Czech Government Proposes New Fees for Mobile and Tablet Owners

The Czech government is making significant changes to the payment of media licensing fees. Not only are the fees expected to increase, but smartphone and tablet owners will also be expected to pay. The Ministry of Culture justifies this by pointing out that these devices can also be used to watch television.

The current proposal is part of an amendment to the law on Czech Television and Czech Radio, which anticipates that the fee will be paid “for any device capable of reproducing television or radio broadcasting, regardless of the way it is received.” This is perhaps the most crucial change in the entire licensing fee concept. The obligation to pay applies to companies and households that own a television or radio receiver. With the approval of the amendment, the obligation would also apply to smartphone and tablet owners.

In the case of households, not every member would have to pay fees, but only one, regardless of the number of devices in the household. In practice, this does not change the fact that at least thousands of people will see an increase in monthly expenses. Indeed, most Czechs now own a smartphone.

Under the current proposal, people must withdraw approximately two hundred CZK from their wallets every month starting in the new year. The Ministry of Culture proposes increasing the television fee by 15 crowns to 150 CZK and the radio fee by ten crowns to 55 CZK per month.

Amendments are also expected for companies. The Ministry of Culture also plans to change the way companies pay fees. Companies should no longer pay fees based on the number of devices capable of receiving television and radio broadcasts but on the number of employees. For example, small firms should not pay, while large companies will pay a hundred times the household fee.