The above letter was delivered to a resident of Dublin 7.
The letter reads:
A Television Licence Inspector visited the above address in order to ascertain if there was a Television Set on the premises under Section 146 (4) of the Broadcasting Act 2009*.
The Inspector received no co-operation when visiting your premises. In circumstances such as these where an Inspector has grounds to believe that there is an unlicensed television set/apparatus on the premises he/she is authorised to obtain a Search Warrant to assist his/her enquiries under Schedule 2 Section 8-1 of the Broadcasting Act 2009*.
Futhermore Schedule 2 Section 8-1-(c)* authorises the TV Licence Inspector to seize and take away all or any part of such apparatus, and these confiscated items may be used as evidence in any prosecution brought….
The recipient writes:
This is new. A notification of a search warrant for no TV licence. I haven’t, and nobody I know has, ever seen this before. It’s weird. I sent them a strongly worded ‘come around and look around and go fupp yourselves’ as I don’t own a TV at all.
The rest of the letter detailing referring to the sections that have an asterisk (see comments)
*Section 146 (4) “And officer of an issuing agent may request any person on the premises or at the place where he or she finds a television set or evidence of such to produce the television licence for the time being in force in respect of the premises or specified place for inspection by the officer”.
*Schedule 2 – Section 8 (1) “A judge of the District Court may, upon the information on oath of an officer of the appropriate authority or of a member of the Garda Siochana that there is reasonable ground for believing that apparatus for wireless telegraphy is being kept or is being worked or used at any specified place, specified vehicle or in any specified ship or other vessel in contravention of the Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1926 to 2009 or any regulation made or condition imposed under those Acts or the Broadcasting (Offences) Acts 1968 to 2009, issue to such officer or (with the consent of the appropriate authority) to such member of the Garda Siochana (as the case may be) a search warrant.”
*Schedule 2 Section 8 (1) (c) to seize and take away all or any part of such apparatus which appears to such officer or member to be kept, worked or used in contravention of the Wireless Telegraphy Acts 1926 to 2009 or any regulation made or condition imposed under those Acts or the Broadcasting (Offences) Acts 1968 to 2009.
UPDATE: Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte outlining this position in today’s Dáil priority questions.
“The programme for Government commits to examining the role and collection of the television licence fee in the light of the existing and projected convergence of technologies and the transforming of the television licence into a household based public broadcasting charge to be applied to all eligible households and applicable businesses, regardless of the device used to access content or services.”
“In line with this commitment, my Department is involved in the ongoing analysis and policy development work that is necessary in advance of implementation of any change that may be required.”
“Whatever the system of funding, the rationale for providing funding will continue to apply and any change that may be implemented must continue to provide a secure funding base for public service broadcasting and content.
“It is also important that any change to the system of funding should take account of the reality of new mechanisms to access such content and services and the pervasiveness of such content in today’s society. Publicly funded public service broadcasting and content are now available to everyone on an ever-increasing range of platforms and devices and, in fact, access is not dependent on the ownership of a device.
“In short, everyone benefits from the availability of these services, regardless of how content is accessed or relayed to the public and, therefore, it is my view that the cost should be borne by society as a whole.”