Accessing the BBC from outside the UK

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at
Fri Jan 6 11:01:52 EST 2012

On Fri, 2012-01-06 at 10:41 -0500, Derek J. Balling wrote:
> On Jan 6, 2012, at 10:38 AM, Chris Marriott wrote:
> > The fundamental issue is that BBC TV is only accessible to TV
> licence payers, and if you're not a licence payer, you're not entitled
> to view it.
> Pedantically: UK residents are required to pay a TV licence, and
> aren't entitled to have TVs without paying said licence fee.

More pedantically: you're allowed to have a TV. You're just not allowed
to receive TV broadcasts with it. If you can show that it is used only
as a monitor, for example with a games console, and you don't have any
antenna hooked up to it, then that should be sufficient.

Actually convincing the man with the detector van of that fact, and
getting them to stop hassling you, is of course another matter :)

>  If you sit offshore and can still catch the TV broadcast, you're
> perfectly, legally, entitled, to view it.
> Don't confuse "regulations on device ownership within the national
> boundaries" with some sort of license on reception and use of the
> signal outside of those borders.

Also note that the licence is only required for receiving simultaneous
transmissions. So you don't need a licence for using the 'offline'
iPlayer TV content, but as I understand it you *do* need a TV licence
for watching the 'Live BBC1' and similar streams within the UK.

(And that 'licence' is spelled with a 'c' when it's a noun, and 's' when
it's a verb. Like device/devise, advice/advise, practice/practise etc.)

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