A major software bug is blocking Virgin Media Broadband internet customers from accessing the BBC’s catch-up iPlayer service.
Having been blocked from accessing content I’ve paid for, for over 48 hours, I finally managed to get someone at BBC iPlayer technical support to acknowledge the seriousness of the issue.
Peter Corr, at 0370 9000 223, whilst appreciating that Virgin Media’s position is that they have not issued a new range of IP addresses in over 12 months, did intimate to me that the vast majority of technical faults he deals with, are to do with the BBC’s IP checking algorithm particularly among Virgin Media and AOL customers—which suggests that this isn’t an isolated or a particularly rare problem.
The blocking software the BBC uses is intended to block non-UK viewers from accessing content only available to the licence fee paying British public.
The iPlayer service was still available to me on Thursday the 12th of March 2009. Since my logs show that Virgin Media last renewed by IP lease 6 days, 14 hrs and 9 minutes ago, it has to be presumed that it is the BBC who, in the last three days at least, have updated their so-called killfile to denote Virgin Media IP address ranges, which are legally entitled to access BBC content from within the British Isles, as if they are in fact outside of the country and therefore barred.
From a compliance point of view, BBC Radio Tees agree with me that, especially that this should happen over the Red Nose Day weekend and that no high level iPlayer technical support staff should be available, was particularly unfortunate. It was also suggested that Judy Tate, BBC Radio Tees Morning show producer, available on 01642 340 665 or 01624 225511, might be interested in taking calls, if the issue has not been resolved as of Monday morning.
EDIT: March 17, 2009 12:32 PM
If anything, it’s getting worse. Spoke to someone at BBC iPlayer tech support who again suggested that Virgin Media are to blame for the erroneously updated white list, despite that two separate calls to Virgin Media yesterday confirmed that the last occasion on which Virgin updated their list to the BBC was November of last year.
On top of that, I am now unable to view anything other than the International version of the entire BBC on-line network. Previously this only affected iPlayer, now I am unable to subscribe to podcasts or view the UK version of bbc.co.uk/news
The international version of bbc.co.uk should not appear to visitors with a UK IP address