It’s no secret that this government wants students and hard workers to pay for pretty much everything and that they would probably tax water if it was humanly possible, so the fact that they’ve got a law passed to stop viewing iPlayer for free really isn’t that surprising.
The new law came in to effect on September 1st 2016, despite a petition against it gathering more than 18000 signatures. The new law states that unless you have a TV license, which could set you back a hefty £145, then you CANNOT watch BBC iPlayer. If caught doing so you could face paying a whopping £1000 fine! For students in particular that means coughing up £435 to cover yourselves for three years. As if rising tuition fees and the scrapping of the maintenance grant wasn’t enough!
So what’s the loophole?
Well, it says on the TV licensing website that: “In limited circumstances, students can be covered by the licence at their parents’ address. The device must be powered by its own internal batteries for example a tablet or mobile phone, and must not be plugged into the mains when receiving television. This use is enabled by the Regulations governing TV Licensing”.
So what does this mean?
Essentially, as long as you watch iPlayer on a device, such as your laptop, that doesn’t need to be plugged into power mains whilst you’re watching it then you are exempt from paying, as long as your parents have a valid TV license and that their home is registered as your primary address. If students have the ‘luxury’ of living in a house with a TV license already paid for then this is fine to register as your permanent home address too.
So basically as long as students watch iPlayer on an unplugged device then no license is needed.