Why are the BBC websites different outside the UK?

Page updated: 31st May 2018

We have different versions of some sections of the BBC website for UK and international audiences. Specifically, we have the UK and international versions of the BBC Homepage, News and Sport front pages, and the pages for BBC TV and Radio programmes.

Why are there different versions of the websites?

We have an unusual requirement when it comes to developing BBC websites - they carry advertising internationally (so that UK licence fee payers don't cover international costs) but not in the UK, and we have to build and design for both these situations simultaneously.

Some content on our sites is available in the UK but not internationally - notably, certain rights restricted video. In order to ensure that people in the UK do not see advertising, we have to use GeoIP.

Why are you using GeoIP?

Without it, we don't know where ads should be visible and where they shouldn't. The same applies to video and other rights restricted content. Generally, GeoIP to determine country is reliable, but there are some occasions where it doesn't work properly and these we have to address case by case, with our GeoIP provider.

All articles are still available wherever you are in the world, but some of the key pages, such as the News homepage, show a more internationally focused range of headlines.

Where can I find regional News and Weather content from the UK?

International users who wish to see local news can enter the postcode in the box on the UK News page to add regional headlines and weather to their UK news page. This page will remember the preference you set, or you can change the postcode selection to see updates from different parts of the country. 

The BBC Weather pages allow you to search for a town in the UK by name or postcode and to set the location as a default forecast.

Where can I find the international news in the UK?

The World News page on the UK site offers a global view of international events and breaking news, as well as subsections containing news from various world regions. Users in the UK will still be able to access those, and we will continue to reflect international news as part of our overall front page coverage on the UK version of the site.

Why am I incorrectly recognised as outside the UK when using my mobile browser?

Some mobile browsers route data outside the UK when their data reduction features are enabled.

If you have an Android or iOS device and are using Chrome 30.0 or above you'll need to disable the Reduce Data Usage option. To do this go to browser settings, select Bandwidth Management and turn off Reduce Data Usage. Another option would be to use another browser or a BBC app.

If you're using an Opera browser, you'll need to disable Off-Road Mode in browser settings or use another browser.