Britain is stuck with the licence fee until 2038 because the Government’s failure to roll out super-fast broadband has left no viable alternative, MPs have concluded.
The Government’s pledge to deliver full-fibre broadband to every home by 2025 was downgraded to a target of just 85 per cent in November.
A subscription-based, universal alternative to the licence fee would require all households to be online before the next BBC Charter is negotiated for 2028-38. That now appears all but impossible, according to a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.
“It’s clear that the BBC TV licence fee has a limited shelf life in a digital media landscape. However, the Government has missed the boat to reform it,” said Julian Knight, the committee’s chairman.
That doesn’t sound like a reason at all. Rather, an opportunity to delay the decision for whatever spurity so as to maintain the status quo for a decade and more.