‘Many options to avoid’ paying £159 TV licence
David Dimbleby says that TV licence system is ‘very unfair’
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At present, the TV licence is £159 annually for those watching live television on any channel, as well as to use BBC iPlayer. While some may get a free or discounted TV licence, such as over 75s on Pension Credit, most people will need to pay the full amount.
Nick Baker, TV and streaming expert at USwitch, shed more light on the issue.
He said: “A TV licence is a legal requirement if you want to use BBC iPlayer, or watch live television, such as sporting events, on any channel, streaming service or device.
“This means that if you fail to pay the fee, you are breaking the law and could face going to court and receiving a fine of up to £1,000.”
Mr Baker, however, acknowledged the cost of living crisis may be putting a squeeze on household budgets.
As a result, some may feel they can no longer afford to pay the TV licence fee, and may be concerned what to do next.
But Britons do not have to run the risk of a fine watching television without a licence, as long as they consider the appropriate, legal alternatives.
Mr Baker explained: “You do not need a TV licence to stream on-demand shows across services such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+, nor do you need a licence to stream catch-up content across platforms, including ITV X and All 4.
“With millions of Brits investing in on-demand streaming services that have thousands of shows and films available, it’s easy to find plenty to watch without paying a TV licence fee to watch live TV and BBC iPlayer.
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“Also, with the increase in smart TV devices, it’s easier than ever to stream content on television for the whole family to watch.”
Those who plan on making use of streaming services will need to ensure they have the correct broadband speeds.
Mr Baker said services typically need speeds of 1.5Mbps for standard definition, and 2.8Mbps for those who want to stream in high definition.
With this in mind, the expert suggested comparing broadband deals to ensure a person is getting the best offer.
According to Mr Baker there are “many options to avoid paying for a TV licence”.
But this will not be suitable for everyone, the expert added.
He said: “Despite this, some households rely on live television or simply enjoy the content BBC iPlayer offers.
“Remember, if you decide that a TV licence fits your household’s viewing habits, it is important to renew your licence online or by calling TV Licensing.”
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If a person wishes to pay for their TV licence, they can do so by calling TV Licensing on 0300 790 6165, or pay directly online.
Alternatively, Britons can pay smaller amounts by debit or credit card if they apply for a TV Licensing payment card.
What are your opinions on the TV Licence? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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