French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti has said that the government is seriously considering extending the television license to include those who own computer screens, but who may not necessarily have a television.
By making this amendment to the licensing legislation, François Hollande’s government is hoping to increase income for public sector broadcasting.
A recent survey by Global TV discovered that more than 11 million in the country watch television programs on their computer screens, smartphones or tablets –a dramatic rise of 41% to the findings of the 2011 survey.
Currently a television license costs €125 ($150) in mainland France and €80 ($100) in the overseas territories. These possible changes would not see people who owned computers charged extra, but rather those who had computers but did not own television sets would now be made to pay a license fee whereas they would not have had to before.
However this proposed change to the license has not been finalized and is still being carefully considered by the government. Culture minister Aurélie Filippetti told RTL radio:
“Is it necessary to extend the fee to [computer] screens when you do not have a television? It is a question we’re asking ourselves, but obviously it would be a fee per household and you would not have to pay an [additional] fee if you have a computer and a television.”
Though the number of people who watch television programs on their computers has rapidly increased in recent years and will probably continue to do so each year for the foreseeable future, this amendment is unlikely to affect too many people.
Though advances in tablets, smartphones, laptops and the like have made it very convenient and easy to watch programs, I don’t think they are yet in danger of making the television obsolete. I mean how many people do you know that have a laptop or smartphone but don’t actually own a television as well?
France May Extend TV Licence Fee to Computer Screens (Via Guardian)