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Changes to international pages (3)

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 15:56 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

It's taken a little while to go through your comments and questions about the way we present content for audiences inside and outside the UK (see previous posts here and here). Our project team has helped me by answering a number of them below.

On the wider issue of being able to choose access to the UK/international front pages, we're continuing to look into possible options to address the concerns that so many of you have expressed.

Regarding the other issues raised, then:

Individual sections and features

UK Your MoneyWe have added a UK Your Money section and a link through to the index on the international Business page after listening to the feedback of Geoff K and others. In addition, we have included Economy and Companies sections with headlines.

Some of you said that you want to see UK topics in the Have Your Say section, and we will be adding more top UK debates to the international index.

There was some feedback about fewer Entertainment and Sport stories on the international pages. The BBC Sport pages are still your main destination for all the coverage you could access before, and more UK-focused entertainment stories can be found on our international Entertainment index.

UK PoliticsWe had some comments from people who could no longer find UK political coverage on the international news pages. Our political coverage from the UK, and all the same stories, can be found in the UK section of the navigation bar on the left, under the UK Politics subcategory.

On a problem raised by "mikedbrit" of not being able to access video that was available before, via the audio/video section on the UK version of the site: unfortunately, we are unable to use the licence fee to fund distribution of full programmes in high-quality video to international users (we do of course offer many news clips across all sections, as well as live coverage during special events), or to sustain the existing narrowband offering that some of you may have been accessing. This means that the narrowband access - in particular to the One, Six and Ten O'Clock news bulletins - is being withdrawn.

"Giant_of_Nancledra" raised the issue of wanting to view a live parliamentary video stream. This coverage is available via the iPlayer and as such is not accessible outside the UK. However, we plan to later in the year launch Democracy Live which will offer live and on-demand video from all the main UK institutions and the European parliament. Users - both in the UK and around the world - will be able to search the video for representatives and issues that are relevant to them. These changes are not related to the editions switch we made last week.

"LadderEdge" asked where s/he could find BBC coverage of the Digital Britain report. You can find a summary of the report and links to other BBC stories here: At a glance: Digital Britain.

Mobile users

We are aware that there are problems affecting Blackberry business subscribers seeing the wrong edition and we are working to try to resolve this issue. There is an ongoing issue with the Opera mini-browser which we are also investigating with our technical team.

AOL UK subscribers

Some of you who use the AOL browser are being routed through international servers and are therefore being served the international edition. We are working with AOL to resolve this issue and expect it to be fixed shortly.

Advertising revenue

There has been some response that this is about serving more advertising. While commercial placements were a consideration in this switch, the changes are not about directing readers to pages with more advertising or targeting adverts at expats as "BootsDaRov" suggested. Adverts were displayed on the UK version of news viewed by the international audience before the change.

Access to the UK headlines page

News From The UKSome users, including "crosbycat", said that they were unable to click through to the UK news page. We presume that this refers to the link at the top of the News From The UK headlines box, which for a short time was not clickable, but now is.

Postcode field on the feedback form

A small number of people found problems entering their postcode into the feedback form. The form appears to be working correctly, but if you are still experiencing problems with this, please send an email to with the subject field "Postcode error", and we will investigate further.

Thanks again for all your comments, and just to reiterate the beginning of this post, we're continuing to look into possible options regarding the wider issues you've discussed.

Update (17:40, 3 July): There's a new post answering some of your concerns here.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Dear Steven

    Stop this utter nonsense and give us the option to switch between editions.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nothing new then...

  • Comment number 3.

    Trying to think of something constructive to say, but all I can come up with is a sigh of utter despair.

    Bye then Beeb, it's been long time coming, but you've finally pushed me away.

  • Comment number 4.

    I thought something had finally happened when I logged on to the website just before Steve posted above and got the UK front page which as an AOL user I have been barred from for a week. About time.

    However I do still have a few problems which may or may not be connected to AOL, I'm not sure. Random pages which I try to open present me with a white screen and a server error message. So at present my site is not fully functional, better, but not perfect which it once was.

    I know the pages are there since I can access them via Internet Explorer (which I detest using) so I suspect it's connected to AOL.

    A fix for these and you will have a contented subscriber back again Steve, pretty please :)

  • Comment number 5.

    "On the wider issue of being able to choose access to the UK/international front pages, we're continuing to look into possible options to address the concerns that so many of you have expressed."

    I have an idea. A possible option is to return the site to the way it was before - with an option to access the UK version or the international version on the front page.

    I appreciate the time you have eventually taken to address the other problems (other posters will have to comment on whether or not these involve more clicks) but to my mind you have STILL not given a satisfactory answer as to why it is not possible to choose between versions. Why is it taking so long to address this? It is the main point addressed in over 800 posts after all. You have the technology! Or did you bin it completely when you made the changes the other week?

  • Comment number 6.

    Personally, sir, you have totally missed my point. I never EVER referred to Digital Britain.

    Above, you write.

    ""LadderEdge" asked where s/he could find BBC coverage of the Digital Britain report."

    No I didn't.

    Get your facts right.

    I can get every piece of information regarding "Digital Britain" from other sources, should I wish so to do.

    I did ask one question, about a specific story, merely giving it as an example of a story that was available elsewhere, but no longer available to 'international' readers.
    But you got it wrong.
    You assumed something- which is very dangerous.

    By its very nature you are creating a problem.

    Open it up. Let US decided what to see.

    What I want to be able to see is exactly that which the UK population sees. This is so I can decided upon what facts they are making their decisions.

    Haven't you made an awful lot of work, needlessly?
    Haven't you made an awful lot of people (who used to be pro-BBC) very unhappy?

    Keep it simple. Simply publish the stories, let us decide what to see when and HOW? (Rights limitations excepted).

    I now note that UK readers are now 'number 1'. (we are "/2/"). So what can they no longer see, that they could, once?
    DO they know that they are second-class citizens, who can't be trusted to make their own minds up?
    DO they realize that they might not be able to read everything?

    This is pathetic.

  • Comment number 7.

    Whilst it's nice to finally read a response and to see that some of the issues raised are being addressed, some of the fundamentals remain.

    The big one, in my mind, is the clear editorial difference between how UK news is presented to 'UK' and 'international' audiences and how the ability for users to choose their preference is gone.

    And judging by the comments here, there's a sizeable number of people (like me) who live and work in the UK but get the International version on their office PC because their companies' web access is routed by international servers.

    These may be bigger and more complicated to solve - but while you work out a solution for these issues that also fits with your long-term direction for the site, why not listen to the 1,000-or-so unhappy customers who feel strongly enough about this to say so on these pages, and roll back to the radio button options?

    Just a thought...

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree it seems like they are doing a lot of unnecessary work just to avoid the main SIMPLE issue.

    Let the users choose which home page they see, like it was before the change.

    This request from 100's of users still has not been addressed, what is he problem?

  • Comment number 9.

    #5 stuham
    "but to my mind you have STILL not given a satisfactory answer as to why it is not possible to choose between versions"

    Nor to mine. The BBC now have a list [imperfect, but they're obviously working on it] of IP adresses which are to be considered "onshore" and thus qualify to receive iPlayer video and no advertising. This is fair enough, but having myself developed multi-lingual "wrappers" for international websites, there is no valid reason to confuse the wrapper with the page content and the refusal to re-introduce the radio button to switch between editions is either plain cussedness on the part of the BBC web developers or for some other reason we've still not been told.

    Also, re Mr Herrmann's "we are unable to use the licence fee to fund distribution of full programmes in high-quality video to international users (we do of course offer many news clips across all sections, as well as live coverage during special events), or to sustain the existing narrowband offering that some of you may have been accessing", nobody I'm aware of was suggesting provision of high-quality video for expats other than on payment of a fee or the licence. What was being suggested is that the existing narrowband offering provided an essential lifeline to and window on the polity of the UK. Furthermore, with the current UK government only now coming to terms with the provision of "broadband for all" the withdrawal of narrowband services is a dimunition of service for some of the most remote and poorest "onshore" licence payers, who probably cannot spare the bandwidth to participate in these threads.

    Version 2 of the changes are a little less awful than version 1, but all this could and should have been done in a public or "registered users only" beta with a great deal less anguish and loss of goodwill.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 10.

    @7 Completely agree.

    I do appreciate the time you're spending on this Steve, and that nothing is as simple it might seem, however the crux of the matter is that people want to be able to view the news using the British version to get a British perspective. It's an added bonus to be able choose between an internationally-focused (or perspective-based) news site and a British perspective-based news site.

    We know that all the same material is available for both, but I would like to be able to have the articles organised and given due priority based on what's important to the UK based audience. And there is about 900 people who have taken the time to respond who agree. (International and UK based people).

    As I've said previously - and I would imagine it is the same for the majority of foreign based users - I come to the BBC news site for a British perspective of the news, that is your Unique Selling Point - ok not unique, but certainly a distinction.

    Therefore if choosing between the two versions is so difficult, then just get rid of the international version altogether. Of course I'd prefer to keep both views for the viewers who appreciate the International version (I don't personally use it - until forced upon) But the British view is much more important, and currently I don't have the option to view the site with it.


  • Comment number 11.

    Steve, I have to say I was impressed with the eventual detailed explanation of what is being done. This is a much better approach to address your customers' concerns, and it goes to show that you have read many, if maybe misinterpreted some, of the 1000 or so posts.

    Having experience in forums and web-meetings, both socially and professionally, I know that this is representative, but only a percentage, of the audience that has likely sat up and taken notice of this, but so far avoided getting directly involved by writing or speaking out.

    Following your response, and your assurance that some of the wider issues are being discussed with your project team, I look forward to the next update. We are the end users, and as such, stakeholders too. It's nice to see that you have redressed that; I think a lot of people here were starting to lose faith, myself included, that the BBC would even post a half decent response. Thank you, and keep up the momentum.

  • Comment number 12.

    I appreciate the amount of work in trying to work around so many issues (which in my mind would have been easily solved by putting back the button), but I still think you are missing the point.

    The UK site is aimed at the UK public, the international site caters for those outside of the UK. BUT, a lot of those outside the UK actually prefer to see the news that is aimed at the UK audience. Simply because, that is the unique UK perspective of the news. Likewise, a lot of those inside the UK would like to see the international page, because of its wider scope.

    Why don't you get this? Why can't you see that the button actually makes your site more attractive? Simply because of this national v international aspect.

  • Comment number 13.

    Steve, I hope that you have noted that we are all polite, "Please" appears many times.

    We are not unreasonable people.
    We are on your side.

    "The British View is much more important".

    Let us chose.


  • Comment number 14.

    Still nothing for those in the UK who want to see the BBC's international take on the important news of the moment, yes we know that we can click-through to country/region pages but that doesn't give us a feel for what the BBC puts on it's 'Frontpage'. Surely it's not beyond the ability of the BBC to serve generic banners for BBC website content/services as a default 'place holder', serving adverts instead if the requesting IP is a non UK allocated number, other websites manage to do this after all.

    It does just seem that the original charge, that the BBC has just opted for what is the easiest for them, still sticks...

  • Comment number 15.

    I wonder how many others have tried to post comments to these threads which have not appeared.

    Some questions have been addressed, which is good, but several fundamental issues remain. For instance, what hope is there for those of us in the UK using "Johnny Foreigner" IP addresses? Why implement a change that removes choice and appears to discriminate against users based on assumed geographical location?

    Why have they made a change which reduces the functionality for those with non-UK IP addresses who really are foreign residents? It seems that many come here specifically because of the UK content, denying them that seems to be a rather narrow-minded step.

    And how would the BBC report this if it was implemented in China or Iran?

  • Comment number 16.

    I give up...I'll let my MP deal with it.

    You just don't get it Steve, do you? I'm a Brit who lives abroad (Think of abroad as being proxied through a foreign server). I don't want an 'International' view of things whenever I visit the site, I want a 'British' view. I don't want/need you to tell me what view you think I should be seeing. I'm old enough and ugly enough to decide that for myself.

    So continue to jump through hoops to offer us something less than what we have before, I'm afraid I won't be around to see it. Thanks for ruining a once great site.

  • Comment number 17.

    Still no reason WHY you alledgedly HAD to make the changes.
    An explanation, please.

  • Comment number 18.

    Glad to see there is some progress.

    But for me, in Denver Colorado, please let me see the UK perspective news front page like it always was, with ability to see the weather in Birmingham, the local news and the headlines for Aston Villa FC... as if I still lived in Birmingham. It is a really important link to (old) home.

    I would hardly have known about the MP expenses scandal if it was set up as it is now. That's because those things aren't as important to a truly 'international' audience. To me, and the hundreds of other ex-pats who have responded, they are.

    I mean, what I liked was UK news - top of the page where you can immediately see what's important in UK with your own chosen regional perspective. Not halfway down after Iran and China.


  • Comment number 19.

    To quote John Simpson reporting from Iran.

    ".....but If you want to get to the BBC on line site, which is very popular in Iran, this is all you get..

    a notice to say it's been blocked."

    Sounds horribly familiar.

    Please, Steve. Fix it.

  • Comment number 20.

    Ah! - so we create a third Thread instead of continuing one of the others.

    This will help to keep the number of complaints from individual threads down.

    Don't believe in consiracy theories myself, and although I would love to see the original 'options' re-isnstated, I have just been lurking here to see how this matter was going to be handled by the BBC - pretty poorly so far.

    BTW does anyone outside the UK know if you can access this RSS Feed ? :

    Might be a useful way of knowing what is posted to the UK Front Page without actually accessing it.

    For my 2d worth it IS about the adverts stupid..... but they prefer to 'redact' the reasons - sounds familiar - but then if you are outside the UK you might not appreciate to topicallity of the choice of verb due of course to the limit on access.

    Best to all

    Copy Kept

    p.s. Just noticed I have broken one of the rules I was taught school - don't over use the same word - in this case "access" - but I guess that is what this is all about isn't it?

  • Comment number 21.

    I do miss the privilege of reading the british perspective of the news.
    Over the years the BBC has been an icon in the news world that allowed us to get a glimmpse of the "british perspective".
    It seems like we are slowly being forced to read what is now called "generic international news" or forced to read what someone decided is fit for outside comsumption.
    I wish We could turn the tide back
    Thank you

  • Comment number 22.

    17. At 6:26pm on 19 Jun 2009, Tengsted wrote:

    "Still no reason WHY you alledgedly HAD to make the changes.
    An explanation, please."

    Sorry but that is incorrect, it's quite obvious from what Steve said that the problem is funding (it costs the BBC money, paying for bandwidth, to serve each and every request for a page or other content), I suspect that the problem would not be so serious if the BBC wasn't offering so much HQ audio and video content now. The BBC website is obviously not immune from the cuts that are sweeping other areas of the BBC more publicly...

    Still don't accept the changes though, it's been a bit like throwing a hand-grenade into a lake to catch one fish for supper, far to much collateral damage has occurred!

  • Comment number 23.

    Dear Mr Herrmann,

    Thanks very much for providing some answers to our many questions. I do appreciate that you have responded as I requested with specific answers to specific questions. I may not like the answers, but it does make this blog/comment deal actually worthwhile. I kind of figured that the news broadcasts were gone for the reasons you give, and that I would not be getting them back - what irked, and you have now fixed, was your previous statements that "all" the content we previously had access to was still available for the price of a few extra clicks, when this was clearly not true. Being told things you know not to be correct - no matter how valid the underlying reason for the change - rubs people very hard the wrong way. I guess I will just have to use a proxy server to get my news fix - Oops - hush my mouth!

    A couple of questions you have yet to address, but which it would be great if you did, are:

    1) How about some form of pay access to the Iplayer? I would be prepared to pay quite a lot for access to the programs that I miss like Panorama. There may be good reasons why this is not an option, but I would like to hear them.

    2) I still don't understand why you cannot allow the folks in the UK a button to allow them to see the international page if that is what they would like? From the posts of others, it would seem that this would be valuable to them, and I don't see any potential licensing issues as you have explained them that would preclude that. No good for me, but it would at least make some folk happy...

    Again, thanks for your post,


  • Comment number 24.

    As someone wrote in the last set of comments if you missed it, you can still get the UK version of the front page at:

    I currently have this one booked-marked, so please please please don't remove it BBC.

  • Comment number 25.

    JohnPrince, for your information, this post would appear to be about number 959

    The subject has not changed.

    Has it, Steve?

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    As has previously been mentioned the URLs and

    show the appropriate homepages.

    Would it not be easier in the short term simply to have an extra "UK Front Page" and "International Front Page" link down the bottom of the navigation bar? Or is the removal of the switcher part of some major rejigging of CPS that we're not yet privvy to?

  • Comment number 28.

    why am I being pre-modded all of a sudden? I've had an account for 6 years and have left loads of comments on this blog :S

  • Comment number 29.

    Of course, the BBC complains bitterly when anyone blocks its signals or its website - as it should. Censorship is bad. Of course, thanks to these latest website changes, I now have to use a proxy server to access the proper BBC News website in English *or* in Chinese. Congratulations.

    It looks like BBC News has switched its priorities away from serving the British public - ex pats or not, a lot of us are still British people, and ones for whom the BBC is an important lifeline, helping us feel connected to our home country.

    If it's a matter of funds, well, non-UK site visitors already had advertisements, and we didn't get much in the way of rich media before. Maybe it's time to go asking the FCO for another handout?

    Anyway, I thought the official excuse was "technical issues", or has that changed after people saw right through it? It's hard to keep up between three separate blog postings and probably pushing a thousand comments.

  • Comment number 30.


    From reading your post, what it seems you have had to do is add lots of UK bits to the international site. Why not just return to what we had before, as UK focused site and an international focused site, and letting people choose which one they wanted? The change you made has been a disaster, and no amount of tinkering is changing that. I don't want to have to always view the BBC site using a proxy server as it's a pain, but if you don't change, I will have to and you will lose advertising revenue. As it is, I am having to go to newspaper websites to get decent UK news and sport and they (until recently) didn't provide as good a service as the BBC.

    Please change this back.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is positive that attempts are gradually being made to sort out the problems.

    @ 22: Yes, the issue is funding in respect of video content (shame Mr. Herrmann wasn't up front about this in the first place), but this is NOT an explanation for the removal of choice of versions.

    Geolocation can certainly be used to block access to those video resources which the BBC wishes to specifically restrict to UK users (for funding and licensing reasons), even though some people actually in the UK will unfortunately still lose out.

    The question which still remains to be answered though is why it is REALLY necessary to prevent non-UK users from accessing the full UK version. I hope that a solution (just put the radio button back?) will indeed be implemented very soon.

    The links to the front pages posted here can be bookmarked but unfortunately as soon as you click on a link on the page you can't get back there easily.

    Suggestion: Let people choose which version they want as before and introduce password protected access to the site for UK TV license holders abroad who can then see no ads and IPlayer content as well. Annoying adverts (yes, even the google ones - has anyone at the BBC actually checked to see what rubbish is being served via the adservers on the news pages) are a small price to pay for access if you are outside the UK and we have been used to these for a while. Most browsers can block them anyway if one is so inclined.

  • Comment number 32.


    You're not related to Max Mosely, are you?

    What both of you should remember is:

    "If it ain't broke, leave it alone!"

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm an expat Brit, and I'm not happy with the changes; *I* want to control my experience and what I see. The old user-selectable 'UK' or 'International' versions were much more useful, IMHO.

    I've been following the responses on the 'The Editors' pages, and I'm very disappointed to see that, neither there nor anywhere on the BBC site (that I can find), do you explain how VPN & proxies can be used to make any user appear as though they are located in the UK. It's not hard, and is the obvious solution for both expat Brits, and UK residents with 'overseas' IP address ranges. I've found this is the only way I can access iPlayer, for instance.

    In fact, in my opinion, the whole concept of using IP address to attempt to determine geographical location is so broken & bletcherous that you shouldn't be using it at all!

    Please consider this very seriously.

  • Comment number 34.

    Finally the UK Home Page is back :)
    I hate the International Version.
    So thanks for fixing it BUT there was no need to break it in the 1st place.

  • Comment number 35.


    No, it's not the reason, as we've been told that the content is still all available for all users, UK, or International.

    So if its still there, its costing the BBC bandwidth. Unless of course, the future improvements that need these changes are to reduce the content, and increase the advertising to maximise income.

    Quite why they're relying on advertising, when more users are using ad-blocking software is another thing.

  • Comment number 36.

    If the UK-only content is reserved for licence fee payers, why not open the licence to anyone who wants to pay ita significant source of revenue. I would pay a full licence for the ability to use i-Player.

    Please consider this source of funds!

  • Comment number 37.

    One big problem with this detailed explanation.

    If the BBC are going to the trouble of adding things like a link to "Your Money" and "selected" HYS articles - it must mean they have NO intention of bringing back the radio button for international users wanting to access the UK site.

    Otherwise why would they bother?

  • Comment number 38.

    @35 (Tengsted): "we've been told that the content is still all available for all users, UK, or International."

    Well, yes, we've been told that. But it wasn't true, was it? The UK Money and HYS have had to be added back in. And anyway, the point is not the content but the presentation. The heirarchy of stories is different between UK and International versions, and many people like being able to choose which heirarchy they see.

    What we *still* haven't been told is why it was necessary in the first place, and why such a cack-handed method like IP location was used. I do not believe that there are technical issues involved, and won't until those technical issues are explained in a technical fashion.

    If advertising is not involved, then it should still be possible to change the hierarchy of news items to UK-centric or international. If you need to serve advertising, use geolocation to decide which ads (or blank space) to serve; and to display a message about not showing UK-only video.

    For what it's worth, I get the UK version at home and international at work. All ads are blocked on both machines, so you've achieved is to infuriate a UK bod who happens to work for an American company (one who is intelligent enough not to be frustrated by restricting video!)

  • Comment number 39.

    The idea that many have floated here of paying a fee to view I-player outside of the UK is likely to remain just that.An Idea. The only way the BBC would agree to this is if it is restricted to current affairs programmes such as Panorama and Newsnight. And sports programmes such as Inside Sport. I would be happy to pay for that myself. As expats, we all miss the quality shows the BBC produces and perhaps took for granted while in the UK. I just can't see BBC dramas and comedy shows being available to those of us outside the UK. No other network does it, so I don't see why the exception should be the beeb.

  • Comment number 40.

    I sent an email about this sometime ago and got a 'standard' reply but I still find this absolutely irritating and devoid of any sense.

    I am a UK resident, pay the TV license but travel to and from Asia and live here for months at a time. However, I need to use up massive data amounts on my datacard to watch a video because of the annoying and frankly pointless adverts at the start and the now annoying and waste of time loading etc of Google alerts and expensive watches.

    Ironically the story on the BBC website of the missing Air France jet a couple of weeks ago over the Atlantic had an inappropriate advert. It was from Singapore Airlines which was very prominent on the top of the page almost next to the Air France picture stating that the A380 first to fly to Paris!

    All about money eh? I travel to countries that rely on the BBC (world service or web) but more and more are moving to CNN...I feel embarrassed but find many ex-BBC staff on the CNN channel so perhaps are not alone.

  • Comment number 41.

    Thanks, Beeb, for wasting my time to set up a membership to tell you that your "new and improved" website has lost me as an international reader. I found that my previous comments concerning access to the Magazine, Caption Comp, etc. weren't addressed, which makes me even more annoyed. Signing off from Canada.

  • Comment number 42.

    unfortunately, we are unable to use the licence fee to fund distribution of full programmes in high-quality video to international users (we do of course offer many news clips across all sections, as well as live coverage during special events), or to sustain the existing narrowband offering that some of you may have been accessing. This means that the narrowband access - in particular to the One, Six and Ten O'Clock news bulletins - is being withdrawn.

    Sorry, but this makes no sense to me. The license fee could be used to fund full programs such as news bulletins on narrowband but not high-quality video? Why? I can't believe there isn't a way to grant access only to certain programs such as news bulletins provided on the I-player in HQ for international viewers as has been done in narrow-band.

    I used to live in the UK and I still value being able to watch the UK news bulletins. It was provided in the past. Why can't it still be provided? Sorry Steve, but this really isn't good enough!

  • Comment number 43.

    Whilst I'm glad the links to Your Money and Have Your Say are (sort of) being restored, it still doesn't deal with the fundamental issues: -

    1. I'm a consumer of BBC output - indeed my enjoyment of what the BBC offered has been heightened by living abroad (Australia in my case). I'm British, however. I have a vote in UK and European elections. Therefore, what happens at home is important to me. International news is less relevant.

    2. I understand that I'm not directly funding the BBC living in Australia. Therefore, random ads on the site are/were a necessary evil that I accepted. I also understand the restrictions on iPlayer given the output although the debate over its range is interesting. I would say that while BBC Worldwide makes money, the fact is that its output over here is pretty poor. The soaps are between six months to two years behind (not that I watch them) and BBC Knowledge is running with Series 3 of the Apprentice. In this day and age, I can go on to numerous sites and download the content, which is why I cannot understand why the BBC doesn't open up the licence fee to non-UK residents for iPlayer access. In my case, I'm not going to dump UKTV and BBC Knowledge, however I digress.

    The point Steve misses is that because of these changes, I now use a VPN and/or a proxy server, depending on the speeds I'm getting. I can now access iPlayer and I can read the News website UK version. Who benefits here? Not the BBC, who miss out on the ad revenue. The end service is more of an irritation to me that I am having to pay but at the end of the day, I'm subscribing to the service. I would also add that my visits to the site have diminished as I have sought alternative sources to the output.

    I think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the BBC believe that users who dip in to the content will offset the regulars who visit. That's fair enough if they believe that but in my opinion they will be mistaken.

    The sad thing is that the BBC, for all its faults, is one British institution that is still respected worldwide. Why it would wish to drive people away from it is beyond me.

  • Comment number 44.

    This page here is currently being linked from both the UK and International versions of the News homepage, it seems.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hope Needlewoman isn't too disappointed when she logs on again and finds she is back to the International version. My experience is that it is a lottery whether I shall be in the UK or overseas each time I sign on.
    Steve you say the AOL problem will be sorted "shortly". What does this mean? Hours, days, months or what? I am not holding my breath if the speed of response to the 900+ comments you have received so far is an indicator.

    I am another of those contributors who registered only to comment on this issue.

    I still don't understand why you can't go back to the version that worked well for most of us till you have properly tested the new version

  • Comment number 46.

    I still prefer the British version. I get it on Yahoo with no probs.

  • Comment number 47.

    While it is good to see that Mr. Herrmann is still alive and well and I appreciate his cosmetic exercise in responding to our postings, the fact remains that the answer to my and countless others' questions - WHY has this been done and WHY can it not simply and easily be undone? - remain wholly unanswered.

    The only reasons I can think of are (a) IT ineptitude, and/or (b) an attempt to increase ad revenue. If this/these are the reason(s), please be honest enough with us to say so. If not, then what?

    As others have said, if the BBC can not or will not respond properly at an operational level we have no option but to take our grievances to the Trust (which purports to represent the public) and to our elected representatives. How ridiculous, though, that we should have to resort to that.

  • Comment number 48.

    Dear Steve

    I would like to think that I am not unintelligent but I have still to understand why the changes were made

    I will paraphrase my question from thread 2, do you think you deserve to win WEBBY awards for this decision?

    I don't think that you do



  • Comment number 49.

    I totally agree with tim_birch. Incredibly annoying, regressive and disappointing. Having just come back from Malaysia where I viewed - I must say - the greatly improved international edition; why why why can't I have the option of viewing it from the UK? Please give us your reasons for this sudden change. The UK edition is now worse in my view; I'm not interested in petty home news, I want a global perspective, right up front. I will seriously consider switching to CNN.

  • Comment number 50.

    Simple question Mr Herrmann

    Why cannot I choose which version of the site I see, which existed until last week?
    The adverts never bothered me (and frankly I've never clicked on any so its just fancy decoration as far as I am concerned), and the lack of video as well wasn't a big issue. I can view all 4 BBC channels (via paid cable) and I also have a UK TV licence back home.
    Yet you have deemed under your aparthied system a foreigner and therefore force me to view US-centric news. This isn't what I wish for, or want. At least with the old version I could choose.

    Basically why should British people outside the UK (or in many cases inside) be forced to use an International version of the site which gives them news that they don't want?

  • Comment number 51.

    I am an Isle of Man resident and have always used and valued the international version of the BBC website as an access point to the BBC's global journalism. The Isle of Man isn't part of the UK and as a result I have no interest at all in domestic UK politics - but unfortunately for the Isle of Man, its IP addresses are currently indistinguishable from UK IP addresses, so we now see only the UK version. I suppose it's the same for people in the Channel Islands... who are no doubt also now thinking about getting their international news elsewhere.

  • Comment number 52.

    Steve - a very detailed reply and one that I thank you for even if there are plenty of people on here who are happy to flame you for it. Why the people above can't deal with change, I'll never understand.

    Thanks for doing a good job and keep it up.

    To the rest of you: if you don't like the changes, either put up or shut up - continuous moaning just bores people.

  • Comment number 53.

    I had a look at CNN's website. You can choose between US news or International webpages, but that is to be expected in a country where people are very proud and patriotic about being American. America comes first and the choice to be first clearly recognised by CNN. I doubt it would ever dare make such a change to its site that would compel its overseas citizens to put the USA in second place.

    In contrast the BBC gives me the feeling that my home country is nothing more than a commodity for its web designers to play with.

    We are also a proud and patriotic people and this how our public service broadcaster treats us.

  • Comment number 54.


    People can deal with change when it's needed.

    When this change was implemented in such an ill-thought out way, do you really expect them to sit back and do nothing, especially when they've been told clear mis-truths (lies in other words)?

    There are still answers to be had, such as just how long will it take for Opera to be UK-ised. So far all we know is that they are working on it. How long will it take? How long is a piece of string seems to be the answer currently.

  • Comment number 55.

    #52 Jordan D: You are entitled to your opinion of course but do let others share their opinions too. You will notice that hardly anybody agrees with you so maybe they have a point? Or do you think that people should simply accept all changes for the worse without (justified) comment? It has NOTHING to do with "dealing with change" as you put it.

  • Comment number 56.

    Please put the International page back the way it was. On that page I could see at a glance:

    Top international items
    Top UK items
    Top Science items
    Top Technology items

    Now I can only see 1 item from each of the UK regions - what might be a top item for Scotland may be well down the list for the UK but it now displaces more important stories from other regions.

    It also erroneously gives equal weight to a "top" item in Scotland to top item from the entire Americas. Ludicrous!

    I'm Scottish, so please, no accusations of my doing down Scotland.

    Please put it back! I want a real International page.

  • Comment number 57.

    I've just had a response about the complaint I made and it still doesn't seem to get the point. Just because someone is abroad, doesn't mean they want to see the international pages, in the same way that just because someone is in the UK, doesn't mean they want to see the UK page.

    This really is not a good change. Please let us know when you will be fixing this issue as it is very annoying.

  • Comment number 58.

    How is it that Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox can determine that I am a UK resident and give me access to the UK version of BBC, but the BBC seem unable to do so. If they can, surely the BBC can as well

    Or am I missing something?

    I want to get straight to the BBC site not via several other clicks

  • Comment number 59.

    "Some of you said that you want to see UK topics in the Have Your Say section, and we will be adding more top UK debates to the international index."

    Good god man, why do you try to speak like a politician? People did not say they want to see UK topics in Have Your Say, they said they wanted to see the UK version of Have Your Say. Stop trying to put words in people mouths!

    I see you are saying that you will have the problem fixed for people who use AOL. So let me see. Since AOL routes it's UK users through the US for some reason, does that mean that all the US AOL users will get the UK version when the browse the BBC web pages? It appears that this idea is a total shambles.

  • Comment number 60.

    While it is appreciated that you are continuing to respond to the comments here, you are still not really answering the question most people are asking:

    Are you intending to put back the feature which enables us to choose between the UK version and the international version of the site? If not, why not?

    "Continuing to look at possible options..." doesn't really cover it as without knowing what the options are it could mean anything.

    Why not set the options out here, and get some feedback? Asking the audience *before* making the changes this time might be a good idea and save time and money all round.

    If it helps, personally I favour a small radio button on the LHS with options to choose between the "UK version" and the "International version"...

  • Comment number 61.

    I just read comment No27 Hymagumba with two URL's one of which is for the UK version and the other is the International version. I could see both of them quite happily. So the BBC has paid for some software that can detect where an IP address is located and tried to impress us with it, when all we want is a button (which was previously there) to allow us to flip between versions. I am no web page programmer, but even I can do that. In fact I have made a simple web page which I have put on my desktop that allows me to go to either versions (I don't like using the shortcut utility in browsers). If the BBC wants, I can send it to them.

    I now can access the UK version of the front page and Have Your Say, the International version of the front page and Have Your Say. As I have said I have made a small web page to allow me to access all the information easily (something it seems the BBC is unwilling to do) and all the information for this came from users of the BBC, not the BBC itself despite my requests. The BBC is shameful in this matter!

  • Comment number 62.

    Somehow the BBC wants to stubbornly market itself as a source for international news when all what the world really wants is the BBC remaining itself.

    Mr Herrmann, it is really, really simple: I am not an UK citizen, but I visit the BBC News website because I am interested in news articles seen from the UK viewpoint. If I want international news, I have plenty of choices on the web in my native language, I just do not need the BBC for that.

    Why is it so difficult for your web team to accept they're on the wrong track? Too much time invested already, too much money, too much hassle to come up with a new philosophy for the site?

    We (your audience!) do not want the changes you have introduced to the website, doesn't this get through to you?

    A reader's physical location on this planet does not reflect what he or she wants or expects to see on the BBC's website, how did you come up with such a misconception in the first place?

  • Comment number 63.

    This is awful. I work for a company with a mainland Europe HQ and our internet traffic is routed via there first, so the ability to select editions was essential for me and my UK colleagues (numbering several hundred and I'm sure we're not alone). Please, please reconsider this decision.

  • Comment number 64.

    @52 (Jordan D): "if you don't like the changes, either put up or shut up"

    Not sure I understand that. We can't *do* anything other than complain.

    The silence on why it's necessary to force people into one version or the other is deafening. Why can't we choose the story hierarchy we prefer? If the price is getting links to video which I can't play because I have a foreign IP address, so what?

  • Comment number 65.

    Echoing @63 (FatRunner).
    I too work in Berkshire, England (yup - part of the United Kingdom but, when in the office, I am routed through international servers... Like so many of the posters here, I fail to understand why it was necessary to remove the radio button. It seems to me that even if you wanted to serve me adverts to gain some revenue based on my perceived location (this seems reasonable in moderation for BBC digital services, with UK and international audiences, by the way), it surely wouldn't be so hard to allow me the freedom to choose whether I wanted to perceive myself to be where I really am, despite the reliance on the flawed IP location assumption.
    I suppose that I could always find some UK based proxy, along with the true expats and others for whom the usability of this previously exemplary website has been diminished, or just use my phone...

  • Comment number 66.

    This does remind me of the occasion, many years ago, when some bright spark of an editor decided that, as all programmes have theme music, the Today programme should do likewise. The presenters hated it, the audience hated it, and anyone admitting to working for the BBC was rounded upon at parties by angry listeners. Within about six months the theme music had been dumped (not sure about the editor). Joy was unconfined.

    Times have changed, and progress is much quicker. Now that Gordon Brown has perfected the art of announcing some fatuous proposal he had just dreamt up in the bath, being shouted at by all and sundry, and then backing down within 24 hours, the BBC should learn from all these postings, do the decent thing, and reverse this reduction in service with as much grace as it can muster.

  • Comment number 67.

    tomj777 wrote: ''I suppose that I could always find some UK based proxy''

    That's the solution, if the Beeb wants to be n00bish, circumvent their restrictions! ;)

    This used to be the No.1 website worldwide, but they obviously got embarrassed and decided to downplay their abilities...

  • Comment number 68.

    Well ... as was pointed out in the very first post made by Steve on this issue, a tiny minority of those who could choose to view the alternate page to the one geared to their location (within or without the UK) and it was therefore removed (as I read it) as it facilitated other changes the BBC are looking to make on the site.

    Clearly members of that minority who did utilise the facility are now annoyed that the facility has been removed, but as far as I can most of those are people in other countries (whether ex-pats or otherwise) who do not contribute to the BBC and therefore this website.

    Why shouldn't the needs of the UK, and those who pay the licence fee to fund the BBC be put ahead of those in other countries?

  • Comment number 69.

    @68 One of the problems is actually that UK based people are now not seeing the 'British' news page but the 'International' one.

    And also providing a choice to all users (including those in the UK) about whether they view the British or International version does not adversely affect UK users who default to the British version so it isn't a case of putting those in the UK ahead of those outside of the UK.

    Finally the point about foreign viewers not contributing [cash] to the BBC is no longer strictly true as with the advertisements being displayed for non-UK based visitors, they now do contribute cash to the BBC - just indirectly.

    Just playing devil's advocate :)

  • Comment number 70.

    And minority?! I think 1000 odd posts complaining about this (which is about 95% of the total comments) prove that it is far from the minority.

    I'm personally based in the UK (and obviously a licence-fee payer), but when I go abroad I would like the choice to look at the site as if I was in the UK so I can keep up to speed with what's going on back home.

    It's far from just the ex-pats and other foreign-based viewers that are requesting the choice.

  • Comment number 71.

    Well I may be considered to be in a minority by some because I am outside of the UK at times and want to see the UK website.Although what is considered to be a minority as so far there have been over 1000 posts on this subject almost all negative!.
    However to return to my main point .I also have a UK property and do pay my licence fee as I am sure do thousands of other non UK based website viewers so we do contribute to the BBC and therefore have as much right as anyone to complain !

  • Comment number 72.

    Hmm, sounds rather like 'the party members' are now appearing......

    They tend to forget that our 'ad-clicking' helped pay for the pages we read.
    We might actually BE licence -payers......

    No matter, it is of no further importance. We were only trying to help.

    I, for one, have got better things to do, (this is probably what 'the powers-that-be' hope for- keep quiet, they'll go away).

    As of now, not only is my home 'UK' page no longer the BBC, I shall view any BBC news page far less frequently (if at all).

    Those reading this in the UK don't know what you're missing - because you are no longer allowed to make up your own mind.

    Those reading this outside the UK,


    As of now, we might have
    the CNN viewpoint,
    the Euronews viewpoint,
    the Al Jazeera viewpoint
    The RT Today viewpoint

    perhaps the removal of the FCO grant-in-aid would help concentrate the minds in W12 7RJ.

    I'm off.

    Goodbye BBC News.

    "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation"

    no more.

    It was nice knowing you... once.

  • Comment number 73.

    Dear Steven

    Many ex-pats eventually return to the UK. I for one will not forget the way the BBC has treated me. On my return - I will definitely support any measure that eliminates or reduces the TV licence fee.

  • Comment number 74.

    "Well ... as was pointed out in the very first post made by Steve on this issue, a tiny minority of those who could choose to view the alternate page to the one geared to their location (within or without the UK) and it was therefore removed (as I read it) as it facilitated other changes the BBC are looking to make on the site."

    I would like the BBC to provide evidence that a "tiny minority chose to view the alternative page to the one geared for their location" as I think that is total rubbish. The reason a lot of people come to the BBC web page is to read the news. A lot of them are probably Brits who are temporarily (like myself) or permanently living abroad, and they wish to see the news in the UK and around the world and as such would use the "button" to see both sites. I know for a fact that there is more then one British person living temporarily or permanently abroad and as such I find the "tiny minority" comment a load of poppycock and I should say that we should be insulted by this claim.

    As I have said, show us the evidence of this claim.

  • Comment number 75.

    @ #68, dcacooper:

    I'm afraid, dcacopper, your statement is not quite correct. The point is that most of us (i.e. those who I spoke to in person, and most on this blog here) had our respective homepages consciously set to either the UK or the International version, wherever in the world we were. The choice was ours, according to our own priorities.

    It is this option that has now been hastily removed, and as it appears, quite unnecessarily (as the techies tell us).

    If the button may have been rarely used, it was simply because the URL of both UK and International sites were well-known and bookmarked. This is in its entirety no longer possible, and a severe setback for hundreds, if not thousands of readers.

    With the BBC long having been the most reliable, trustworthy and objective news site in the UK, and possibly even the world, this change is a dramatic turn towards censorship, especially as we are told this is only a first step in a new direction. If the BBC is not aware of the importance of its role in the UK and world, well..., what can we say; what else can we do than protest? If the BBC management hinders free access for its users (as before the recent changes), it apparently believes its users cannot be trusted anymore, so yes, indeed ... Houston, we have a problem.

    Thus I am quite certain there is a breach of the BBC Charter, brought about by some rushed and utterly shortsighted decisions, and which need to be reversed.

  • Comment number 76.

    #68 dcacooper

    "Well ... as was pointed out in the very first post made by Steve on this issue, a tiny minority of those who could choose to view the alternate page to the one geared to their location (within or without the UK) and it was therefore removed"
    Not true. You confuse tiny minority with relatively few. They are not the same! Mr Herrmann claimed: "Because the option allowing you to choose "site versions" (which relatively few of you actually chose to use) has started to lead to some potentially frustrating experiences for you, as well as some significant technical complications for us."

    We have no statistics to support this assertion, but even if we did I would not expect it to be huge in terms of daily clicks on the radio button because most of us only need to click the button once for each new PC. The one I'm typing on now has not had this setting changed in four years, despite my accessing the BBC site daily.

    More importantly, we have repeatedly asked for details of the "technical complications" as many of us have significant web development skills and experience, being able to offer meaningful help if the BBC techies need it. These requests and offers have met with stony silence.

    "Why shouldn't the needs of the UK, and those who pay the licence fee to fund the BBC be put ahead of those in other countries?"
    Your post strongly implies that you are located in blighty, have an ISP other than AOL and only ever want to view the UK News Front Page [ Bully for you, but what about those of our compatriots in the same position - and quite a few have posted on these threads - who preferred to view the International News Front Page [ Should the BBC remove that choice from them, too?

    And if the BBC actually desires to have multiple versions of it's pages for "home" and "foreign" consumption anyway, why limit the choice of your fellow licence payer?

    Equally, if some of the "foreign" audience want to view the "home" version why should the BBC prevent them, particularly as the BBC know and themselves acknowledge that a fair number of the "foreigners" wanting this are UK residents whose IP addresses only "appear" foreign to the BBC's servers?

    This is nothing to do with the advertising content and slashed video services us "foreigners" have been subjected to for some time and which was already handled via imperfect IP geolocation.

    Oh, and by the way, bringing the UK to the world is part of the BBC's remit. If you don't like that, complain to your MP.

    Finally, as others have said, how do you think this is playing in Tehran and Beijing and do you think the BBC would remain silent if such "separate development" was taking place in even more authoritarian parts of the world than the UK?

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 77.

    #73 tim_birch
    "On my return - I will definitely support any measure that eliminates or reduces the TV licence fee."

    You may not have that long to wait. You only need to look at the political blogs to see how many are up in arms at being fed pro-union and/or labour propaganda. There may soon be no need to separate us on the grounds of serving advertisements to us because broadcast advertisements may well become the norm.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 78.

    #68. At 5:29pm on 20 Jun 2009, dcacooper wrote

    "Why shouldn't the needs of the UK, and those who pay the licence fee to fund the BBC be put ahead of those in other countries?"

    Because not all those affected are: a/. outside the UK b/. those who are outside the UK are not always none British c/. those British who are outside the UK are not all non licence fee payers, many are domicile within the UK and are only either working temporally or no holiday in another country d/. some UK domiciles want to access the international version of the site - all of which has been explained in the 800 plus comments over the last 10 days or so...

  • Comment number 79.

    I am not at all satisfied with the BC response to all of these very reasonable comments. I would like to know who is in charge, and how can we contact them.

  • Comment number 80.

    I'd recommend writing to NewsWatch but that just seems like a place for BBC editors to offer arrogant platitudes to the viewers because, apparently, we don't understand how the news is put together. I can't remember a time when one of them admitted they were wrong.

  • Comment number 81.

    Your payment of the license fee doesn't pay for YOU to recieve the BBC output, it pays for that location to recieve BBC output. That is why it is payable per residence, not per person.

    If you are an expat / Britain living abroad, you do not have access to the full UK content. This shouldn't and won't change - it isn't part of the BBC's mandate.

    If you are on British resident living within the boundaries of the United Kingdom, and are being cited as living outside, then I suggest you put a complaint in to the BBC.

    If you are an expat, you can always click UK to find out the UK stories.

  • Comment number 82.

    If people outside the UK do start to use a UK proxy service then on connecting to BBC IPlayer a UK IP address will be presented to the access software.
    I am sure the BBC will have unlikely thought of the outcome of that anymore than they thought through their webpage changes

  • Comment number 83.

    I complained about the lack of access to "your money" and the Int "have your say" being populated by rather uninteresting "how dry is your mud hut" HYS'.

    You have now modified the Int business to give me a link to "your money" and say that you will populate the Int HYS with more UK HYS'.

    Thank you for listening and reacting.

  • Comment number 84.

    "If you are an expat, you can always click UK to find out the UK stories."

    Please dont make the assumption that internet speeds are as good world wide as they are in the UK.
    Here in Malaysia the internet appears to be carried on wet string. It can take up to 2 minutes to load the Int page and another 2 to get to the UK page, two clicks in four mins is a real wind up.

  • Comment number 85.

    "If you are an expat / Britain living abroad, you do not have access to the full UK content. This shouldn't and won't change - it isn't part of the BBC's mandate."

    This contradicts the mandate of the Internet. If is is not part of the BBC's mandate, then I suggest they remove all their Internet facilities.

  • Comment number 86.

    Steve, can you please let us choose to look at the international or the UK version? Just change it back. It wasn't broke.

  • Comment number 87.

    you could solve all the [self inflicted] issues by putting all the content behind a login screen that would be tied to the licence fee number.

    that would be fair to the licence payer [who could then access from anywhere] and to other web content providers who don't get subsidy.

  • Comment number 88.

    "Your payment of the license fee doesn't pay for YOU to recieve the BBC output, it pays for that location to recieve BBC output. That is why it is payable per residence, not per person."

    this is not strictly correct as whilst the licence is issued for an address it is also issued to a licence holder who can use this licence for a second address ( eg holiday home/caravan) while away from the main residence providing no one is there viewing the TV at the same time.
    This only of course applies and indeed only works in the UK,however it could be argued that a UK licence payer who is away from his UK residence
    (which is also unoccupied by other persons) has as much right to watch the i player as anyone else and possibly more so than persons who just because they are in the UK can view programmes for free whether they are a licence payer or not.These programmes were after all originally financed from income generated by licence payers.
    Surely it can't be a technical impossibility to come up with a system whereby licence payers are issued with an access code that would enable them to view BBC i player and other channels TV players no matter where they are located.
    I am sure that other licence payers currently outside of the UK might agree with this

  • Comment number 89.

    #81. At 00:48am on 21 Jun 2009, richardwhiuk wrote:

    "If you are an expat / Britain living abroad, you do not have access to the full UK content. This shouldn't and won't change - it isn't part of the BBC's mandate."

    Yes it is, the Royal Charter specifically states that one of the BBC's duties is to connect the UK to the world and the world to the UK. There is no reason on earth why the editorial content on the whole "UK" site should not be accessible to the world and the whole of the "International" site should not be accessible to the UK.

    If one really want to get pedantic about the licence fee it's actually irrelevant to the BBC website as the licence fee only relates to the reception of a television service, one doesn't actually need a licence to receive the radio service or access the website.

  • Comment number 90.

    #87. At 09:17am on 21 Jun 2009, bookhimdano wrote:

    "you could solve all the [self inflicted] issues by putting all the content behind a login screen that would be tied to the licence fee number."

    As there is no requirement for BBC radio listeners to have a TV licence, how would they access the BBC website?!...

  • Comment number 91.

    Dear Steve,
    Maybe we could finally have a PLAUSIBLE explanation as to why the radio button solution is no longer possible. We need to be able to understand the true reasons why, otherwise this doesn't look good for the credibility of the BBC.

  • Comment number 92.

    When will you idiots get the message? - it was all perfectly fine before, but you just couldn't leave it well alone could you?? You whinge about not being able to use licence-payers' money to allow continued access to audio/video, but what about the waste of money spent making changes to the site which were unnecessary and which have made things worse?

    Where's the accountability here? - you've patently p***ed off a large number of your 'customers', so whose head will roll for this? Just what does it take for any of you useless gits to take responsibility for your rampant incompetence?

  • Comment number 93.

    I can now get the UK homepage again!

    Cool! Thanks!

  • Comment number 94.

    I would just like to say thanks to the BBC. Before this change I didnt really know much about proxy servers. Now, not only can I view the BBC web site as if I was in the UK, I can also get round the company firewall and look at pretty much anything I like!

    Every cloud....

  • Comment number 95.

    Well done! PiscesMac. The use of Proxy servers are certainly a way around the problem. I recommend all who have blogged here investigate this. Its quite easy to pick up on the technology as no doubt you easily did.

    Mr Herrmann made the terrible changes and thought we would just accept it and carry on with our knitting. But Auntie BBC has no place anymore and people will take any step to circumvent these stupid restrictions.

    Should we write right to the BBC trust and point out that if more overseas people learn how to use a proxy, then the BBC Iplayer will be compromised ???
    Was that the goal?

  • Comment number 96.

    Nope - spoke too soon. Now I only get the mobile version! I suppose it means that someone is tinkering around in the background though.

    Shame though - I was dead chuffed a while ago, as I thought that Stevie boy had listened to the opinion of the thousand or so people on here.

  • Comment number 97.

    #96. At 5:29pm on 21 Jun 2009, missymooabu wrote:

    "Nope - spoke too soon. Now I only get the mobile version! I suppose it means that someone is tinkering around in the background though.

    If you are with AOL it just means that you got routed through one of their UK servers, it's pot-luck basically!... This is the problem, IP detection doesn't actually determine were the person making the request (for the web content) is, just were the servers is.

  • Comment number 98.

    #95: I assume the BBC IT people just didn't think that their users would realise that there are easy ways to get around geolocation restrictions. Many wouldn't even have considered using proxies to access "UK-only" content but now that they know about them they will use them and so even if the change is reversed more people from outside the UK will be using Iplayer than did so before.

    Somebody has shot themselves in the foot with this decision.

  • Comment number 99.

    90 ...As there is no requirement for BBC radio listeners to have a TV licence, how would they access the BBC website?!.....

    again another self inflicted problem. why is there no requirement if it is funded by licence. this is the sort of turgid bbc thinking that creates all sorts of injustices.

    if the radio would not exist without the licence then it is right to include it in package.

  • Comment number 100.

    Well, I didn't believe my anger with the BBC could increase but I think I could now give the leader writers of News International or Associated Newspapers a run for their money.
    So UK licence payers are to have the service that was taken away from them and which they are entitled to "shortly". Is that as in 'the bus will be here soon' or 'it will be Christmas before you know it'?. Actually, at the moment I don't know now what I will get when I access the site: sometimes it is the UK version, sometimes the International and sometimes it will change from the UK version to the International version before my eyes. What a shambles; brought about by incompetence and a lack of professional project management. And what makes it even worse is the lack of any recognition from the BBC as to how it has got things wrong. In the last contribution from Mr Herrmann, is there the slightest sign of regret at the problems and inconvenience caused or the merest hint of an apology for withdrawing the UK site to UK residents and licence payers? Even when a TV or radio programme goes off air for the shortest of periods we get an immediate apology.
    Also to reiterate, I am in total agreement with the massive majority on this subject that freedom of choice should be reinstated. I do not support the 'no pay, no say' standpoint. Everybody should have the choice, whether they are an ex-pat living or working abroad, world business people, foreign students or, should they be able to even access the web, the citizens of Iran, China, North Korea....


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