From April, users of the iPhone will be able to access BBC audio and video using an App downloadable from the Apple App Store.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, BBC Director of Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers said, "BBC audiences want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them, and the BBC App will make that possible.
"As the app has been developed due to the unique way the BBC is funded, it is only proper that the service be paid for using that same unique method. Therefore, as users will be able to access content for which they would pay a licence fee if on a television, users will from April be subject to the licence fee if they possess an iPhone."
SOurces at the TV Licensing Authority confirmed the new development and added that it would be aplicable to all UK iPhone users, whether or not the BBC Apps are installed. The spokesman said, "if you have a TV you have the capability to watch BBC programming, and are subject to the Licence Fee whether you do so or not. With the BBC App you now have the capability to watch BBC programming, so obviously the same applies."
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson was unavailable for comment, as he was busy relaxing in a hot-tub full of taxpayer's money.