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A quirk in regulations could leave participants in trials of the BBC’s broadband TV service facing a hefty fine. According to Outlaw, those who use their smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection to use the service might be breaking the terms of the TV licence.

The potential breach arises if they do so in area which is not covered by their home TV licence and plug into the mains. Smartphone users are in the clear should they rely on their mobile phone battery.

A TV licensing spokesman explains: "You would have to have a TV licence already if you use your mobile phone to watch live TV. That home licence covers you unless you plug into the mains.

"If you plug into the mains at any address other than your home, that address would need to be covered.”

So far the story has got no further than tech sites. But imagine the fuss that would arise if someone was actually prosecuted for breaching the unworkable regulation. Even as we speak, we expect that the BBC is drafting yet another grovelling apology just in case.

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