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What is Italy coming to?

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Feb 21st, 2012, 11:23 AM
  #1
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What is Italy coming to?

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.
nochblad is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 11:25 AM
  #2
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did not preview - one or two typos. Sorry
nochblad is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 12:31 PM
  #3
 
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I go to Italy to get away from my cell phone and computer.

They can smash them all at the arrivals gate for all I care.
TorontoSteven is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Reminds me of Italy's Y2K plan, wait and see what happens! As it turned out they had the right approach on that technology issue, saved billions on consultants and lost a few fax machines.
The Italian government seems to love taxes and fees, but has a hard time collecting them, hence the keep your receipt policy.

We do like having our connection to the world while we travel, but if it was left at home it wouldn't really matter.
Mikenmass is offline  
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Feb 27th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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It has been published that there is no need for computer users to pay the RAI annual subscription fee, at least for now.
So, luckily, a tempest in an espresso pot, it looks like.
I_heart_Venice is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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I stopped by a TIM store today, and they confirmed that it is not necessary to be a resident, that any foreigner can get a rechargeable (contractless) SIM card with only a passport.
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