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What is Italy coming to?

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There has been 2 recent developments which if not resolved could have a serious impact on visitors to Italy.

The first concerns RAI, the Italian State broadcasting corporation. Based on a law dating back to 1934 !!! the say that everyone using a smartphone, tablet or computer which can receive television programs should be subject to the licence fee which is applicable to televisions in Italy. This is no joke. Already many companies have received requests for payment based on the number of computers they have even though they may never be used - at least during office hours - to watch television programmes. The ultimate extension of this ridiculous - but so very serious - interpretation of a law which I believe somewhat predates the internet is that all visitors to Italy will be expected to pay a licence fee on all their devices upon entry to Italy.

The second absurdity is that it appears that cellular operators can only issue pay as you go contracts or rechargeable SIM cards to residents of Italy. This means that all tourists as well as all students or others visiting Italy for a course or whatever cannot have an Italian SIM card. This I discovered last Saturday although being Italy not everyone was yet aware of the new regulation and did not apply it (as yet).

Today is not the first of April as far as I am aware. Unfortunately in Italy it is often difficult for the bureaucracy to listen to the "locals" but I welcome anyone and everyone to contact the Italian embassies, consulates, Italo-whatever Chambers of Commerce etc etc so that travelling to Italy is still a pleasure and not an experience of some police stae or equivalent.

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