Ofcom looking at PC 'licence'

Considering bringing computers under TV licence, or imposing tax at point of purchase to fund public service broadcasting
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UK consumers could soon find themselves paying extra for a range of products, including new PCs, iPods and blank media, as well as internet access, if proposals put forward by Ofcom are approved.

The proposals are just one of the options put forward by the broadcasting regulator and competition authority's Second Public Service Broadcasting Review, published on Thursday.

Citing a rise in use of public services online, Ofcom said that consideration had to be given to either expanding the TV licence to cover the sale and ownership of computing equipment, amongst other products, or alternatively, the introduction of a one off 'tax' at the point of purchase.

Speaking at the launch of the review, Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards warned: "If we don't start making tough choices, we are going to end up with the BBC being the only provider of public service programmes."

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