TV licensing requirements (FOI)
TV licensing requirements (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 15 November 2018.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
It has been reported in the UK Tabloids since 2017 that people can cancel their TV Licences if they use streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, both of which require their own subscriptions and a SMART TV if not viewing them from a Computer.
In fact figures show that 788,605 people cancelled their TV Licence in the UK during 2017.
I would therefore like to know whether people in Jersey are equally exempt should they opt to do the same?
How long this exemption has been available to people not wishing to purchase a TV Licence but instead opt for other streaming services?
How they go about cancelling their TV Licence and then stopping unnecessary annoying Letters from the BBC pestering them to buy one?
The Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 (the FOI Law) provides a right to receive information held in the records of scheduled public authorities. To the extent that information is held in response to this request, that information is already publicly available and is therefore absolutely exempt under Article 23 (Accessible by other means) of the FOI Law and we decline to supply the information as allowed by Article 9(1) of the FOI Law.
In declining to supply information which is absolutely exempt under Article 23, we are obliged to make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the information may be found. We provide information on where relevant information is published for each of the three questions below.
Section 363 of the UK Communications Act 2003 requires a TV Licence for use of a television receiver:
Communications Act 2003
This UK law is extended into Jersey law by Article 4 of the Broadcasting and Communications (Jersey) Order 2004:
Broadcasting and Communications (Jersey) Order 2004
Regulation 9 of the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 dated 10 March 2004 defines what is a “television receiver” for the purposes of the licensing provisions (Part 4) of the Communications Act 2003:
Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004
The definition of “television receiver” mentioned above has applied since 10 March 2004. Regulation 9 of The Communications (Television Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 further modified the meaning of “television receiver” to cover the provision of an on-demand service by the BBC: this has applied since 1 September 2016.
Communications (Television Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2016
Since the UK legislation is extended to Jersey, the UK TV Licensing authority covers Jersey and advice on their site applies to Jersey.
In particular see FAQ104 and the link from that page -”Or let us know you don’t need a TV Licence”.
TV Licensing - FAQ 104
TV Licensing - Telling us you don't need a TV Licence
Article 23 Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 9 When a scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information it holds
(1) A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information it holds and has been requested to supply if the information is absolutely exempt information.
(2) A scheduled public authority must supply qualified exempt information it has been requested to supply unless it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so.
(3) A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information it holds and has been requested to supply if –
(a) a provision of Part 3 applies in respect of the request;
(b) a fee payable under Article 15 or 16 is not paid; or
(c) Article 16(1) applies.