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BBC iPlayer access in Europe could soon be a reality

Have you ever been on holiday and wanted to settle down to a quiet evening of Sherlock, only to find your iPlayer won’t allow it?

That’s because BBC doesn’t let you stream content on the iPlayer app if you’re outside of the UK. For now, anyway.

That stance could soon change as EU officials call for a loosening on the continental restrictions placed on iPlayer by the BBC.

The European Commission wants the UK public to be able to use catch-up services like iPlayer when travelling across Europe.

It’s part of what the Commission is calling an initiative for a ‘digital single market’ across the continent.

The European regulator claims making the switch would help boost the usage of online goods and services.

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The Commission wants to ensure that users who buy films, music, or articles at home can enjoy them while travelling across Europe,” a statement from the EC reads.

It continued: “The Commission will also look at the role of online intermediaries in relation to copyright-protected works.”

“[And there will be] a review of the Satellite and Cable Directive to assess if its scope needs to be enlarged to broadcasters’ online transmissions and to explore how to boost cross-border access to broadcasters’ services in Europe,” the Commission added.

The EC’s words haven’t fallen on deaf ears either; the BBC has now said it would consider making the change.

“We note the Commission’s interest in making services more portable to UK users while temporarily travelling in Europe, and will begin work to look at the technical and legislative implications,” a BBC spokesperson said.

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