I have always though that, notwithstanding the fact that it's compulsory, compared with a Sky or Cable TV subscription the BBC Licence Fee is grea value for money. But now they are taking the piss.
I recently had a letter from them at my place of work. One of those "we notice you don't have a licence, tell us why not" type letters. I didn't even bother reading it properly, just returned it stating none was required - after all there is no tv on the premises. After sending the reply I re-read the letter, it would appear that anyone with a laptop or pc with an internet connection now requires a licence as the BBC has now made it's content available live online. At home your existing licence would cover it, but apparently not at work.
How can this be fair? Both my laptop and PC at work are several years old and at the time they were purchased would have had to have used a separate TV tuner to show any programmes. Why should I now have to pay a licence fee just because the BBC have chosen to make some of their content available online? No-one asked me if I wished to make use of such a service. Surely it is not beyond the realms of their technical wizards to come up with a sign in system where you enter the serial number of your current licence as a password before their content can be viewed.
An acquaintance told me that he had a similar letter at a restaurant he ran, coincidentally within days of watching a live soccer match via his mobile (don't ask me how that works, I've no idea). It could of course have been a customers mobile that was being used without his knowledge but that didn't deter them from their enquiries. In that case it was conceded that the mobile was a battery operated device covered by his home licence. I don't ever recall watching any live BBC at work, (I-Player yes) possibly PMQs once or twice but no idea if that comes under the BBC banner or not. if it does, maybe that triggers off their investigation
Despite me returning the letter stating I don't need one, I received a reply which includes the following - "We'd therefore appreciate your help when one of our TV Licensing Officers visits you shortly." Almost sinister and threatening in it's tone. I can't help but read it in a "Ve haft vays ov making you talk" voice.
It seems that just as Channel Four decides to drop Big Brother, he is now alive and well and residing a the BBC.
(Hopefully this post can't be traced to my address, otherwise this could be the last you ever hear from me )