BBC could face licence fee cut as Digital Britain looms

UK public broadcaster the BBC could have £130m (€153m) shaved off its annual budget as part of a range of proposals set out in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report, which will be presented tomorrow.

It has been reported that the BBC will be forced to forfeit up to £130m of the £3.6bn it received from licence fees to help pay independent production companies to make public service programming, including regional news programmes for commercial broadcaster ITV. Some of this money is likely to come from the £130m that has been allocated to the BBC each year until 2012 to help elderly people during the digital switchover process.

BBC chiefs are also said to be concerned that the report will propose an annual review of licence fees by ministers, as opposed to the current six-year settlement period.  The report will also make recommendations to help shape the country’s policy on delivering high-speed internet access across the UK.

Separately, Lord Carter is to step down from his role as communications minister, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed.

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