Monday, July 11, 2016

Welcome to Switzerland

The yearly cost of Swiss TV and Radio licensed rolled into today. 354GBP equivalent.

Even though all my TV comes in via the Internet, and NONE of it is Swiss, and Radio is used only in the car, this is what us law abiding Swiss residents must pay.

By comparison a UK TV license is only 145 GBP. It is just a dream.

I think if I actually used more than the current ZERO Swiss Television then there would be a reason to pay for the support of the Infrastructure, but I don't.   Actually I hardly watch any broadcast TV at all,  what I do is usually the UK BBC content, the subscription part of that is paid separately to our Swiss Internet & TV provider  (they don't allow Internet only, so you are forced to take a TV subscription).

What Marcus and Agata do consume on a daily basis is

- BBC Radio 4 via the Internet
- YouTube via the Internet
- Legitimate media downloads, delivered via Internet
- Podcast Audio and Video download subscriptions

None of this is paid for by contributions to Billag, so being charitable, our listening to Swiss music radio in the car (recalling that we drive our car less than 1 hour weekly) would attract the 165 only charge.  And we'd gladly drop that and use only Podcast downloads if we could dispense with even that charge.

Swiss Law
However the Swiss Law states that the capability to receive the signal is deemed enough, and so we must pay.  Explanation:

- The Capability relates to a broadcast signal or Internet signal
- If you own a Car radio you need to pay the Radio Component, even if you never use the radio, ever
- If you own a Television, that could be connected via an aerial socket, and thereby receive a broadcast signal, even if you never did so, you must pay the TV component
- Swiss radio stations are available on the Internet
- Swiss television stations are available on the Internet
- Therefore if you own any device capable of receiving an Internet Stream you must pay  (television and video).  

- For example, a Smartphone that could have an Internet connection, even if you never used that Data Connection. 
- For example a Computer with an Internet Connection, even if you never used the above link to watch any Television channel.

To me, if I used any of the Swiss Television services then I would be happy to pay.  But I don't.  I repeat I don't use a single Swiss TV service, and the Swiss Pop Radio station less than 1 hour per week on average (but I'm happy to drop that usage if it made the difference).  So to me the charges are excessive.

An acquaintance disagreed, quote: Let's see, average salary in the UK is £28,000. Average salary in Switzerland is 77,000CHF, or at today's exchange rate, £60,000, so a bit more than double. TV license is also a bit more than double, as I imagine the cost of producing content is a bit more than double. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

a-ha: The sun always shines on TV