Wow, I've seen some rubbish written in my time, but this "article" is assuming unprecedented levels of naivety and stupidity in the reader
There are plenty of areas in this country where DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television - i.e. FreeView) has a very poor signal (or is not actually available at all).
In my area, which is a large town with a population well into 6 figures (in excess of 110,000 people) DTT will not be available in any form until 2012. So, round here if we want to watch Channel 4 digitally, then we have to PAY Murdoch for the privilege (by being forced to buy FreesatFrom Sky equipment and then purchasing a Sky FTV card).
Even once a user has done that, they STILL don't get access to E4, E4+1 or More 4 (all of which are freely available on standard DTT) without upgrading from FTV and taking out a full monthly SKY subscription. How on earth can this be justified? (regardless of whatever "deal" C4 made with Sky several years ago).
I don't see why I should have to pay a penny to Murdoch to watch channels that are freely available elsewhere in the country, just because someone can't be arsed to switch on DTT in this area (particularly seeing as Channel 4 receives a certain amount of public funding). So we pay our TV licence, we pay towards Channel 4 programming and then are told that we can't watch the channel unless we also pay Sky.
If the lack of DTT is down to "inteference" problems, then that is surely all the more reason to legally compel Sky to provide standard channels (like those available on DTT) for free, so that a proper FreeSat alternative is available. It's not like we are talking about MTV, Sky Sports or a Movie Channels (all of which Sky has an absolute right to demand a subscription for).
At the very least, Sky should be forced to licence their NDS encryption so that you are not forced to buy sky equipment just to be able to access standard national TV channels. At the moment it's somewhat like being told that you can't listen to Classic FM unless you buy a Sony branded hi-fi.
It will be another 5 years before I can watch digital tv in the way that other people in this county have been doing since the 1990's. Needless to say, this 14 year delay has not been reflected at all in the amount of licence fee that we pay.