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Comment: Students should not pay for TV licences

By Rachel Andrews Oct 24, 2016
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock (954056b) A Television License Television license - 30 Jun 2009

Recent changes to how we can watch TV supposedly mean that licensing is now tighter than ever, especially for students who like to use BBC iPlayer. But will it actually work?

So many students have told me they watch live TV, but without a licence to do so. Even if they have had warning letters in the past threatening action, very few of them, if any, have ever been fined.

It has always been illegal to watch live programmes online, and since September anything on BBC iPlayer, whether it is live, on demand or catch up is also illegal.

I honestly do not feel that as students that we should have to pay the full amount for a TV licence, if at all. Over 75s are the only exception to the rule. Maybe students could also be an exception.

Some people might believe that as students we have enough perks as it is, such as being exempt from paying council tax or getting student discount in a range of shops. But when we are already paying £9,000 for university fees and living in our overdrafts, why should we be expected to fork out another £145 for the sake of watching a bit of telly?

Technically we are still living at home, so if our parents have a TV licence then why can it not cover us whilst at university? This only applies if we never plug our laptops into a mains plug ie to charge it, which just seems impossible.

Hardly any students have a spare £145 lying around, and if they did I doubt they would want to spend it on what is just watching television.

Not having a TV licence is actually breaking the law and you can be fined up to £1,000 for not having one, so it is your choice whether you want to take that risk. I know many students who will be.

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