Oh Sit Down

Archive for January 22nd, 2012|Daily archive page

Ireland to be hit with an entertainment tax

In Economy, News, Tech on January 22, 2012 at 12:22

After introducing a charge to have water, a charge to live in your house on top of the stamp duty you already paid to buy your house, bin charges, and every other unfair tax that’s been drafted in recent years when people have less money than ever before, there’s a new one.

It’s been dubbed an entertainment tax. Basically, even if you don’t have a television, you’ll have to cough up a fee to RTE. They’re targeting people who watch television programmes and movies online.

My view is this: people are trying to save money by not having a television and getting by utilising modern technology. It’s a rubbish tax/fee, whatever they want to call it. People are already paying VAT on their line rental and broadband line, and are maximising this to watch videos. Wrong…according to the Government. If you do this, RTE are entitled to a slice, even though the RTE Player must be attracting a very generous proportion of people using this system.

Responding to the intention of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD to replace the TV licence with a household broadcasting charge, the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland has said:

“We welcome the introduction of a new broadcasting charge to replace the current TV licence and we urge the Minister to take advantage of the opportunity this change presents to review how the revenue collected is used. The new Household Broadcasting Charge was committed to in the Programme for Government. The Programme for Government also contains a commitment to “review the funding of public and independent broadcasters to ensure a healthy broadcasting environment”.

If the Minister is bound to examine the television licence fee then he should also be bound to the Programme’s commitment to undertake a full review of the funding of broadcasting in Ireland. Indeed the two are inextricably linked and it is it is inconceivable that any change to the current TV licence system would not involve a review of how the funding is used.

In various media interviews Minister Rabbitte has referred to RTE as the state’s “public service” broadcaster. We would like to remind Minister Rabbitte that with over 2.4 million listeners each week day, all independent radio stations provide a high level of public service and that this is a condition of their licence.

We also note with great interest that €25 million of the television licence fee is lost each year through evasion and the Minister’s contention that the new licence fee arrangement would greatly reduce this amount. It is conceivable that the revenue to be collected from the new broadcasting charge be apportioned to fund the operations of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, a move that would benefit every broadcaster in the country regardless of whether they are community, commercial or state-funded. It is vital that the Minister reflects on how the changes he makes now will impact on the Irish broadcasting landscape over the coming years”.

Vodafone market share hits target

In Economy, Tech on January 22, 2012 at 12:06

Siliconrepublic are reporting that Vodafone’s Irish division has, after three years, it has achieved the milestone of 200,000 paying customers for landline and broadband services.

The telco is marking the milestone by offering a free Android smartphone to every new and existing customer. The free smartphone, the Vodafone Smart 858, will come with three months of free mobile internet access on pay as you go.

In 2009, BT and Vodafone signed a landmark multimillion deal to transfer BT’s consumer, small-business broadband and voice customer base to Vodafone.

This deal, which involved the transfer of some €4.8m worth of assets, gave Vodafone access to BT’s 22 unbundled local exchanges around Ireland, as well as access to BT’s consumer phone and broadband base of 84,000 consumers and 3,000 small businesses.

The plan also saw BT and Vodafone commit significant investment towards developing an enhanced broadband infrastructure with speeds of up to 24Mbs for about two-thirds of available broadband lines by unbundling up to 58 additional exchanges.

Prior to the BT/Vodafone deal, Vodafone acquired broadband service provider Perlico for €80m in 2008.