Germans to pay TV fee for online PCs, cell phones

Germany plans to introduce a monthly broadcast charge next year for homes and businesses that have an Internet-connected computer and don't already pay registration fees for television and radio service. One business association has called it "a complete rip-off."

A heated debate about the fee, which also applies to Internet-enabled wireless devices and games consoles, has been raging in Germany since the minister presidents of the country's 16 states agreed to the plan in October 2004.

It heated up again late Wednesday when one of the country's largest public broadcasters, ARD, announced a monthly fee of

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