TV license might be SCRAPPED … however provided that your web velocity is nice sufficient

The government is looking for new ways to remove the TV license (Image: GETTY • BBC)

Paying your annual TV license fee could be canceled. As soon as broadband speeds are up to date across the country, the government has indicated. The new proposal comes from Secretary of State for Media and Data, John Whittingdale MP, who claimed that switching to a Netflix subscription for the TV license could work – but only if fast broadband speeds are universal across the UK.

Currently, the TV license costs £ 157.50 a year, although it is set to rise to £ 159 next month. The cost of an annual black and white TV license will also rise from £ 53 to £ 53.50 per year. Anyone who watches live broadcasts – including those that are broadcast on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, ITV Hub, and NOW TV – must have a TV license. However, you don’t need a TV license to watch on-demand or catch-up shows like the one on Netflix. The only exception to this rule is the BBC iPlayer, which requires a TV license whether you’re watching on-demand box sets, movies, or live channels.

The cost of the TV license is set by the UK government. As early as 2016, it was confirmed that the price will rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017. The most recent surge, announced earlier this year, was calculated using an inflation figure of 1.075 percent. This was the average consumer price index (CPI) inflation in the year through September 2020. BT and EE also use the same CPI to adjust their television, broadband and mobile plans each year.

The government is currently conducting a mid-term review of the Royal Charter, investigating whether the cost of the TV license should change between 2022 and 2027. Although there have been proposals to switch to a Netflix-style monthly subscription in 2022, it is more likely in 2027 due to nationwide broadband speeds, according to John Whittingdale MP.

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BBC TV license scrapped UK cut broadband speeds England Wales Scotland internet speed

Broadband speeds must be increased nationwide before a Netflix-style subscription is possible (Image: GETTY)

According to Ofcom, there are around 600,000 households and businesses in the UK without access to broadband speeds above 10Mbps.Until that changes, there will be no radical rethinking of how the TV licensing model works

Speaking to The Times, Whittingdale said, “Young people are turning to video-on-demand services. That begs the question of whether or not the royalty model based on the fact that everyone has used the BBC can continue. The roll-out of broadband is very fast, we will have universal coverage, and there will come a time when we would be able to switch to a full subscription service for everyone, but that time has not yet come. “

With the advent of video-on-demand services – most of them from the US – the TV license was scrutinized more closely. Under the applicable rules, anyone “illegally watching, recording or downloading” programs will be fined up to a maximum of £ 1,000 (£ 2,000 if you live in Guernsey), as well as legal costs and compensation that you may also be required to pay.

The more people download shows from Prime Video, Disney +, Netflix, All4, Apple TV +, Shudder, StarzPlay, and dozens of others, the harder it becomes to justify the current TV licensing model.

For its part, the BBC has proposed alternative funding models. Last year, plans were outlined to drop the TV license in favor of a new levy or tax on broadband bills – as this is increasingly the delivery method for viewers to watch shows, live sporting events, Hollywood blockbusters, and more.

TV license fee: BBC “needs a new business model,” says the expert

It’s becoming increasingly clear that whatever happens to the future TV license is most likely related to home broadband. John Whittingdale MP strongly believes that an optional monthly subscription service à la Netflix would work, while Beeb has suggested a non-negotiable royalty for anyone planning to use their home internet connection to stream television is the best option.

In any case, it is unfortunate that Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to tacitly retract his promise during the general election to “upgrade” broadband infrastructure across the country with future-proof gigabit-enabled cables for every home by 2025. It’s a promise that Boris Johnson also reiterated during several daily coronavirus briefings over the past year, when journalists and members of the public stuttered and buffered as they used Zoom to ask questions of the Prime Minister.

When the national infrastructure strategy was then submitted, the government withdrew its commitment and stated that faster internet speeds will only be available to 85 percent of the premises within the next five years.

Gigabit-enabled connections offer speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.Since Netflix only recommends 5 Mbps for high definition streaming and 25 Mbps for 4K quality videos, these future-proof broadband connections are more than enough to get you from Work from home, hold video conferencing, fix box set issues at the weekend, and deliver on-demand content from Sky and other providers. Download updates for smartphones and games on next-generation video game consoles and upload backups.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the UK is struggling with much, much slower speeds.

Glacier internet speeds at home remain an issue – something that the demands to work from home and stay indoors during national lockdowns have brought relief. The UK ranks 47th in downloads with an average speed of 37.82Mbps, according to the latest research published by Cable.co.uk back in September. At this speed, downloading a movie in high definition (HD) should take approximately 15 minutes.

BBC TV license scrapped UK cut broadband speeds England Wales Scotland internet speed

Currently, you must have a valid TV license to watch something on the iPlayer (Image: GETTY)

The UK manages to outperform 174 other countries worldwide but is way behind 46 other nations in the Speed ​​League, including 21 in Western Europe. This makes the UK one of the slowest in Europe when it comes to average broadband speeds. To make matters worse, the UK lost ground between measurements taken in 2019 and measurements recorded last year. Yikes

The 2020 test confirmed that the UK was behind Jersey (218 Mbit / s), Gibraltar (183 Mbit / s), Iceland (116 Mbit / s), Switzerland (110 Mbit / s), Norway (67 Mbit / s), France (51 Mbit / s) and Estonia (70 Mbit / s) had fallen behind. The government has promised to soon supply more households with full fiber broadband, the speed of which is comparable to that of these European countries. However, these fast new connections are not expected to be connected until the mid-2020s.

Now, if you want the best speeds, moving to Liechtenstein could be the answer as this country tops the list for downloads with an average speed of 229Mbps. At this speed, it takes just 2 minutes and 30 seconds to download an HD blockbuster – six times faster than the UK.

BT chief Philip Jansen previously warned that the 2025 rollout target would likely be missed by more than eight years without major reforms to the sector, including corporate price cuts and relaxation of key planning laws.

BBC TV license scrapped UK cut broadband speeds England Wales Scotland internet speed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to give gigabit speed to every household, but that’s not going to happen (Image: GETTY)

BBC TV license scrapped UK cut broadband speeds England Wales Scotland internet speed

The UK has some of the worst broadband speeds in Europe, making it difficult to rethink TV licensing (Image: GETTY)

With no government commitment to provide full fiber across the UK, it is widely believed that the commercial rollout of the future-proof infrastructure will hit around 80 percent of homes and businesses. However, connecting the remaining 20 percent is too expensive to be economically viable without government subsidies. Without these, broadband providers could leave thousands with drastically outdated Internet connections.

According to Ofcom, there are around 600,000 households and businesses in the UK without access to broadband speeds above 10Mbps.Until that changes, there will be no radical rethinking of how the TV licensing model works.

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