A proposed levy to replace the €160 a year TV licence is expected to being imposed on properties whether or not there is a TV on the premises. This is based on a perception that they are accessing programmes via the internet on iPads and iPhones.
Granted, I’m a big fan of State broadcaster RTE’s website and various iPad and iPhone apps. Especially the iPad app for RTE Player, it’s sublime. RTE has done a fantastic job with its internet and catch-up digital content strategy.
But that does not mean my next door neighbour gets his or her news or programming that way. This is a sweeping assumption by the State.
The idea of an internet tax to pay for the State broadcaster could be very unpopular if you conclude that the internet is an international phenomenon and has opened up a world of information – people can get news from anywhere, from blogs, from social networks and any number of overseas broadcasters or newspapers.