Friday, May 8, 2009

Irish Broadcasting Bill 2009

There is an interesting article and discussion going on at Slashdot on the current Broadcasting Bill wending its way through the system here. Essentially it would seem that under the new legislation, owning an internet connected multimedia PC would be enough to trigger the requirement to pay a TV license.

I can see the need for such legislation amending the licensing law to cater for all the new modes of accessing the state broadcaster's content which don't involve a TV (Slingbox being my personal favourite) but only if we persist with this arcane licensing system, conceived in a very different era.

It is difficult to see any justification any more for actually having this discrete licensing system with all the overhead of administration and enforcement, not to mention all the debates about value for money and where it leaves the commercial broadcasters in terms of competition.

All in all it seems a missed opportunity to reexamine this whole area and apply some fresh thinking.

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