Using iPads, PCs, and laptops will make you legally bound to pay a TV license fee in Ireland. Communications Minister Denis Naughten is working up plans to broaden the reach of the license fee to include above 11 inches devices that you watch content on. The initiative is estimated to generate an extra €5m a year for cash-strapped RTÉ, the country's national public service broadcaster.
The Republic of Ireland owns a broadcasting station that produces programs and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet. However, according to a recent statistic, one in ten Irish households don't have a standard TV set-up. Also, more and more people are moving to the internet to get their TV fix, leaving the national broadcasting station with limited income.
That's why Communications Minister Denis Naughten hatched up the new TV licensing plan to include PC, laptop, and iPad owners. However, the timing of the announcement of the plan was horrible as it immediately follows the hugely negative backlash to the proposed plan to double the cost of the existing TV fee. In the original plan, only 11 inches and above devices are affected, the Joe reported.
That means mobile phones and some smaller tablets would still be license-free. However, Minister Naughton is also looking to remove this exemption. He also wants to modify the part of the law which states that "non-portable television sets capable of exhibiting television broadcasting services distributed by means of the publicly available internet".
So it could also mean that portable devices will also now be affected on the TV licensing plan, per The Independent. However, with millions of devices in Ireland with access to RTÉ's content via the internet, and many of them being entirely mobile, there is no plan yet on how they would police this particular law. Currently, the company assigns every user the €160 annual charge.