Cell phone owners could face TV licence fees

Swedish TV licensing body Radiotjänst has indicated that cell phone users may soon face licence fees as technological advances bring television to the mobile.

Cell phone owners could face TV licence fees

Responding to a query from a concerned citizen, the agency said it would not rule out obliging cell phone users to pay a TV licence fee if public service television providers make all their programmes available for mobile phone viewing.

“All equipment displaying a channel’s entire output requires the payment of a television licence,” Radiotjänst spokeswoman Anna Pettersson told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Pettersson added that mobile phones did not yet fall into this category, as only a selection of the public television network’s programmes were currently available for handset viewing.

The agency has previously indicated that computers may become subject to licence fees as television networks continue to broaden their online appeal. Radiotjänst noted at the time that people who had already paid their TV licence fee would not be required to pay a second fee for additional devices.

The licensing bureau also sparked outrage earlier this year when it began collecting fees from companies using surveillance cameras.

Lars Kjellström, the man who inquired about Radiotjänst’s cell phone stance, said he felt the current TV licence fee system had become outdated.

“I think there’s just one alternative: we pay regular tax instead,” he told Dagens Nyheter.

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