Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has hinted that the £145.50 BBC licence fee could be reduced when renewal negotiations between his department and the BBC take place next year.
"The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven't said anything about the way licence fee funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it, " he told The Daily Telegraph. "We will be having very tough discussions."
The UK communications industry has said that it will take a wait-and-see approach to the outcome of the renegotiation.
Plans for universal broadband access could be affected by the cuts if government initiatives to divert some of the BBC's funding into next-generation broadband networks get the go ahead.
"The current licence fee settlement ends in 2012/13 and ministers will begin discussions next year about its renewal. No decisions about the level of the licence fee will be taken ahead of that," a Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson told V3.co.uk in a statement.
"Like all other public organisations, ministers expect the BBC to demonstrate that it is operating efficiently and giving licence fee payers value for money. "
The so-called 'top-slicing' of the licence fee for broadband investment was first touted by the Tories in their technology election manifesto.
The party had argued that funds left over from the digital TV switchover could provide alternative investment to the 'broadband tax' put forward by Labour for the delivery of this key requirement of Lord Carter's 2009 Digital Britain report.
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23