With the over-regulation approach that was taken by the UK Government it's amazing that the music industry in the UK managed to take off at all!
It's not entirely unlike the current debates going on over electronic music distribution in someways.
At least people have a slightly more liberal view about broadcasting these days!! Although there's a seriously annoying tendency to turn every station into a bland playlisted computerised jukebox with DJs
A bit like an MP3 player plugged into a transmitter with ads!
There is some merit to the funding-system used by the BBC at least it does keep it independent, perhaps one of the few benefits that came out of that peirod of insane over-regulation.
Ireland's licence-fee is getting a little fuzzier thesedays as it doesn't all go to the RTE anymore. Under intense pressure from commercial broadcasters (radio and TV), community radio stations and indpendent production companies, the government has been forced to put a small chunk of the licence fee into a "Public Service Broadcasting fund" accessible to more than just RTE.
So far it's been producing positive results as many of these smaller entities can produce high quality programming, often for broadcast on RTE, at a fraction of the cost as they're far more efficient with resources!