[Tagging] Missing access value (access=license / authorization?)

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 28 00:25:54 UTC 2018


On Sat, Jul 28, 2018 at 12:52 AM, Alan Grant <alangrant72 at gmail.com> wrote:

Obtaining a TV licence in the UK or Ireland does not require demonstrating
> the ability to operate a television!
>

To understand this, you need to understand the history of the thing.
Before there were televisions there were
radios.  In the early days of radios, the circuitry was very primitive.
The way they could be sensitive enough to
receive weak signals was a form of positive feedback known as
"regeneration."  The user controlled the amount
of regeneration by turning a control knob.  The more regeneration, the more
sensitive the radio and the weaker the
signal it could pick up.  Increase the regeneration too much and the
positive feedback caused the RF amplifier to
oscillate - turning it from a receiver to a transmitter.  A careless person
could disrupt reception for several houses
in a street.

So in the early days of radio a radio licence really was a licence.  You
learned how to work your radio correctly
(it was not a very difficult lesson) or your licence was taken away and you
were not permitted to have another one.
The licence fee also funded the operation of the BBC.  The radio licence
served two purposes: to prevent idiots
ruining radio reception for those around them and to fund the radio
broadcasts.

Technology advanced.  Even before the advent of TV, the introduction of
superhet (supersonic heterodyne)
circuitry replaced regenerative circuitry.  It cost more than regenerative
circuitry but gave increased sensitivity
and also prevented idiots causing problems for others.  The only purpose
the licence then served was to fund
the BBC.  But rather than call it a radio tax they continued to call it a
licence so people were more likely to pay
it.

TV came along and it too had a licence (really a tax) to fund the BBC.
Special offer: buy a TV licence and it
covers radios too!  Eventually they decided it was too hard to keep track
of radios, so the radio licence (= tax)
was dropped but the TV licence (= tax) remains.

The TV licence isn't really a licence, it's a tax.  But its name derives
from the time when you really did need a
licence to operate a radio, a licence which could be taken away if you were
an idiot.

Long story short: in most cases a permit is different from a licence, but
there are historical anomalies in the
nomenclature.

-- 
Paul
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