I get asked a lot about why we need a TV Licence in the UK. Firstly anyone that is watching live TV on either by TV, computers, mobile phones, DVD/video recorders and any other devices is required to have a TV Licence.
A TV Licence is used to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the largest broadcasting organization in the world. When you watch any BBC channel, you will notice there are no commercials. British television overall has fewer and shorter commercials, this is very evident when you are watching American TV shows.
The BBC is funded this way so that it can be impartial and not have to bend to their ‘sponsors’ and can report on real news. They even report about themselves.
They do check that you have a license by their national database, enforcement officers, hand-held detectors and detector vans. It is a serious offense not to have a licence. It can lead to prosecution, a court appearance and a fine of up to £1,000 (not including legal costs). Check out the penalties and detection.
The TV Licence is reimbursed by the Air Force, so there is no reason for you not to get one. It costs £145.50 for a colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence. If you leave before your licence expires, you can get a refund for the time you have left over.
If you live on-base house (not base housing that is off-base) you do not need a licence if you watch programs that is only available in the UK but you need one if you are watching programs broadcasted from outside the UK (AFN and watching stuff online.) Find out more about this here.
All the Best!
American to Britain