TV Licensing reminder aimed at Lisburn’s non-English speakers

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TV Licensing has launched a new initiative targeting non-English speakers in Lisburn in a bid to help them understand recent changes to the BBC iPlayer law.

All viewers who download or watch BBC programmes on demand – including catch-up TV – on BBC iPlayer must now be covered by a TV Licence after new rules came into force in September.

Working with the Consular Corps/Association of Northern Ireland (CA-NI), TV Licensing is working to make people whose first language isn’t English aware of the new rules.

According to the last census, more than 2,300 people in the Lisburn area didn’t speak English as their main language and across Northern Ireland the number was 56,000. According to the statistics, the most common language spoken in Lisburn after English is Polish.

TV Licensing is now working with groups such as CA-NI to provide information, foreign language leaflets and translation services to make sure people are aware of the BBC iPlayer changes.

CA-NI brings together Northern Ireland-based diplomats and consuls who represent 40 countries across the globe. Each official is tasked to represent and provide assistance to their overseas nationals living in Northern Ireland.

Karen Grimason, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “TV Licensing has been speaking to a range of organisations across Northern Ireland over the past couple of months explaining the changes to the law and the need to be correctly licensed.

“We want to ensure all viewers understand that a TV Licence is still needed when watching live television, whether it’s on a TV, laptop or smartphone. Anyone watching BBC programmes on iPlayer now also needs to be covered by a licence.”

Dr Christopher Strange, Secretariat of CA-NI and Honorary Consul of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said: “Consuls play an important role in building international economic, educational, academic, sporting and cultural links within Northern Ireland. However, we also provide assistance to overseas nationals in Northern Ireland and work with organisations such as TV Licensing to provide information about local life.

“With a growing diverse population living and working in Northern Ireland we need to ensure that those who may not be familiar with issues such as TV Licensing understand what is required – particularly when there are changes to the law such as with BBC iPlayer.”

TV Licensing produces literature in 26 languages explaining licensing requirements, along with 180 languages on the translation line and 17 dedicated translated web pages.

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People who are not confident speaking in English can also call TV Licensing’s language translation service on 0300 790 6044 which allows customers to set up or pay for a TV Licence over the phone in more than 180 languages.

A TV Licence costs £145.50 for a colour and £49.00 for a black and white licence.