Saturday, 31 October 2009

BBC licence fee Wi-Fi and other strange early morning reflections.

On my walk this morning I succumbed to the temptation of one of the Belgium Café’s excellent cups of coffee and discovered yes they do have Wi-Fi, which enabled me to watch the BBC breakfast news live on my laptop while I was there.

Interestingly the BBC say that you have to have a TV licence to watch BBC live television this way and they seem to very vague about who can do what, I presume that means that all the members of my family that live in this house are covered.

But what of my son who is at university in hall of residence, he apparently has to have a licence to watch live TV this way in his hall of residence, but when he is living here during the vacations we don’t need an extra licence for him, so presumably he is covered to watch BBC in other places by our licence.

The law on this doesn’t seem to be at all clear, anyone got any ideas if he can watch TV say in an ordinary café or restaurant while he is at university if he doesn’t have a licence to watch it in hall?

I have been having some thoughts on disobedience and naughtiness in general, my eight year old children are doing the ten commandments in their religious education at the moment and this means they are discovering new sins that they didn’t even know existed.

As I usually do if I go for a walk in the morning I took a few pictures, this morning’s include Halloween decorations, Ramsgate market setting up, the youf of today dressed to intimidate so I thought it wise to buy a poppy from them, some reflections in the harbour and other stuff. Click on the link to view them

I should point out to any Halloween revellers having difficulty getting their broomsticks off the ground or some such thing that we have a large selection of “mind body and spirit" books in the bookshop at normal secondhand prices click on the link to look at pictures of them


  1. Michael,

    There are details about this on the tv licensing web site:

    With sections on what your home licence covers - and details of the situation regarding caravans, boats, portable televisions and how this affects students.


  2. Good point Michael.
    TV licensing in the UK is not able to keep up with changing technology and should be scrapped.
    In France, TV licensing is included in the council tax and you have to request a rebate if you do not have a TV.

  3. Gerald, Readit I have looked on the licensing site and it seems most unclear, current legislation seems to relate to very old technology.
    It is most unclear as to the position with Wi-Fi would connecting this way count as being the same as a battery powered TV not connected to an ariel?
    Would for instance my son be breaking the law if he was charging his laptop whilst watching live TV?
    Would I be OK watching on my laptop in an internet cafe via Wi-Fi but not if I used the cafe’s computers to do the same?
    The distinction being that one is not receiving the signal directly from the BBC transmitter but one generated by the cafe’s network.
    Would being hard wired to any network make it illegal?
    What if I charge my PC from the mains supply from a campsite?


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.