[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website]
Much of the debate that followed last week’s publication of the Digital Britain report has focused on the proposal to take some of the income from the TV Licence and make it available to fund universal broadband access, with a suggestion that once this has been accomplished £130m a year could be used to support local news services and perhaps even children’s programming provided by people other than the BBC.
Within the BBC there is a strong feeling that this would be a very bad idea because the corporation’s resilience comes in part from having a guaranteed source of funding that does not rely on politically-motivated decisions of the government of the day. The fear is that once the licence fee is shared there will be nothing to stop it being carved up to meet short-term policy objectives.
Others share this view. The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee is vehemently opposed to what she calls ‘deliberately breaching the unique status of the BBC’ and asks if the destruction of the BBC is ‘really going to be this Labour government’s legacy?’