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TV-fee collectors target streaming-device owners

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17:10 CET+01:00
The Swedish tv-licence fee collectors have begun asking Swedes if they have computers, in a drive to include viewers who stream content online rather than watch traditional television.

"We've started tentatively with this, and the people we ask usually tell us they don't have any equipment," tv-licence fee collection agency Radiotjänst's CEO Carl-Gustav Johansson told Computer Sweden, which broke the news on Wednesday.

When the Kiruna-based collectors phone Swedes to ask if they have a television, some are now adding questions about whether they have access to a computer, including tablet computers such as the iPad.

On the English-language version of Radiotjänst, the first FAQ addresses whether computer owners can opt out of paying the annual fee, which supports public service television and radio (Sveriges Television, Sveriges Radio, Utbildningsradion).

Effort to circumnavigate the fee is futile, according to the website, as the licence law doesn't mention how or what people watch, but if they have a device at home that enables them to access content.

"Radiotjänst has noted that an internet service provider - Bahnhof - offers its customers a blocking service that removes webcasting from SVT Play," the statement reads.

"The obligation to pay the radio and TV fee is not linked to SVT and public service provision. The radio and TV fee is a statutory fee that you must pay if you hold a TV receiver."

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TT/The Local/at

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