Your Days Freeloading BBC iPlayer Videos With a VPN Are Over

Shows like Dr. Who will become off-limits to non-UK residents who have been skirting around iPlayer's geographic restrictions.

|
Oct 20 2015, 4:41pm

Image: The TVDB.com

Anglophiles might be finding it a bit harder to access BBC programming, as the Beeb is cracking down on people accessing its iPlayer from outside the UK.

The iPlayer is the BBC's streaming video service, where users can view programs from any of the BBC channels. It used to be that anyone with a UK VPN (virtual private network) could fool the iPlayer into giving up its sweet, delicious TV programming, and VPNs are pretty easy to connect to as a lot of people use them for legitimate encryption purposes. So a user in the US (or anywhere else) paying for a VPN service could easily fool the iPlayer into thinking they were connecting from the UK.

To combat this, the BBC is blocking VPNs altogether, though a spokesperson said legitimate VPNs within companies and schools will still be cleared for access. It seems the BBC is simply looking at common VPN providers and blocking connections within their IP address range. This is a problem for the legitimate UK resident who uses a VPN for personal cybersecurity.

As The Register points out, this is probably related to the BBC's plans to charge US residents a subscription fee for access to streaming video, which is slated to begin next year.

Stories