The BBC is to broadcast BBC1 live on the Internet within months, available to be watched by anyone in the UK with a computer and broadband access.

Raising questions about the licence fee, and how this new kind of viewing will be enforced, officials claim that those watching on computers will still be liable for the charge.

A BBC spokesperson said: "There is no separate enforcement policy regarding people using their computers to watch TV. It forms part of our normal enforcement operation".

The BBC's iPlayer service currently offers a selection of shows from all its channels for viewing and download after they have aired, and BBC3 and BBC News are available live online, but simulcasting the Beeb's flagship station marks a radical change.

Tory MP Philip Davies who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, said: "This could also be the beginning of the end of the conventional TV set, and that,without a doubt comes the end of the licence fee too".