Web PM

Germany licenses the Internet
Internet detector vans hit the streets

The Inquirer / Nick Farrell | October 23 2006

THE GERMAN government has hit upon a wizard wheeze to milk the internet to pay for its "dull but precise" state-run television broadcasts.
According to Reuters, all 16 German states have voted in a new law that will require Internet users to pay a licence fee of €5.52(£3.70) a month for each computer and mobile phone that can connect to the internet.

At a meeting in the aptly named Bad Pyrmont, ministers decided that if you can see a television or radio program on the net, it should be eligible for the German TV and radio licence fee.

However, while there is a logic to charging people for watching TV on their computers, the move has got the business community up in arms.

Companies could face stiff bills when none of their computers will be watching any light entertainment content.

As it is, Germany's TV licence fee is among the highest in Europe, with only Switzerland and the Nordic countries paying more. The German government likes to fund four national public broadcasters, several local broadcasters and all the country's public radio stations.

It is likely that the fee will be charged through Internet Service Providers as traditional methods of catching people do who not pay their telly licence fee are not going to work.

More here.

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