By Matthew Roscoe • 03 March 2021 • 12:39
BBC TV Licence Could Be AXED If Enough People In The UK Have Access To Faster Broadband.
JOHN WHITTINGDALE, the UK’s Minister for Media and Data, has announced that the BBC TV licence could be scrapped if enough people in the UK have access to faster broadband, which could open the door for a Netflix-style subscription.
Whittingdale has told MPs a subscription fee could replace the TV licence fee once there is sufficient connectivity in place, however, he said that TV licence abolition would require cheaper broadband.
The Minister, responding to a recent petition that called to revoke the TV licence fee, stated that “The TV Licence is not required as many people no longer watch the BBC preferring to watch other media sources and listen to many of there radio stations.”
The petition, which was signed by more than 110,000 people, called for the government “to end the TV Licence as soon as possible.”
The government has fallen behind on its pledge to connect every home in Britain to full-fibre by 2025. It is now targeting 85 per cent coverage by the same date. However, despite not every household being connected yet, there remains some hope that the scheme will be scrapped after Whittingdale stated that a subscription could be considered when the royal charter expires two years later.
“Young people are turning more and more to video-on-demand services,” he said.
“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.”
The TV Licence fee is currently used to fund the BBC and stands at £157.50/year. However, this is set for an increase on April 1, going up to £159/year – with anyone who watches the BBC live, or via the BBC iPlayer app, having to pay the fee.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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