Germany to raise licence fee for PCs, phones

By Robert Briel
December 11, 2009 07.29 UK

Germany is set to raise the licence fee for PCs, mobile phones and other devices that can receive radio and TV programmes. The prime ministers of the German states are planning to reform the way licence fees for the public radio and TV broadcasters are collected.

At the moment, Germany is the only country where people who own a computer or other device that is able to receive radio and TV have to pay a licence fee. At the moment there is a reduced rate for devices other than a regular TV or radio set. Under the new plan, the fee will be raised to the same level, €5.76 monthly, for just radio and €17.98 for television. The fee is only payable if the household does not pay the regular licence fee.

There are two models on the table; the first one is dependent on the kind of device that is present in the household. The second is a flat fee for all households independent of the kind of receiving device. The plan is that all households will have to pay the fee, unless they can prove they don’t have a radio and/or TV receiver. Until now, the collecting agency Gebühreneinzugszentrale (GEZ) has had to prove there is a receiver present.