Monday, 10 December 2007

Permission to listen legally to the radio

From 1922 until 1971 in the United Kingdom you were required to pay for a radio licence in order to legally listen to the radio.

There is a site dedicated to the history of the radio licence in the UK.

"In the new (and at times chaotic) radio service in the United States, stations were allowed to carry advertising. In the United Kingdom, the Government decided that the fledgling British Broadcasting Company would be funded, not by commercials, but by the introduction of a compulsory radio licence. Anyone wanting to listen to radio programmes had to have one ... a situation that lasted until 1971!"

In the site we have all the information we might need.
The first licence fee, for radio, was issued in November 1922, it was 10 shillings (50 pence). The ide of a "licence" was so new that, for the first few months, a personal letter was sent out giving permission to listen.
At the end of 1923 just 200 000 licences had been issued. The combined radio and Tv licence was introduced in 1946 at a cost of two pounds. The radio licence covered all wireless sets in your home, but only in your home. If you had a car with a radio in it, you were required to have a separate licence. Radio only licences were abolished in February 1971.

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