It's true - sort of. The proposal is that licenses should be assigned to a vessel for its lifetime, rather than being renewable annually, and will be free so long as they are issued electronically. Consultation is in progress at the moment; details are on the Ofcom website somewhere, so, if you want to encourage the unusual prospect of a Government Department forgoing a source of revenue voluntarily, make your opinions known.
Yes, it's sort of true. Here is an extract of a email to me from the Radio Licensing Centre dated 4 April:
"With regards to free one off licensing, the Consultation Document is still
in the public domain. The one off licensing that you mention is just one of
quite a few options that are included in the Consultation Document. I don't
believe that a decision will be made until September this year and the
earliest any change (if any changes are made) can be practically
implemented won't be until September 2006."
there were some lenghty posts about this a month or two ago, with all the appropriate links, and asking for input. One proposal was that you will still need a licence, but instead of annual, it would be permanent, and there was a proposal that for leisure vessles perhaps it should be free if electronic. But there were also lots of other proposals, more about different vessel classes i think, and the bit that might interest us was only a small part of the revamp.
If you think about it Phoney Blair has to make alot of civil servants redundant , to save public money so in one fell swoop he has made getting a license easy and put alot of people out of work. The License is for the lifetime of the vessel but all this has not been finalised yet , as far as i know .