For many of us, the memories of our first foreign holidays were punctuated with a desperate search for newspapers in English. Even though you were only spending a couple of weeks on the Costa del Sol, it was easy to feel completely isolated from all the world and domestic news. Finding a copy of the Daily Mirror which was only a couple of days old and three times the cover price was about the best you could hope for.
Nowadays things have changed of course, most of us have access to the internet in our pockets but browsing the web for news is not quite the same as watching the BBC News live online. This you would think was simple however unfortunately all the BBC programmes are not available when you access the internet from outside the UK.
There are in fact two completely different versions of the BBC website dependant entirely on your location. Outside the UK you will receive the ‘International’ version which is fine but doesn’t contain any live TV, BBC iPlayer or the ability to access most radio stations. The simple fact is that outside the UK (Germany for example) the BBC is a commercial organisation called BBC Worldwide.
The domestic version which you can access from within the UK has all the features and you can watch any BBC programme either live or on ‘catch up’ for a few weeks after. It’s an incredible resource and forms the basis of many people’s entertainment, remember all these programmes are completely free of advertising and commercial breaks. You can even download the programmes to watch offline on any device you like.
Fortunately there is an option to be able to watch the BBC News and all the other great programmes when you’re outside the UK – here’s the video
With a little effort you can have access to all the BBC online channels, both live and through the iPlayer application. All you need to do is convince the BBC website that you are in the UK by routing through a UK address and you can watch the BBC News live online irrespective of your location.
There was some hope that all this wouldn’t be necessary in the future, as the European Union were pressuring digital content providers like the BBC to supply their product to license fee payers across the European borders. The expectation was that anyone who had paid the license fee would be allowed to access the full BBC site from Germany, France or anywhere in Europe, probably using some sort of code linked to their TV license.
Unfortunately it’s likely the BBC will probably quietly shelve these proposals due to the UK Brexit vote.