Frequently Asked Questions


I'm outside the UK why can't I see some content on BBC Online?

We have different versions of some sections of the BBC website for the 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 the BBC TV and Radio programmes.

Why we made the changes

We have an unusual requirement when it comes to developing the BBC website - it carries advertising internationally but not in the UK, and we have to build and design for both these situations simultaneously. The site carries advertising internationally so that UK licence fee payers don't cover international costs. Some content on the site is available in the UK but not internationally - notably certain rights restricted video. Up to now, we have had: A UK edition without ads, A UK edition with ads, an international edition with ads and an international edition without ads, all in addition to some content which is visible in the UK but not internationally. Managing all those combinations within our existing design framework had become impractical as well as expensive and, critically, had started to affect our ability to find the best ways of developing the site in the future.

Why we are using GeoIP

In order to ensure that people in the UK do not see advertising, we have to use 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 stories are still available wherever you are in the world, but some of the key pages such as the News front page 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 their postcode in the box on 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.

I am based in the UK - why am I seeing the International version?

We have resolved many of the problems experienced by users in the UK using the AOL browser who were being served the wrong edition. AOL has provided the BBC with a range of proxies used by its subscribers and we now recognise those users as being based in the UK. Some UK users, however, are occasionally routed via proxies outside this range. This is outside our control and appears to occur only within the AOL browser - not on other browsers. The routing policy used by AOL is within their control alone. Some BBC News category pages are not appearing to AOL users even though they can see the UK edition. We are working with AOL to determine if this is a caching issue within the AOL browser.

You may see the international version of the site if you work for a company which routes its internet traffic through servers outside the UK. It is not possible for the BBC to distinguish which users within an organisation are based within the UK and which are outside, and although those affected will be able to access the same stories as before, employees of companies who use international servers will continue to see the international version of our news pages. Users on an international proxy, which make up less than one percent of overall usage, should not be served advertising - anyone seeing advertising in the UK should contact us using this form.

I am in the UK - where can I find the international news?

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.