.) means you have to pay it as does viewing BBC Video clips (either through iPlayer, bbc.co.uk or youtube).

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048506)

I have no intention of ever installing DRM or proprietary software to view 'content'. If they do away with the TV license, why would I pay a broadband tax?

Would OFCOM like to pay me for not using my car or something?

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049482)

They are doing away with analog broadcasts. That leaves digital TV by terrestial broadcast, satellite dish, or cable. If anything, the BBC should be able to switch to a subscription based service.

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049670)

... and lose 90% of its revenue thereby having to charge as much or more as Sky (which works out at something like £1000 a year - 10* the BBC cost) and depriving those without that much money of the BBC entirely. Worse, it could start taking advertising and become something like the scumheap that is ITV.

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048740)

There are very few people who are legally without a TV licence. receiving any form of TV signal (satelite, cable etc.) means you have to pay it
Correct.

as does viewing BBC Video clips (either through iPlayer, bbc.co.uk or youtube).
Wrong. As has been discussed in another thread, a TV card needs a license, but iPlayer, bbc.co.uk and youtube (at the moment) don't because the program is not viewed as it is broadcast.

Re:Getting the wrong Idea (1)

MttJocy (873799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051732)

You are clearly uneducated on the law, viewing video clips does NOT require a TV license any more than using your computer without a TV card to watch your brand new DVD boxed set of Dr. Who does. You need a TV licence to use a TV, DVD player, Video Recorder, PC, laptop or mobile phone to decode and receive live TV signals.

Note, video clips are not a live TV signal (defined due to prescient clarifications as being a live TV BROADCAST) note video clips are NOT a broadcast, they are by definition unicast, you demand content and it is sent to you from the point you requested individually, broadcast is not, broadcast is sent to all at the same time you join at whatever point the stream is at when you join, it is not on demand. Either you are unsure how the rules are defined or you don't understand the concepts of broadcast and/or "TV Signals".

UK TV Tax is Unsupportable (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047806)

The UK taxes people per TV, supposedly to direct those taxes into the government production (BBC) and oversight (regulation) of TV broadcasts. The idea was supposedly that people who didn't have a TV wouldn't have to pay to support the government's work producing and overseeing TV.

But the benefit of that government work doesn't come only through the TV. TV is now, generations after introducing the tax, as integrated a societal activity, whether government produced or not, as any other largescale activity. It's as (and more) universal and impactful as, say, newspaper publishing.

The UK should stop charging TV taxes as a service fee, and just integrate the taxation into it's broadbased general taxation. That would drop the now arbitrary basis for the tax, and eliminate bottlenecks that call for even more arbitrary taxes to "fix" the problem of using the wrong basis for the tax in the first place.

Wrong (5, Informative)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047930)

"The UK taxes people per TV,"

This is totally wrong.

The TV Receiving License is per {House,Flat,Shop,School,etc}

You can have as many TV's as you like in your house and only pay 1 License fee.
HMO's are treated as separate residences. ( HMO = House for Multiple Occupancy )

I have 3 TV's in my House and pay 1 TV License.

Distinction Without Difference (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048026)

OK, the tax is per premises. Does that make one iota of difference to the point I made?

Re:Distinction Without Difference (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048716)

The basis of your premise was wrong, fscktard. Don't comment on countries you have no clue about, Mr. Faggot Yanky Gun Totting Butt Mucher.

Re:Distinction Without Difference (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048806)

No, Anonymous shiteater Coward, the difference between "tax per TV" and "tax per premises" is insignificant. The country in which simple logic is applied makes even less than no difference. They really should start teaching logic to you barbarians in Elbonia. Or at least that you should shut your mouth when you're outgunned both literally and intellectually.

"Tax": technically correct, practically misleading (2, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048488)

The UK taxes people per TV, supposedly to direct those taxes into the government production (BBC) and oversight (regulation) of TV broadcasts

There is no "supposedly" about it. Yes, the license fee is a charge imposed by the state, so its technically justifiable to call it a "tax". However, it is completely distinct from "general taxation" - like the "road tax" or tax on cigarettes which go into the general coffers with no obligation for the government to use the money for transport or healthcare. The license fee is collected independently and is actually used to fund the BBC [bbc.co.uk] .

Likewise - yes, the BBC is a state institution. However, in the British political system "state" is not synonymous with "the currently incumbent political party" - some effort is made to separate governance of the BBC from government and any party interference is Definitely Not Cricket. If you're skeptical, go look at news.bbc.co.uk and see if it looks like the Voice of El Presidente to you.

However, I suspect the issue raised in TFA is eventually going to be the end of the BBC. The arrival of media convergence makes a nonsense of only licensing "television receiving equipment", and the idea of charging ISPs is going to be highly contentious. I wouldn't mind a reasonable levy on my broadband connection if it is collected and spent in the same way as the TV license - but not if it morphs into just another tax to fund the new Crucades and bail out incompetent bankers.

PS: Is the BBC immune to political bias? No. Is the BBC 100% efficient in spending its money? Nope! Do I completely trust it? Hell, no. Do I trust it more than a big commercial broadcaster with ties to big industry and the Republican party? Er, yes.

Re:"Tax": technically correct, practically mislead (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048550)

I don't see how you disagree with anything that I said. I didn't say it's not funding the BBC.

Re:"Tax": technically correct, practically mislead (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051582)

Let me see if I have it straight. The BBC is an organization that you have to pay to support, but you have no way to influence what it does or how it provides its service? If you don't like its programming, you can choose not to watch, but this only effects its finances if you get rid of your TV's completely. If you don't like its programming you can petition your MP, but your MP has essentially no power over the BBC. So, you trust the bureaucrats who run the BBC more than you trust people who are responsible to either voters (the Republican Party...if people vote against them they have no power of any kind), or to their customers (big industry...if people don't buy what they are selling they go bankrupt)?
That didn't express clearly the absolute incredulity I have at the thought that you put more trust in people who, from what you said, appear to be essentially unaccountable than in people who at least can be held to some level of accountability for their actions.

Yeah right... (2, Insightful)

radio4fan (304271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047916)

Ofcom has no power to set taxes.

They are unelected, so have no need to please voters.

Their aims and views are at odds with government: empire-building vs not-getting-voted-out.

If HM Gubmint puts a levy on internet access on the say-so of Ofcom, I'm a banana.

Re:Yeah right... (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049734)

They *are* tasked with examining the options regarding funding from time to time though.

The BBC Charter was only settled last year. The next charter review is 2012 - at which time the landscape regarding ISPs, broadband, etc. will be totally different (we should be mostly if not totally digital by then for example). The incumbent government of the time will then make the final decision, present it to the queen (it being a royal charter) and carry on as usual.

Part of the license fee going towards broadband structure to support TV distribution has some precedent - some of it goes to the commercial TV channels already (not that they use any of it to make decent programmes, but I digress...). I believe this is what Ofcom are proposing, despite the way Slashdot have decided it's the other way around.

Basically it's a consultation document.. one of many, that will all be gathered up somewhere towards 2012, given to the politician in charge then who then has to decide what to do. Absolutely nothing is going to come of it in the short term.

Maddness! (2, Interesting)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048500)

Sadly, this madness is already in effect in Denmark. I launched a website with a petition [stopcomputerlicens.dk] to stop this ludicrous practice in Denmark about 1½ year ago (note: site is in Danish!)

We have collected more than 41.000 "signatures" in opposition of applying TV license fees to the internet and/or devices which have absolutely nothing to do with television.

I have written a quick background summary in English [stopcomputerlicens.dk] on my website. The rest of the site is in Danish ... sorry :-)

So unfortunately, the British are not the first to go down this sad path.

- Jesper

More information (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051480)

Here is some additional information directly from DR, the Danish state television company (who thinks it is perfectly ok to rip people off, and force them to pay TV license fees even if they don't own a TV set and never watch TV).

http://www.dr.dk/OmDR/Licens/sprog/20061009123141.htm [www.dr.dk]

brgds

- Jesper

same old story (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048988)

The rich get richer and the poor get taxed to oblivion. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Fuck it, I'll move back to Mars.

Hands up all who think TV over IP is a good idea.. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049506)

Does anybody really think TV-on-demand over IP can ever work?

It's concentrated stupidity in its very purest form. One tiny drop of this is enough to lower the collective IQ of an entire nation.

Re:Hands up all who think TV over IP is a good ide (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049770)

iplayer seems to work OK.

It's actually quite useful - I've found a lot of stuff that I wouldn't normally watch whilst browsing through it. Probably the first implementation I've ever seen that was actually usable, as long as you don't get suckered into downloading that kontiki crap.

All the ISP's fault (1)

zenst (558964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050188)

Its the fault of the ISP,s who of late have been bitching about the BBC iplayer and how they should have a cut of the TV liscense fee. Well tooo me this response by the govement was not only a firm bitchslap back but also a very forward thinking and indeed logical relook at reality. Bottom line its the customer who bends over once the bickering has been done.

Re:All the ISP's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23050320)

Bollocks it is. The BBC have been after extra cash for years, since long before last funding review. They're hoping to make it look like they have Special Value as a New Media Service with all this iCrap, with the expectation that as a result everyone who connects to the internet will be expected to chuck money in their direction. I don't blame them for trying it on but seriously, they don't actually offer all that much.

Sadly, the broadband TV tax will probably happen anyway, because there are two spellings for 'government' in the UK, one being 'clique', and the variant being 'gullible'.

What about the folks not watching tv on pcs? (1)

watermodem (714738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050656)

youtube and liveleak's material is not on TV unless it is Gore's stupid cable channel.

I am more likely to watch them in a given day than broadcast TV.

If I want I movie... bittorrent - and not any content from a broadcaster....
and that holds for XXX too.

BBC is fricking boring.... BORING!
Sat/Cable - Andrew Bourdain maybe history chan and nat geo chan otherwise forget it...

Now for the Number one USE of the internet WoW....
Blizzard is the only one responsible for that not any tax funded circle jerks...

News.... Blogs, LiveLeak actual news sources - not bbc fox etc....

Music ,,, Shoutcast etc.. software channels like The Atlanta Blues Society..

Software.... Debian etc...

So...
Why do some folks feel their jones needs a subsidy at the expense of users and all of the above?
Isn't it rude?

Of course a friend of the Devil is a friend of mine....

A simple solution (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23052476)

Networks and other content distributors should simply setup subscription trackers. Problem solved simply and easily. It will work as well as the license fee does in the UK, if not better: if you want to see more of some content, encourage people to sign up.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>