A large number of BBC iPlayer users have been in for an unwelcome surprise in the last few days, as they find themselves locked out of the popular streaming service.
Although they were located within the UK, a geolocation glitch misidentified them as being abroad, blocking their access.
The BBC acknowledged the flaw in a statement earlier today, representing a rare disruption to the seamless streaming experience that iPlayer is known for.
According to the BBC announcement, some affected users are seeing “Error message 02066“When they try to use BBC iPlayer.
This technical glitch raises a wave of frustration among its broad user base, as some resort to social media to complain.
The broadcaster has carried out an investigation to uncover the cause and quickly find a solution to this widespread problem (and has suggested some things to check – see more below).
From what we know so far, the device you’re seeing isn’t necessarily related to the issue, and the issue may lie in certain networks.
Therefore, the BBC suggests that, where possible, you try to use another network until the issue is resolved – that is, if you’re seeing the error message while connected to a cellular network, you may be fine when using broadband in your home. Or vice versa.
Why is the BBC geoblocking iPlayer?
BBC iPlayer is a treasure trove of free content (as long as you… Pay TV license), but access to it is primarily limited to the UK – which is why you can’t usually use it when you’re abroad (unless you’ve downloaded the shows beforehand).
The reason behind this geographical restriction, known as geo-blocking, boils down to streaming rights.
The BBC only has the rights to broadcast certain programs and events within the UK and therefore uses geo-blocking to ensure it adheres to these legal agreements.
Geo-blocking works by identifying users’ location through their IP addresses, which are unique identifiers assigned to each Internet connection.
When you try to access BBC iPlayer, the service checks your IP address to determine whether you are accessing from within the United Kingdom. If it recognizes the IP address as being based in the UK, you’ll be able to gain access. If not, you will be greeted with an error message.
However, this system is not without drawbacks. Occasionally, the mechanism can mistakenly identify UK-based users as being outside the country. This can happen for several reasons.
For example, if a user is using a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy service to browse the Internet, these tools can hide the real IP address, causing BBC iPlayer to misinterpret the user’s location (and iPlayer tends to block some VPN services regardless) . In terms of “they say” you).
In addition, if an IP address is newly created or is not correctly registered as being based in the UK by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), BBC iPlayer may also misidentify the location.
BBC iPlayer error 02066: What can I do?
Until the BBC can fix the current, widespread issue, viewers can try to check if they’re actually affected by this bug – or something else that makes iPlayer think they’re not in the UK.
Based on Guidance provided by the BBCHere is a consolidated guide to help you troubleshoot this issue:
VPN and Proxy Services:
If you are using a VPN or proxy service, it is recommended to disable it temporarily. These services can hide your real IP address, causing iPlayer to misjudge your location.
After disabling, wait a few minutes and clear your browser’s cache to ensure the changes take effect. If a VPN or proxy is detected, iPlayer will restrict access because it cannot reliably determine your location.
Check if your IP address is registered:
Sometimes, an IP address may not be registered correctly in the UK, especially if it was created or acquired recently. This incorrect recording may mislead iPlayer.
The BBC suggests you contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to check if your IP address is properly registered in the UK. It can provide clarity and perhaps correct any problems with the recording (although I should add that with the problem currently widespread, it may be easier to wait for the BBC to issue a solution).
Check your IP address details:
Use IP scanning sites such as WhatIsMyIP To review your IP address details. These sites provide information about your geographic location as seen by your IP address.
If there is a discrepancy in details (ie you know you are in the UK because it is gray and raining outside, but your IP address says you are not in the UK) contact your ISP for further assistance.
If you are using a web accelerator, try disabling it. Web accelerators may sometimes interfere with site discovery.
Operating computer networks:
Some business networks route data outside the UK. If you use a work computer (or a VPN for work), consult your company’s IT support to confirm if this is the cause.
If you are on the Tor network, be aware that only Tor relay nodes can access iPlayer. Adjust your settings accordingly if this applies to you.
Mobile device settings:
Check for any data minimization features in your browser settings. Some mobile browsers route data outside the United Kingdom when these features are activated.
Make sure your browser is up to date, or try using a different browser to access iPlayer.
Additionally, disable any data compression applications as they may also route data outside the UK.
Where can I continue watching BBC iPlayer?
Sometimes when BBC iPlayer (and We’ve seen some crashes Last year), it is limited to specific devices only. At this point, we usually suggest trying another platform – move from your mobile to Smart TV, from Smart TV to the Fire TV app, etc.
However, in this case, the issues appear to be related to the broadband network you’re using – although it never hurts to try running iPlayer on additional devices, if you have them, and see if that does the trick (we’ve seen mentions of the issue for people with PS5, for example).
@BBC Player What is error code 02066. My PS5 gives me this as an error message when I’m connected to WiFi. I don’t have a VPN and I’m based in the UK. iPlayer cannot be played.
– Chris Parker (@cjbarkeracca) October 29, 2023
We’ll update this article as soon as we have more information – and you can check it out too BBC dedicated help page on this issue.