Will you need a TV licence to buy a mobile in future?

The BBC it appears is not content with the billions received from its usual sources, it is now threatening mobile phone users with significant fines if they watch live TV on their handsets.

This is quite a good wheeze from the Beeb as they have been kicking up a fuss over the failure of the licence fee to keep up with their expenditure.

Not content with just broadcasting over traditional radio waves, the BBC of course got first into magazine and then into a dominant position in on-line news.

The extension, with iPlayer, to a watch whenever broadcast system certainly has been popular and has softened consumers attitudes to the next wave of real time streaming broadcasts, which of course demands that a viewer has a TV licence.

Now the majority of people understand that if you are watching TV on a ‘regular’ TV you need a TV licence. Simple really, have TV, need a licence. The same can’t be said for a mobile phone. Have handset make calls, send messages, do a little surfing; TV nah.

But like the fact that if you buy a TV you will potentially watch live TV, so the Beeb will no doubt assume that if you have a mobile phone you could watch TV.

The Beeb will naturally expect any mobile phone user to start defrauding it leading, in the not too distant future, to demands that all mobile phone purchasers will have to be checked against the database of TV licences, and those without a licence could be prosecuted. Nice little earner.

They may be a little more subtle and demand that the ISP’s and mobile operators reveal all the BBC streaming web sites accessed by UK mobile and laptop users for potential licence evasion.

Of course the Beeb don’t actually warn viewers they are accessing streaming media requiring a TV licence, that would not generate revenue.

So the collation of data for legitimate security purposes could quite as easily be used to threaten law abiding citizens who accidently select live broadcasts believing that they are watching a recording, so breaking the law. Very cool for the Beeb, but just a little sneaky.